As technology continues to expand, drones are quickly becoming a more prevalent part of our everyday lives. Inevitably, as drone usage increases, a correlating number of drone accidents leading to injuries will also be seen. If you have been injured in a drone accident, you have rights under the law. Depending on the severity of your drone accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for damages related to your injuries. If you are the victim of a drone accident, it is in your best interest to seek assistance from a top-rated attorney at Dordulian Law Group. Here at Dordulian Law Group, our attorneys are experts at protecting your rights following a drone accident, and ensuring you receive any financial compensation related to damages. Contact our firm today to see how we can help you with your drone accident case.
In the most general sense, drones are considered to be autonomous or semi-autonomous flying objects that can be controlled remotely. More formal names are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). To the general public, these marvels of modern technology are most commonly referred to as drones. The two main functions of a drone include flight and navigation.
Drones were originally used in military settings. We can trace drone history back to 1935, when a biplane was refitted in order to fly unmanned. That unmanned plane was then used in a military test setting as a form of target practice for trainees. In 1982, drones were used by the Israeli Air Force to attack the Syrian fleet. Drones continue to be an integral part of military operations requiring intelligence, surveillance, artillery spotting, target following, battle damage assessment, and weaponry.
In recent years, drones have become more widely used by civilians and for non-military purposes throughout society. In 2006, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency started using drones to monitor the U.S. and Mexico border. This is considered to be the introduction of drones into mainstream life. Today we see a variety of personal and commercial uses for drones. Some of theses uses include: search and rescue, surveillance, traffic and weather monitoring, photography and videography, agriculture, and delivery services.
Major commercial drone manufacturers include:
With businesses and individuals relying on drone technology every day, correlating laws and regulations related to these machines are being put in place in order to protect our rights.
Drones represent new technology that has only recently become available to the public for everyday use.
The last five years in particular have demonstrated rapid growth in drone usage. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as of 2019 the U.S. has registered over 1.1 million small personal-use drones. Owners of drones weighing less than 55 pounds (between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds to be exact) are required to register each device with the FAA, and visibly mark their registration number on the applicable drone. However, as laws and regulations continue to develop alongside advances in technology, many drones remain unregistered. It is estimated that over 2 million unregistered drones currently exist in the U.S.
In 2017, there were a total of 385 drone accidents in the U.S. In order to keep up with the growing use of drones and corresponding accidents, the FAA has established the following regulations:
In California, you are required to obey federal drone laws as well those established by the California State Legislature. Drone laws specific to California include:
If you have been injured in a drone accident, or your property has been damaged by a drone, you may be entitled to financial compensation for damages. Our skilled Los Angeles drone accident lawyers can help you file a lawsuit and recover the compensation you deserve.
Several scenarios exist that may entitle you to a drone accident lawsuit claim, all of which depend on the ability to prove negligence. The most common types of drone accident cases involve either product defect or malfunction, or operator error.
As an example, if you were injured due to a drone product malfunction, you may be able to sue the manufacturer if it can be proven that the company acted in a negligent manner. You must be able to show that the manufacturer did not provide adequate instructions for operation, had insufficient safety controls, or ultimately produced a defective product. DLG’s team of expert drone accident lawyers can help you successfully prove your case and ensure you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve.
Additionally, if you were the victim of a drone accident due to the negligence or error of an individual, DLG can help you with your claim. There are three steps involved when legally proving negligence in California:
In California, a ‘duty of care’ can be defined as a legal obligation to use reasonable care in order to avoid injury to others. These legal obligations are created under federal, state, and local laws. However, even when there is no specific law, California requires a general duty of care (meaning individuals are obligated to prevent foreseeable harm to others when it is reasonable for them to do so).
When a drone accident occurs, one of the first steps involved in determining whether or not you have a claim for financial compensation via a civil lawsuit involves assessing if a ‘duty of care’ has been breached.
Since negligence entails a person’s failure to act the way a reasonable or careful individual would in a similar situation, every case is different, and context (or the specific details pertaining to your case) will be key when proving negligence. Context of events can be interpreted differently and approached subjectively, which is why it is important to have an experienced DLG drone lawyer on your side. Our knowledgeable drone accident lawyers can help you effectively prove negligence and recover the financial compensation you are owed following a drone accident or injury.
Some important steps to take after a drone accident include:
Taking these steps following a drone accident will establish a foundation of evidence that will help your DLG drone lawyer advocate on your behalf and prove your case in court.
Victims of drone accidents can suffer physical injuries that lead to financial hardships. In a successful drone accident case you may be able to receive compensation for expenses related to current medical bills, future medical bills, and lost wages. Additionally, you may be entitled to compensation for non-economic damages such as emotional stress and pain and suffering.
An example of a recent drone accident case that made headlines occurred in 2018 at a wedding in New Hampshire. Two guests were injured at the reception when a drone being used to take pictures crashed into them. One guest suffered a concussion and lacerations requiring 20 stitches, while the other sustained a nose fracture and concussion. The two victims sued the groom and the event company for negligence, claiming that they suffered physical and emotional injury from the incident.
Just like establishing negligence, liability will depend on details of your specific drone incident. If you were injured by a drone, the owner/operator of the drone may be liable for the resulting damages. If the owner/operator has insurance, their policy may cover liability for bodily injury and property damage caused by the drone.
In other instances, the manufacturer may also be liable for your drone accident (i.e. if the manufacturer failed to provide adequate instructions relating to safely operating the product, or did not sufficiently warn the user of any potential risks).
If a defendant is found liable in a drone accident case, they may be required to compensate you for damages related to:
There are also special cases where certain organizational bodies may be held liable for drone damages. A recent example of this type of drone accident case occurred during a 2014 Australian triathlon.
A drone was being used to film the event when the operator suddenly lost control of the device. The drone fell on one of the athletes, just a few meters from the finish line. The victim sustained minor head injuries, and the triathlon club sponsoring the event issued a public apology. In this case, the triathlon club could be considered liable for the competitor’s injuries. It’s another example of how every drone accident case is unique, which is why it’s important to contact a trusted, experienced, and top-rated drone attorney at Dordulian Law Group for all your legal needs.
In order to have a strong drone accident case, you must have convincing evidence that can prove negligence by an individual or company. Challenges may arise when a defendant tries to show that they did not owe a duty of care to the plaintiff. There may also be a challenge if the plaintiff assumed the risk of injury such as a signed waiver of liability and assumption of risk.
However, if you signed a liability waiver and were injured by a drone, you may still have a claim if it can be proven that the defendant acted with gross negligence. California also has a comparative fault law, which means that you can be found partially responsible for an accident, but still have a valid claim for some of the damages incurred. In the case of comparative fault, recovery may be reduced based on how much fault is attributed to each party.
Grey areas open to interpretation exist in every personal injury case, including drone accidents. That’s why it’s so important to get help from an experienced DLG attorney who can fully assess your situation and build the strongest case possible.
In our ever-evolving world, technology continues to make leaps and bounds. Using any type of machine or piece of technology comes with an inherent risk factor, and with drone use on the rise there will be consequences when accidents occur. If you have been injured by a drone, you need to assert your rights and speak to one of our personal injury attorneys to determine if a civil lawsuit could help you recover some of the losses you have endured. Do not let the carelessness of others have a lasting negative impact on your life. DLG’s talented team of drone accident attorneys have over two decades of experience fighting and winning personal injury cases like yours. We understand the many different ways in which a drone accident can affect you mentally, physically, and financially. If you have been involved in a drone accident, contact our firm today so that we can advocate for you and obtain justice on your behalf.
“Thanks for everything that you did with my no insurance car accident. Anthony right away got me the medical treatment I needed , Anthony and Rafi made this whole process a pleasure to work with believe it or not! I appreciate the promptness, professionalism and stellar customer service thank you for your commitment. If someone needs an accident lawyer I would definitely recommend Dordulian Law Group is the best!!!”
In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years. This means you have two years from the date that you were injured to file a lawsuit. It is important for injury victims to understand that once the two-year statute has expired, your claim is no longer valid, and you essentially forfeit your right to legal recourse. An exception may exist if the injuries were not immediately discovered and developed over time. In such cases, you have one year from the date of discovery to file your lawsuit.
We strongly recommend that you contact an expert DLG attorney immediately following a drone accident to ensure your claim is filed within the statute of limitations. By contacting DLG you will be provided with a dedicated lawyer who will help you recover compensation for your losses and get you back on your feet as soon as possible.
DLG has been a trusted Los Angeles personal injury law firm for over 20 years, with a 99% success rate representing injury victims like you. We understand that a drone accident can have lasting effects, and we are committed to helping you obtain justice. If you have been impacted by a drone accident, contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation. We are here to help you assert your rights under the law and recover the financial damages award you deserve. Contact us at 800-880-7777.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and workers compensation concerns.