Travel team partner, Warren Collins, reports from the United States:
Earlier this year we attended the American Association for Justice (AAJ) convention in Austin, Texas. AAJ is the world’s largest personal injury lawyer association and this five day convention provided the opportunity to network with other lawyers from across the globe and listen to numerous lectures and presentations on all aspects of injury claim law and medicine.
Other than the constant chatter about “Trump” and searching questions about Brexit, the legal issues surrounding driverless cars were the hot topic of conversation. With Google and Uber trialling driverless cars in California, the widespread introduction of these vehicles seems inevitable. The legal consequences of accidents involving driverless cars are interesting. It would seem that accident rates may well go down when human error is eliminated from the equation but accidents will still happen. The general consensus seems to point towards accidents giving rise to more product liability claims. It remains to be seen how this will translate into our jurisdiction and whether there will be any amendments to the existing consumer protection legislation.
Another feature of the convention was the popularity of the End Driver Distraction Campaign being rolled out by volunteer injury lawyers across the United States. This campaign involves lawyers speaking to young drivers in schools, colleges and community centres pointing out the dangers of texting and calls on mobile telephones while driving. This is clearly a topic close to our team’s heart given our involvement in such a case. We have registered our interest as a volunteer in anticipation of the campaign being brought to the UK.
We also took the opportunity during our visit to meet up with clients and colleagues on the East Coast to progress other travel cases we are currently handling.