Jun 05 2020

Modern Drone Usage and Injury Liability, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on modern drone usage and how to operate a drone safely and without risking liability. Drones are pieces of technology used for a variety of personal and commercial reasons, but like other mechanical items, they can cause damage or other forms of injury and must be used carefully.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, our personal injury attorneys are here to handle a wide variety of personal injury cases, from common types like auto accident injury to rarer cases, including drone-related injuries or privacy concerns. While part one was mostly focused around safe and responsible drone operation, today’s part two will dig into some of the possible liability claims that can be brought in cases involving improper use or manufacturing of a drone.

drone usage injury liability

Injury and Negligence

Perhaps the most common personal injury claim type related to drones traces back to simple injury that takes place due to a consumer operating a recreational drone unsafely or without proper care. While we use the term “simple” here, these injuries can be significant and even severe in some cases.

Now, proving liability of a drone operator in such a case is not the same as proving such liability for car accidents or other events. Drone usage isn’t regulated in the same ways, and its generally high skill level means there may be debate on what qualifies as negligence to a court. In any case where drugs or alcohol are involved, however, negligence will be easy to prove.

Premises Liability

In many situations, the location where a drone is being used is actually the key factor at play in a given liability case. Is the drone being operated on private or public property? Because drones move to other locations, however, did the injury or incident occur on private or public property? Each of these will require different approaches based on local rules.

Product Liability

In other cases, manufacturers of drones will be held liable if they produce defective products that lead to injury or other issues. This can be the case for both recreational and commercial drone types. Such cases tend to proceed similarly to other forms of product liability, where if the plaintiff can prove the product was clearly defective – usually a pretty cut-and-dried scenario – they will likely be awarded damages.

Invasion of Privacy

Finally, many drones come outfitted with cameras or other recorder types. These can be useful tools, but also may create significant privacy issues when used in the wrong ways. In some situations, this can lead to civil claims of invasion of privacy against the person operating the drone.

For more on the kinds of personal injury claims that may arise due to improper drone usage or manufacturing, or to learn about any of our personal injury lawyer services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.