Tue 18th Jul | 2017

Drones & Personal Injury: What You Need to Know

General BY

Our laws are consistently challenged and evolved through the introduction of new concepts and products. This is particularly true of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) popular among consumers of all ages. Today, drones are used by consumers as a means of entertainment and recreation, and they are widely available and affordable.

Because drones are increasing in popularity and being considered for a number of commercial applications in the future, important questions are being raised about their safety, regulation, and how situations involving injuries should be handled legally. Unfortunately, not all of these questions are easy to answer.

When it comes to personal injury cases involving drones, there may be a number of situations that lead to preventable injuries and damages. With new and untested regulations, as well as a general lack of case law and established precedent, many drone personal injury cases are new legal ground. Because of this, it becomes important for victims to work with experienced attorneys like those at Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Littky-Rubin & Whitman who can help them explore their rights and options for pursuing financial compensation.

Drone personal injury cases may involve a range of issues, including:

  • Serious injury – Consumers who operate recreational drones may be held liable when their drones seriously injury another person. However, because recreational drone use is sparsely regulated and because flying a drone requires a great deal of technical skill and practice, there is ample room for debate regarding what is and what is not considered negligent when it comes to drone use and proving fault and liability.
  • Product liability – Defectively designed and manufactured drones can threaten public safety when a recreational or commercial drone is used. In some cases, consumers who own recreational drones may injure themselves as a result of unsafe or defective drone components. Victims who wish to seek a recovery of their damages would need to pursue compensation through product liability claims against the manufacturer.
  • Premises liability – The location of where a drone is being used, such as private or public property, can raise unique questions in a personal injury case. There may also be various situations that introduce new issues, such as when the drone pilot is operating a drone from public property, but injures someone else who is on private property, or vice versa.
  • Inadvertent negligence – Certain accidents involving drones that inadvertently distract others may also raise questions of liability. For example, who can be held liable when a motorist who is distracted by a drone causes a car accident?
  • Invasion of privacy – Many recreational and commercial drones are fitted with camera or video recorders that enable pilots to capture shots from various angles. Unfortunately, it also enables them to take photos or video of people in places where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. As such, these situations may give rise to civil claims alleging an invasion of privacy against the drone operator.

Our legal team encourages anyone who owns a drone to operate it safely, in accordance to local laws, and with proper liability insurance. We also offer our service and support to residents across West Palm Beach and the state of Florida who have suffered injuries and damages as a result of incidents involving a recreational or commercial drone. Although there may be new legal ground and grey areas involved in drone personal injury cases, our attorneys have the decades of collective experience and insight needed to effectively handle challenges and advocate for injured clients and their families.

To discuss a potential drone personal injury case during a free case evaluation, call 561-899-2100 to speak with a member of our legal team.