Formally known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAV), drones are small, remote-control aircraft that people operate from the ground. The U.S. military uses drones for airstrikes in hostile or inaccessible territories, but personal and commercial drone use is on the rise. You might even know someone who has a drone.
Drones can be a fun hobby and even help artists and filmmakers get amazing aerial shots, but they can also be dangerous. Propeller injuries are all too common, and sometimes, drone operators crash their vehicles into unsuspecting victims. Depending on the size of the drone and the nature of its propellers, serious injuries can occur. In one infamous incident, for instance, a drone carrying Mistletoe in a TGI Friday’s sliced off the tip of a photographer’s nose and gave her a nasty cut under her chin.
As drones become more and more common, so do drone mishaps. Like other motor vehicle accidents, these crashes can lead to concussions and other head injuries, cuts and lacerations, neck injuries, and even amputations. The German engineering and consulting firm, Technik, breaks down exactly how drone accidents happen and the injuries they cause, and researchers with ASSURE (Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence) are evaluating the dangers of drone collisions.
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR DRONE OPERATORS?
In general, drone operators are not allowed to fly drones over urban and suburban environments. This so-called “flight-over-people” is prohibited in most places. Drones are governed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and drone operators must have special permits and adhere to strict rules when operating their UAS. For example, recreational drone flights must stay under 400 feet, so they do not interfere with planes and other air traffic.
Even with strict rules and regulations, drone accidents happen. If a drone operator flies somewhere they are not supposed to or loses control of their drone, innocent bystanders can be seriously hurt.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE HIT BY A DRONE
If you are injured by a drone, seek immediate medical attention, and try to gather all the information you can about the accident. Because the drone operator may have been violating FAA laws, you should also report your injury to the police. Make sure you know who owns the drone and who was operating the drone at the time of the accident. Write down the drone’s make and model and ask the operator and owner of the drone whether or not they have a drone license and/or liability insurance.
If you’ve sustained a concussion, lost a finger, or need stitches as a result of a drone, you should also contact our experienced personal injury attorneys at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC. We can help you hold negligent drone owners and operators liable for your injuries and pursue the resources you need to recover from your injuries.
Don’t delay – call us at 918-492-7674 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.
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