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What if You Are Injured by a Drone?
Filing a Lawsuit in 2024

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

Schmidt & Clark, LLP is not currently accepting these types of cases and has posted this content for information purposes only. We encourage you to seek a qualified attorney, if you feel you might have a case.


Flying drones have become more popular in the past few years, which also means that more people have experienced property damage or serious injuries. 

Drone operators use drones for recreation or taking pictures. There are serious consequences for a drone operator not operating a drone properly or if they are using unmanned aircraft systems and causing drone accidents.

We are an experienced personal injury firm, and our experienced drone accident lawyer at Schmidt and Clark can help you if you have been in a drone accident and experienced a drone accident injury. We can help you get the compensation that you deserve.

Quick Summary

  • If you are injured by a drone, immediately prioritize attending to injuries, ensuring safety, and seeking medical help if needed. Address the accident's immediate aftermath before focusing on legal considerations or reporting the incident.
  • The United States Federal Aviation Administration has established regulations for drones, including rules on line of sight, flight times, and yielding to other aircraft.
  • According to research, most drone accidents are due to technological issues and not human error. 

What if You Are Injured by a Drone?

An injured person seeking medical helpIf you are injured by a drone, first, you should get medical help. Drones can create serious personal injury, and the injury can sometimes be internal.

Next, get in contact with the company that licensed you to fly the drone and tell them about the accident. 

Ensure that you get your drone repaired before flying it again. If you don’t know how to operate the drone properly, learn the skills you need to avoid personal injury.

Last, if you have been injured by a drone regardless of the circumstance or if you are the drone owner and want to file an injury claim, contact a drone accident lawyer to handle your drone accident case.

“Drones will be more impactful than people recognize in positive ways to help society.”
- Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft

Drone Regulation

Regulation on a paper on top of a table

The increased use of drones has brought the need for regulation of use. Drones have been seen to cause accidents or hit aircraft, which can cause injuries.

The United States Federal Aviation Administration has created regulations to manage drones and prevent accidents. Regulations apply to both drone operators and unmanned drones.

The regulations include [1]:

  • A drone needs to remain within a visual line of sight of the operator and or within the line of sight of the visual observer.
  • A drone should be close enough to the operator at all times to be capable of seeing the drone without a device.
  • Drones shouldn’t fly directly over anyone not operating it, under a covered structure, or inside a stationary vehicle.
  • Drones can only be operated during the day and twilight, 30 minutes before the sun rises and 30 minutes after sunset, with anti-collision lighting.
  • Drones have to yield to other aircraft.

Causes of Drone Accident Injuries

Most people view drones as harmless; however, they have been known to cause serious drone injury.

Some of the main causes of drone accident injury are due to [3]:

  1. Lack of flight experience or knowledge
  2. Manufacturing companies market drones as easy to operate; however, they often require training to fly unmanned aerial vehicles.
  3. Use of complicated drones by first-time drone pilots. They start with large drones rather than small ones.
  4. Ignoring rules set by the Aviation Administration. Some pilots try to take photographs near airports, which can lead to a drone accident case with a plane.

What Are Some Common Drone Injuries?

A damaged drone causing an accident

When it comes to drone-related injuries, individuals may experience a range of physical harm, including:

  • Hand Injuries: These can occur when attempting to interact with or catch a drone, which may lead to cuts, bruises, or fractures.
  • Head Injuries: Drones that crash or collide with individuals can cause head injuries, potentially resulting in concussions or more severe trauma.
  • Eye Injuries: Flying debris from a drone accident can cause eye injuries, including scratches or damage to the cornea.
  • Falls: Trying to evade or control a drone, especially in the case of a sudden close encounter, might lead to slips, trips, or falls, causing various injuries.
  • Facial Lacerations: Sharp propellers or other drone parts can cause facial lacerations and cuts, which may require medical attention.
  • Broken Bones in the Back, Neck, or Spinal Cord Injuries: Severe accidents, particularly those involving high-speed drones, can result in back, neck, or spinal cord injuries, which may have long-term consequences.
  • Burns: In rare instances, drone accidents may involve fire or battery-related issues that can lead to burns.
  • Brain Injury: Serious drone accidents could lead to traumatic brain injury, with varying degrees of impact on cognitive and physical functions.

Drone Accident Stats

A hand holding a data represented in graph on a paperAccording to research, most drone accidents are due to technological issues and not human error [2].

In 2016, the Aviation Administration estimated there were 2.5 million unmanned aircraft drones in use, and there are 406,000 people that registered drones.

The first death due to drone injury happened in London when a woman died in a car crash. She was driving the car, and her boyfriend was believed to be the drone pilot, and the manned aircraft was found in the car.

Another serious drone accident occurred when a drone just missed a plane taking off from Heathrow Airport in London.

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FAQs

How Common Is Drone Injury and Accidents?

Drone injuries and accidents are very common. Experts estimate one-third of drone owners will crash their recreational drones or commercial drones. Inexperienced pilots can crash a drone quite frequently.

What Are the Risks of Operating Drones?

The risks of operating drones are invasion of privacy, surveillance and data collection, and collisions with aircraft.

What Is the Most Significant Problem With Drones?

The most significant problem with drones is that they need their own lighting, camera, and sensor system while also being able to maintain stability and flight. Adding future capabilities like artificial intelligence can increase these challenges.

Do You Need Help Filing Your Personal Injury Claim?

If you have experienced injuries from an accident with a drone, you may be able to seek compensation.

The experienced personal injury attorney and drone injury lawyer at Schmidt and Clark can help you with your claim, including helping you find out how much compensation you are entitled to, filing your claim, and representing you in court.

Contact a drone injury lawyer at Schmidt and Clark, LLP for your free consultation and get the compensation you deserve for your drone injury.


References:

  1. https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_flyers
  2. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/drone-crashes-caused-by-technical-glitches/#:~:text=The%20researchers%20looked%20at%20150%20reported%20drone%20crashes,
    and%20the%20operator%20was%20the%20most%20common%20error
    .
  3. https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_flyers