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All you need to know about Drone Accidents and Injuries

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) commonly known as a drone may be fun items for kids or serve a purpose for commercial uses, but these versatile items can also be very problematic. When not careful, you can cause a drone injury to an innocent party. In the United States, there are over 1.5 million drones registered and that’s only the responsible owners that register them. But these aren’t always safe devices. Just in 2017, there were an estimated 385 drone accidents. If you suffered from a personal injury due to a drone accident, you need a drone injury lawyer that can get you the compensation that you deserve.

Why People Use Drones

Drones are versatile items that can be used for a wide variety of purposes, from recreation to commercial usage. These are some of the most common uses for drones:

  • Recreational use, as someone would use a remote control car or airplane.
  • Capturing aerial photographs for real estate purposes.
  • To perform inspections on airplanes to ensure they are safe before flying.
  • Studying dangerous places like volcanos, where it is too dangerous for researches to personally inspect.
  • Surveillance in construction to ensure that the construction site is safe and everything is going according to plan.
  • Surveillance in mines to not only identify potential threats to miners but to also discover minerals.
  • Search and rescue missions, giving important aid when searching for missing children and adults.
  • Wedding photography or videography as it can allow the couple to get shots from angles that a person is unable to.
  • Media coverage for outdoor events, such as sporting events or fairs.

Drones are incredibly popular items and this industry is consistently growing, especially in the commercial industry as they find more and more ways to utilize them. However, as these devices become more popular there will become a higher risk that people can be injured.

Drone Registrations

In 2016, the FAA released guidelines for commercial drones that must be followed for safety purposes. These strict regulations for businesses include:

  • All drones should be operated in a careful and appropriate manner.
  • Drone pilots must have their drone in sight at all times. If they use technology like “First-person view”, they need to have another person using binoculars to keep the drone in their sight. One operator and assistant can be responsible for only 1 drone at a time.
  • Drones can only be operated during daylight, 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset, as long as it has anti-collision lights.
  • Drones cannot go above 400 feet in altitude unless it has to go 400 feet above a building. It cannot go faster than 100 MPH.
  • Some drones need permission from air traffic control to fly. Drones that are considered to be Class B, C, D, or E must have approval before they can fly. Class G airspace drones do not need permission.

Sometimes businesses can gain exemption from these regulations, but they need to prove that the drones and their operation are safe.

There are also regulations that regular people need to follow when using their drones, such as:

  • Drones cannot fly above 400 feet.
  • Drones cannot be used near aircraft or airports.
  • Drones cannot fly over groups of people.
  • Drones cannot fly over the gatherings of people or stadiums.
  • Drones cannot be flown near any emergency response units.
  • You cannot operate a drone under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Drones cannot fly over airports, during flight restrictions, over national parks, in restricted airspace, or over NOAA marine protection areas. Violation of these laws can cause injury and harm, leading to fines and other punishments.

How Drones Can Injure People

Drones may be fun and useful items, but they can also cause severe injury to people. These accidents can cause some serious damage and may require extensive treatments. Some common  injuries include:

  • Concussions and Other Head Injuries

There have been cases where a drone has crashed into a person’s head, which can lead to some very serious head injuries. Athletes have been injured while competing due to a head injury caused by a drone crashing into them.

  • Eye Injuries

Drones can not only cause injuries to the head like a concussion, but it can also lead to issues like eye injuries. For instance, there was a case in England where a toddler was hit in the face by a drone, which lead to the eyeball getting damaged. They needed to get a prosthetic one as a result of the accident, which was caused by a drone operator losing control of the drone.

  • Amputations

While this may not be an injury that is commonly associated with drones, this is another possibility. Drones, especially high-speed drones, have blades that rapidly spin. Famously, singer Enrique Iglesias nearly lost some fingers as a drone flew too close to him while he was performing live.

  • Accidents with Other Aircraft

Drones can cause a lot of problems in the air, especially when they share it with airplanes or other aircraft. If the drones get too close, this could lead to an accident that could be potentially deadly.

These are just a few of the common injuries that can occur due to the misuse of a drone. If you fly a drone without understanding how to properly control it, without any knowledge on the regulations, or operating it under the influence, you can cause injury to other people. There are numerous cases of drone accidents causing someone bodily harm, which can have a lasting and negative impact on the lives of the victim.

 

Have you been injured in a drone accident? If you have, you will be happy to know that you are eligible to receive damages for your injuries. 

CALL 954-951-0000 for a FREE CONSULTATION

 

  • Damages a Victim May Be Eligible For

Drone injuries can, unfortunately, require hospitalization and extensive medical care, especially for those more serious incidences. Here are some damages that you may be eligible as a result of your drone injury:

      • Any medical expenses that are related to the injury, both present, and future expenses. This includes hospital bills, costs for any surgeries required, medications, physical therapies, and any other medical expenses required as a result of your injury.
      • Any lost wages caused due to the injury, such as being out of work due to your injuries. This can be present lost wages as well as any future lost wages.
      • Emotional pain, trauma, and suffering that has been caused by being injured by a drone unexpectedly hitting you.
      • Any permanent disfigurement or scarring caused but the drone hitting you, such as the blades hitting your body or the weight of the drone that hit you.
      • Damages caused by the drone accident negatively impacting the victim’s quality of life.
      • Funeral expenses and any other related expenses in the unfortunate case of the death being caused by the drone.

It’s also important to know that you can also sue for damages if the drone simply invaded your privacy. If the drone was photographing you or taking videos of you without your consent, this could be illegal. This is especially true if the photographs taken were used against you in some form, making you look in a negative way.

Drone laws are still evolving to keep up with the technology, which is something to consider. Typically, if there was injury or damage to personal property due to a drone accident, this would be a civil matter rather than a criminal one, so contacting a personal injury attorney who specializes in drone accidents can be your best hope for getting the compensation that you rightfully deserve as a result of an accident.

Who is Liable for a Drone Injury?

Even the most experienced drone operator can have an accident with their drone. All it really takes is a single gust of wind to cause them to lose control over their drone. Drone operators are responsible for any damages or injuries caused by their drones. The important thing is to determine who is at fault for the injury, even if there are multiple parties involved. If you can prove that any number of parties share responsibility in the damages and can prove it, you may be entitled to recover from all of the responsible parties. However, you will likely need an attorney to help you identify the parties responsible for your accident. Some people who are potentially responsible for your injuries include:

      • The person who was operating the drone, particularly if they were operating it under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. They would also be responsible if they were negligent for its operation as well as if they failed to maintain the drone which led to an injury.
      • The manufacturer or designer of the drone, if the accident was the result of faulty or defective design or parts.
      • The person who sold the drone. The seller must provide instructions with the drone that includes how to properly operate and maintain the drone as well as any other safety notices that are required for drones. The boxes must also have warnings on the outside of the box for buyers to fully understand the dangers of using the drone.
      • The person who owns the drone. They will be responsible if they let someone use their drone who doesn’t know how to properly use it or if they didn’t inform the user on how to use it. If the drone was under the operation of someone it wasn’t supposed to be.
      • The owner of the property where the accident occurred could also be potentially responsible for damages if they allowed the drone to be used on their property and it wasn’t safe to do so.

If there are multiple people responsible for your injuries, you have rights. That’s why it’s important to get in touch with a personal injury attorney to see who is liable for your injury so that you know who you should hold responsible for any damages incurred due to your injury.

Where Are No-Fly Zones

You may feel like you’re helpless when it comes to causing potential drone injuries, but there is something that you can do that will help protect you from your drone injuring someone or invading their privacy. Thanks to a mobile APP called “B4UFLY”, which provides recreational drone flyers with the knowledge of where they can and cannot fly their drones.  It also provides interactive maps. When a drone operator searches on where it’s safe for them to fly their drone, they will avoid any areas on this list where drone flight is prohibited.

However, this is assuming that they check the list before they take their drones out. Responsible drone operators will check this APP to be as safe as possible, but there are no regulations requiring them to.

What to Do After a Drone Injury

What you do immediately after your drone injury can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. You need to prove that the accident was caused by the negligence of another person. If you are trying to file a claim against the manufacturer, you need to prove that they were negligent in the design or selecting defected parts which led to your injuries. You have rights that you need to be aware of to ensure that you get the best possible outcome for your drone injury claim. The laws may be fairly new in this area, but you can still win a case for damages with the help of a reputable attorney like The Injury Firm.

There are some steps that you need to take that will help give you a better outcome for your case. As soon as a drone injury occurs, you should seek out medical attention. Take pictures, or have another person take pictures, if possible. This immediate evidence can be very valuable in your personal injury claim. If you opt against medical treatment, this can be used against you, showing that you weren’t as injured as you say you were. Even if you don’t think the injuries are serious enough, seeking medical attention can help provide you with documentation of your injuries.

You should obtain as much information as you possibly can. Get the information of anyone who witnessed the incident, so that they can testify for you if need be for your claim. You should also do what you can to get all of the information that you can on the owner and/or operator of the drone. If you can, you should write down the registration number for the drone. With all of this information, you should proceed to contact the police to create a police report. Every bit of documentation that you can get will help your injury claim. If the operator has liability insurance, be sure to get this information as well. Responsible drone owners tend to have this type of insurance to help protect them should some type of accident occur.

Once you do all of this, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The sooner that you can get an attorney involved in your case, the better the outcomes will be for you. Provide them with all of the documentation that you gathered, which can help them determine whether or not you have a claim for your injuries. If you do, the lawyer will move forward with your case and collect as much information as possible from others. They will create a strong case to present to the responsible parties, with the goal of getting you the amount of money that you deserve for your injuries.

The goal would be to settle out of court, as trials can be costly. However, we are ready and willing to go to court if that’s in the best interest of our clients to ensure that they get the fair compensation that they deserve for their injuries.

Conclusion

The Injury Firm has many years of experience, fighting for our clients. If you were injured due to the negligence of another party, you are entitled to receive compensation. We have our clients’ best interests at heart, which is why we do whatever we have to so that you can get the compensation that you deserve. Drone accidents can cause lasting damage, both physically and emotionally, and you are entitled to get recovery for these damages. If you have been injured in a drone accident, contact us today to see how we can help you. For a FREE CONSULTATION, call 954-951-0000.

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