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What if Self-Driving Cars Reduced TTD?

Alright dear readers, I know you’re probably tired of reading (and, for those of you who hear my voice in your minds because of the relentless persistence of my crackpot ideas, hearing) about how driver-less cars are going to put a lot of people out of work, I get it.

It only takes so many rabbit heads being mailed to my office before I understand I’m not supposed to blog about this stuff anymore.

So, for today’s post, I’m not going to gloat about how automation is going to put a lot of would-be applicants out of work.  No, no – let’s talk about the benefits of returning to work.

Returning an injured worker to duty – regular, modified, or alternative – is a wonderful thing.  On the practical side, that means an end to TTD; it means not having to pay PDAs; it means the injured worker might be reluctant to get a second, higher opinion on PD at the risk of getting enough work restrictions to lose his or her job.

But the benefits don’t stop there – ask any defense attorney with more than 5 minutes under his or her belt, and they’ll take you to that one file… the lingering, endless, multi-filing cabinet file.  The one where NOTHING can bring an end to the claim – the injured worker is in a self-perpetuated free-fall of despair.  Woe is me and now my other pink toe hurts too!

Just about any applicant could end up like that, if enough soul-less butcher doctors and ethic-less attorneys say the “victim” word to the applicant enough time while cashing in on his or her misery.

You know what helps minimize the risk of that happening?  Getting back to work.  It’s not just about the money, it’s not just about returning to normal (because, often times enough, it’s not normal – the injured worker will likely have residuals from the injury).  It’s about moving on from the trauma.

Well, I stumbled upon this story recently, which makes the point that, rather than self-driving cars eliminating jobs, self-driving cars will help people with disabilities overcome the hurdle of transportation that might otherwise keep them out of the job market.

The advantages on a workers’ comp file are pretty apparent as well.  Think of how much cheaper it would be to arrange transportation for a worker to attend a deposition or a medical appointment without having to pay a driver?  And, if you’re the insurer and the only reason you’re paying TTD is because the applicant can’t get to and from work because of the effects of the injury, wouldn’t you rather pay for a self-driving car to do this twice a day than pay for the TTD?

Now, I get it – there’s always the sceptic who was afraid of fire, afraid of the wheel, afraid of the T-800, and is now afraid of self-driving cars: they’re not safe, they’re not reliable, I wouldn’t trust a machine behind the wheel, what if I want to make small talk?

Well, look, here’s what we already know about cars driven by people: they still get into car accidents, and they’re expensive!  If you need a car for an hour, you’re paying for the whole day (or at least half a day).

If self-driving cars can get the applicants back to work sooner and cheaper, then your humble blogger is all for it.

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