On this blog, we often discuss the fact that victims of car accidents in Florida often have various options when it comes to getting money for damages stemming from the crash. This compensation can be available through insurance companies, other drivers and automotive manufacturers who have engaged in negligence, fraud or recklessness.
However, these cases are rarely as black-and-white as they appear to be. At-fault parties try and blame the victims; insurance companies deny or delay claims unfairly in an effort to shield themselves from the financial fallout of a crash. While there are laws in place that clarify and establish liability and the damages available, it can be difficult to understand how and if they apply in specific situations.
There are many legal gray areas when it comes to liability in car accidents, especially now that modern technology is changing how cars work. For instance, there has been considerable excitement building over driverless cars. While the idea of being able to sleep, check email or read while your car drives itself around Florida sounds exciting, there are some very real concerns about liability.
Let’s imagine one of these driverless cars is involved in an accident and the victims are seriously injured. Who would be accountable? As this Insurance Journal article speculates, the owner of the car could deny liability since he or she was not technically in control of the car at the time. The automaker may maintain that there were no defects or problems with the vehicle’s performance. So who would be to blame?
Currently, car owners are first in line when it comes to liability, especially when they were the ones driving. However, when control of the vehicle is taken out of the owner’s hands — literally and figuratively — there is no clear answer for who should be legally responsible.
While the laws may not reflect the modern shift in driving habits yet, it is all but inevitable that they will be challenged when driverless cars start showing up more and more on Florida roads. This is certainly an issue that we will continue to keep an eye on as technology — and hopefully the laws — evolves.