Were You Hit By a Drone?

Most of the time when a drone crashes into someone or causes an accident, it is a result of a malfunctioning part, a defective design, or loss of operator control. Negligence on the part of manufacturers, distributors, and drone operators can result in serious injuries. The entities that cause drone accidents can be held liable for medical bills, lost wages and more.

The Dangers of Getting Hit by a Drone

While most drones weigh only a few pounds, they include metal equipment, propellers, and motors that could cause significant injuries on impact. Researchers state that blade guards are critical to safe flight over people because the propeller blades attached to the drones can slice skin if they come into contact with a person. Also, objects such as motors, drone batteries, and potential cargo could increase the risk of injury since they are dense and are likely made not to come apart to dissipate impact energy.

In one case, a boy in Worcestershire, England lost an eyeball after it was sliced after a neighbor lost control of his drone.

The United States Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) reports that over 100 drone incidents are reported each month. Under current FAA rule, businesses are not allowed to fly drones over people without government approval. Additionally, these unmanned aerial systems should not exceed a height of 400 ft. above the ground from the operator’s location. In areas of congestion, these devices should not be closer than 500 ft. Operators should avoid flying directly above cars, persons, property, and similar items.

Connecting Liability in Drone Accidents

In some cases, drone accidents are not the fault of the operator. The device may have a defective material, part, or design. An expert witness is sometimes used to prove that the manufacturer is liable for the incident and owes damages to the victim. But when no problem with the drone is found, no defect exists, or the accident has no discernible association with the manufacturer, connecting liability takes a different route. Checking for electrical malfunctions, analyzing the blueprints for design issues, and reviewing the drone’s flying patterns, may enable experts to identify the cause of a drone accident.