Lack Of Regulations Does Not Excuse Drone Injuries
At The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, P.A., in Cary, North Carolina, we represent people throughout the N.C. area who have had an unfortunate encounter with a negligent drone operator or a defective drone. While highly popular and commercially useful, drone usage has little to no regulations currently – allowing almost anyone at any time to operate them. If you or a loved one have been negatively affected or injured by the operation of a drone, our drone injury lawyers can help you decide how to proceed.
The Increase Of Drone-Related Lawsuits
The U.S. military has been using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for years. In some situations, the drones were used for surveillance, photography and targeting terrorists. Due to the technology involved, drone usage for civilians has greatly increased for both personal and commercial use. Some use drones for entertainment, photography, real estate, commercial delivery and more.
Drone crashes and other drone-related legal issues are on the rise. Like most technology, drones and the operating of a drone can be unpredictable. Other factors affecting the increase: there is no training requirement, unexpected weather changes, drone defects, no licensing requirement and no inspection requirement to prevent malfunction, to name a few. Many of these devices can fly over 400 feet high and accelerate to speeds over 100 mph.
Legal Risks Of Drone Operators And Manufacturers
Drone operators are legally responsible for damages they may cause, whether it was done deliberately, accidentally or through negligence. Some legal responsibilities of drone operation and ownership:
- Operator negligence – under the influence, distracted and/or inattentive operators put the public at risk. The more powerful the drone, the more risk imposed.
- Defective or malfunctioning equipment – owner/manufacturer could be liable if the defective equipment leads to personal property damage and/or injury.
- Invasion of privacy – harassment, emotional harm, recording through windows, etc.
Damages Available In A Drone Injury Or Drone Negligence Case
Drones are often referred to as: quadcopters, quadcopter devices, UCV (unmanned civilian vehicles), remote-controlled flying devices and UAS (unmanned aviation systems). Regardless of the name, if they are involved in an injury or they cause personal property damage, you may have a claim for damages including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost earnings
- Emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering
- Spousal claim for loss of consortium
- Reduction in quality of life
NCDOT Aviation Division Guidelines
While drones are not heavily regulated “yet,” there are pertinent guidelines that are readily accessible for North Carolina users:
- Register your drone with the FAA online – all devices between .55 pounds and 55 pounds must be registered
- Fly the drone below 400 feet — manned aircrafts can fly as low as 500 feet
- Keep the drone in your line of sight
- Don’t fly within 5 miles of an airport or hospital with a helicopter landing pad
- Don’t fly for commercial use, as that requires additional permitting
Contact A Cary Drone Injuries Attorney
We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about your drone accident case and how we can help you maximize the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.