Personal Injury

AI diagnosis technology a potential boon for accident victims

By AdvocateDaily.com Staff

Medical diagnoses aided by artificial intelligence (AI) have great potential to benefit crash victims, says Brampton personal injury lawyer Nital Gosai.

U.K.-based magazine Autocar reports that vehicle manufacturer Hyundai is developing technology designed to alert emergency services to the specific details of the occupants’ injuries immediately following an accident.

According to the industry outlet, the carmaker has teamed up with an AI specialist to cut emergency response times by translating data from in-built sensors into a prediction of required medical treatment.

“Obviously, it’s at an early stage, but if we can understand the nuances of the technology and the thresholds for triggering calls to emergency services, it could be a fantastic development for injury victims,” Gosai, founder of Gosai Law, tells AdvocateDaily.com.

Having immediate access to data regarding the speed of the crash and the treatment doled out to accident victims would help lawyers screen claims while eliminating some of the issues that are typically highly contested in personal injury litigation, she explains.

“Often, there are concerns as to whether the plaintiff obtained the appropriate care when they needed it,” Gosai says. “This new technology could provide much more concrete information upon which to build your case. It can also become a reliable independent data source in support of the plaintiff's version of how bad the accident was. Should the credibility of a plaintiff be in question, then certainly at least as it relates to the details of the accident it would be difficult for the insurer to argue that the technology is in error.”

According to Autocar, Hyundai is refining its system’s predictions by comparing them to actual diagnoses made by medical professionals. It ultimately wants to be sending crash details to emergency services within seven seconds of an impact.

“We expect a significant improvement in the emergency medical services of vehicles in the short-term, while our long-term goal is to provide innovations in passenger experience of vehicle safety utilizing new technology that enable real-time physical monitoring,” Young-Cho Chi, the company’s chief innovation officer, said in a statement to the magazine.

However, Gosai warns that such technological developments can cut both ways, noting that insurers are likely to seize on data suggesting that the impact of the crash was small or that any injuries sustained were minor.

“Unfortunately, this kind of technology doesn’t take into account the individual circumstances of the person in the vehicle,” she says.

Gosai says her clients often face significant challenges getting the benefits they need from insurers when their injuries are sustained in low-velocity accidents.

“There’s this belief that low-velocity impact equates to no injury,” she says.

While B.C.’s Court of Appeal ruled in a recent case that physical injuries are foreseeable, even in minor and low-velocity collisions, Gosai says similar claims have not been tested in Ontario.

“We continue to face those arguments all the time in low-impact cases, so we rely on that B.C. case in support of an individualized approach when assessing injured plaintiffs,” she adds. “You can’t just assume that if the accident wasn’t bad in terms of its mechanics, then there can’t be any injuries.”

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