Apr 03 2020

Modern Drone Usage and Injury Liability, Part 1

While the majority of personal injury cases brought in the United States center around a few common areas, such as vehicle accidents and various forms of property or premises injury liability, there are also many brought in fairly unique areas you may not have even considered. Some such areas revolve around recent advances in technology, and one specific piece here has made some waves in the personal injury world in recent years: Drones.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, we’re proud to offer personal injury attorney services for a wide variety of case types, including more unique and modern technological areas like drones. In this two-part blog series, we’ll dig into everything you need to know about using a drone safely and in a way that does not risk liability, plus what might happen to those who do not heed these warnings.

drone usage injury liability

Regulations and Usage

As we noted above, drones and related regulations are all relatively new to society. In fact, the first national set of regulations for drones was not brought until December of 2015, when the Federal Aviation Administration required that all drone owners begin registering their drones.

This was due to several problem areas with drone misuse and annoyance. Not only have there been privacy issues raised, which we’ll get into later in this series, there have been major safety risks, including near-misses with drones almost striking passenger airplanes. There have also been concerns with first responders, wildlife and even illegal smuggling risks.

Injury Liability

Likely the most common risk drone operators must be concerned about during the usage of their drones is causing serious injury to themselves or another person. While details in terms of negligence here are still being worked out in courts and precedents are still being set, those who do not take the proper safety precautions are often held liable for such injuries.

Safety precautions include a variety of areas, to be clear. They refer to basic training and understanding on how to safely operate the drone, plus on areas of use and off-limits locations.

Drug or Alcohol Influence

One area nearly all states have attended to already with regard to drone operators is operation while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Most states treat this similarly to vehicle restrictions in this area, including many that use the same blood-alcohol level as the threshold for us. Drugs and other substances are also covered under such rules, which often carry similar or identical penalties to traditional DUIs.

For more on drone operation and liability risks, or to learn about any of our personal injury or auto accident injury attorneys, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.