Technology has rapidly changed every industry, and personal injury law is no exception. In recent years, personal injury lawyers, courts, and insurance companies have leveraged technology to perform tasks more efficiently. New technologies and personal injury claims are widely becoming intertwined.
Technology-Based Injury Claims
There is always a risk factor linked to new technology. Some developments have caused severe injuries to consumers and resulted in new technology-based claims. Consequently, there has emerged a need for more regulations relating to these innovations.
Hoverboards have caught fire because of faulty parts and resulted in injuries and deaths, leading to the recall of several models. Self-driving cars have been involved in accidents. Early research on them suggested that they were five times more likely to be involved in crashes than conventional cars. As a result, the interesting legal question of who is liable when an autonomous vehicle hits someone had to be answered.
To try to answer the question, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) declared that the self-driving car, not the human operating it, is the driver. Therefore, a victim can bring a product liability claim against the driverless car manufacturer.
Technology has made pursuing personal injury claims easier by enabling people to record evidence or identify factors that help prove liability. For example, many ride-sharing app drivers have dash cams installed in their cars. The footage recorded can point out hazards and reckless driving that contribute to ride-sharing accidents. Public service vehicles and commercial trucks also have recording devices that can be used to prove dangerous driving.
Accessing mobile phone records can help lawyers show that a driver was using his or her phone when an accident occurred. Surveillance technologies are increasingly being deployed in public spaces. The camera footage provides lawyers and victims with the opportunity to pursue litigation with greater confidence and more reliable evidence.
Thanks to the massive technological improvements over the last few years, the images and footage captured by devices are now significantly clearer.
The Use of Technology in Courtrooms
Technological advances are being incorporated inside courtrooms to help solve personal injury cases. Studies have shown that visual aids greatly increase the ability of audiences to recall details during presentations. Lawyers are increasingly using wireless technologies, projectors, medical illustrations, and other forms of demonstrative evidence to present cases in more persuasive ways.
Wearable technology, such as fitness trackers, has been used in the courtroom to bolster evidence in personal injury cases. The electronically stored information in the devices helps show that an accident victim has been physically impacted by a personal injury.
Enhanced presentations help the jury visualize injuries and pain and suffering better. Consequently, the judge can determine a more appropriate settlement for the harm suffered by victims.
The legal profession will continue to adopt technology with increasing regularity. Lawyers and personal injury victims will have more advanced tools to strengthen their cases. Federal and state courts will need to prepare adequately and specify regulations for the hazards that evolving technologies will pose to consumers.