A new field is popping up in personal injury law-drone injury liability. As more and more civilians get their hands on flying drones, more people are getting injured by drone mishaps. Social media sites like Twitter are filled with drone flights gone wrong.
The problems aren't limited to any particular sector or setting. Drones are used commercially by engineers, farmers, real estate agents, photographers, and developers. Market researchers predicted that more than 400,000 drones were also given as gifts in Christmas 2015.
Drone-related injuries range from crashes to explosions to flying debris. Drones can be made of plastic or carbon fiber, so the severity of the injury and vary based on the type of injury and the composition of the drone. In 2013, a Brooklyn man was fatally wounded by a drone he was piloting and lost control of.
So far, the FAA has only loosely regulated drones, limiting them from being flown near airports, stadiums and populated areas. If operated commercially, the operator must have a permit and a license to fly drones. Local laws in some areas may restrict drone flight further. Some cities, like NYC, are debating a total drone ban.
However, new rules are set to go into effect in 2016 that would limit drone flight to a maximum 400 feet, stay five miles or more away from airports and require operators to keep them within their line of sight.
At Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C., our attorneys have more than 40 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. If you or a loved one has been injured and is seeking a qualified personal injury attorney, contact our Huntington, West Virginia office to speak with an attorney about your case, or call 304-523-8451.