While planning for the future of my law practice, I’m contemplating whether auto accident attorneys are out of business in the future. In a nutshell, I think we might be – at least the cases we’ve worked on to this point.
There is so much hype about A.I. these days and I don’t want to get in the weeds in an analysis of it. However, it’s worth mentioning all the various aspects of the upcoming “transportation revolution” that we are currently undergoing and its effect on auto accident cases.
It is in self-driving cars. Maybe not in five or seven years, but ten and fifteen years from now, we will not be driving our own cars. Don’t let the Uber self-driving car fatality in Arizona fool you into thinking that this is not happening. It’s just a matter of time.
The reality is that technology is already significantly impacting transportation safety. For example, federal regulation requires that all new cars come with rear view cameras. This could dramatically reduce the number of back-over crashes that are so common in parking lots. Eliminating or reducing back-over crashes will also greatly impact the safety of children.
Other features now come standard in most new cars including extensive sensor systems that warn when a car is in front, back or to the side of you.
In the future, vehicle to vehicle communication will enable my car to talk to your car and advise each other of the other’s behavior so as to avoid a collision.
A.I. and automation will affect auto accident attorneys in other ways as well. Auto insurance will be different in the future as well. Do you remember going to the airport and buying life insurance before you boarded the plane?
Companies like Allstate owned Arity are already working on auto insurance products for people who will not own cars but rather use ridesharing entirely to get around. You will be able to buy insurance for a single ride, or only when you ride in a certain type of vehicle.
Auto accident claims processing will also be impacted. Insurance companies have already automated the claims process and use technology/software to evaluate auto accident claims. Computers are thus evaluating and making determinations as to the value of auto accident attorney clients’ injuries. Who knows how far A.I. will take the claims process but you can be assured insurers will use technology to reduce payouts and increase profits.
How we document the occurrence of accidents is also evolving as a result of technology. I have represented several clients in the past few years who were wearing GoPro cameras on their motorcycle helmets or positioned on their dashboard. Videotape of the facts of an accident can greatly assist in determining fault for the accident.
Finally, insurance companies like Progressive Insurance have developed apps that monitor your driving habits and reward you for safe-driving.
In short, the entire transportation claims and litigation process is changing. The number of accidents, severe injuries and fatalities will drop significantly in the future. And as such, the number of cases for auto accident attorneys to pursue will also diminish. This will drive many out of the personal injury realm entirely.
Guess I should start planning for a second career. If you would like to discuss this or any other legal related topic, feel free to reach out to me at 847-305-4105.