When we think personal injury law, we think of car accidents and slip and falls, but we most certainly do not think about drones. Well according to some attorney's, the next potential frontier of personal injury law has flown in.
Some practices are creating new practices focused on drone injury liability. Yes, you read that correctly, drone injury liability. Centered around the injuries caused by the various types of unmanned aircraft, these firms are recognizing the increasing popularity around drones in both the personal and business sectors.
Currently, drones are used in agriculture, construction, engineering, photography, real estate, and a host of other industries. More importantly, the recreational use among the general population has taken off and is predicted to sky rocket. Experts anticipate more than 400,000 drones will be sold this holiday season alone.
Geoff McDonald, the founder of Geoff McDonald & Associates, a firm tackling the drone injury liability practice said, "right now, technology is growing exponentially every 16 months. It's a piece of flying metal or plastic or carbon fiber, with not one but four blades, propellers if you will, primarily made of either plastic, which is more forgiving, or carbon fiber, which is not so forgiving."
While they have not hit headlines yet, there are already injuries being reported as a result of drones. An English toddler lost an eye after an out-of-control drone struck him. It has prompted an already heated discussion around the need for safety and regulations for unmanned aircraft.
The FAA is still searching to finalize official regulations, however many are mostly in place. Drones are limited to a flight maximum of 400 feet, they are prohibited from flying within five miles of an airport, and require operators to keep their craft within their line of sight.
These rules were created to prevent drones from hitting other aircraft, and to ensure a drone operator's identity should something bad happen. Unfortunately, many of the regulations in place do not do a lot to prevent cases like the English toddler.
Which brings us back to those firms introducing drone liability injuries to their practice. Drone regulation, whether commercial or recreational, will not prevent all accidents. That said, it is important to take strides in establishing a framework of safety and reaching the conclusion that drones are not toys and can cause serious injuries.