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Gursten explains how AVs will drive change for car accident lawyers

March 13, 2018 by Steven M. Gursten

Auto attorney Steve Gursten offers strategies for how lawyers can be ready for the day when autonomous vehicles (AVs) slash car accidents by 90%

In the future, car accidents – on the scale to which we’ve sadly become accustomed – will largely be a thing of the past.

That day can’t come soon enough.

But when it comes, will personal injury lawyers be ready to evolve, adapt and change, or will these lawyers be wiped out like the dinosaurs?

How will there be a need for car accident lawyers if there are no car accidents?

Technology – through smarter cars, advanced crash avoidance technologies and self-driving autonomous vehicles – will reduce car accidents to 90% of what they are today.

Will you and your law firm be ready when the day arrives and your caseload of car and truck accident cases is down to 10% of what it is today?

What can you be doing right now to make sure you are ready?

The answers to these existential (at least if you’re a fellow injury lawyer) questions are what I will be discussing during my presentation, “How to Create Yourself as an ‘Anti-Fragile’ Lawyer,” at the 360 Advocacy legal seminar, “Build to Win,” in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, March 11-14, 2018.

In addition to my presentation, my fellow faculty, which includes “some of the country’s most thoughtful and creative trial lawyers,” will share “their ideas, strategies and processes” to help car accident attorneys “expand and recreate” their approach to case development, which will allow them to “prepare for larger settlements and verdicts.”

Gursten predicts big changes coming down the road for car accident attorneys

Autonomous vehicles and advanced crash avoidance technologies will forever change the practice of law for many car accident lawyers.

As you can see below, the contrast between the present and the future is stark.

Here’s the present:

  • There were 32,000 Americans killed and 2.2 million injured in the 5.3 million auto accidents that occurred in 2011 … alone.
  • Humans – through distractions, bad decision-making, or mistakes in perception and reaction – are the all-too-frequent cause of those fatalities, injuries and crashes.

Here’s what we know about the future:

  • There will be far fewer car accidents in the very near future.
  • Driverless cars are expected to reduce the number of car crashes by as much as 90%.
  • There will be 90% fewer auto accident cases to litigate.
  • Of those auto accident lawsuits that will still exist, there will likely be significant liability barriers to protect the autonomous vehicle industry … and/or federal law could pre-empt state law, there could be a national No Fault law or even a common fund (akin to the vaccine-injury compensation fund).

There are strategies that attorneys need to implement now if they are going to not just survive, but also thrive. These strategies will be what I will be presenting on for 3 days in Jackson Hole, teaching lawyers how to “Build to Win,” in an age of disruptive technological change.

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