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Why the Government Could (And Should) Put Me Out of Business

With New Year’s around the bend one can’t help but think about the future.
I am a personal injury lawyer.  I sue people for a living.  The more people that are injured through the carelessness of others, the more potential business I have.
The vast majority of my business comes from car crashes.  The reason is simple, crashes cause serious injuries and there are insurance companies to fight over fair compensation.  A person drives carelessly and kills or injures another.  Those victims hire me to represent them.  That is my business.  Take away careless driving and you take away my root business, and from the perspective of the road using public that is a good thing.
So how can the government put me out of business (or at least drastically reduce it)?  Eliminate car crashes.  From here we have to look at the root cause of crashes.  Be it speeding, impaired driving, driving unsafely for the conditions, distracted driving, you name it, all of these categories fit into the umbrella of ‘human error‘.  Eliminate human error from the equation and you eliminate the vast majority of crashes.
Enter technology.  Enter Google’s driver-less cars.  These cars seek to take human error out of the driving equation.  They have been under development for a few years and now have been cleared for the road in California, Nevada, Florida, Michigan and Washington, DC.   Once perfected this technology can put a serious dent in roadway injuries/fatalities and collaterally my business.
Technology has put a lot of people out of business.  Lawyers generally feel immune from such threatened  changes but recent history has demonstrated that no professions are safe in the face of exponential technological innovation.  I have been addressing this topic for over a year, be it on twitter, at the office, at seminars, wherever.  Apparently I am not the only one with New York personal injury lawyer Eric Turkewitz authoring an article on his blog addressing this which even caught the Wall Street Journal’s attention.
To date no Canadian Provincial government has cleared the way for testing such technology on our roads.  Presently ICBC is focused on creating an ‘Anti Fraud Solution‘  Now I hate insurance fraud and so should you, but you know what’s better than tackling insurance fraud?  Tackling the root causes of crashes.  Food for thought for 2015.

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