It is important to remember that while drones are smaller than normal aircraft, the injuries associated with a drone crash can be very significant. If you or a loved one has suffered drone accident injuries, due to the operator’s negligence or reckless behavior, contact an experienced Houston personal injury attorney right away.
Drones, which are also referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles or unmanned aircraft systems, are becoming more and more mainstream. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), there could be as many as 7,500 small, commercial drones in the sky by 2018. This figure does not include the recreational drones that are already in flight or the estimated two million consumer drones that will be sold around the world in 2016 alone. Although drones may have several recreational and commercial uses, they also pose certain risks and the potential to cause serious, even life-threatening drone accident injuries.
Essentially, having unregulated objects being piloted at high altitudes and at surprisingly fast speeds by sometimes unqualified enthusiasts can be hazardous for the people on the ground. Contact The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at 281-283-8500 to schedule a free, no-risk consultation.
Drone Laws and Texas and Federal Regulations
Unlike other vehicles, drones are operated remotely by a human on the ground or autonomously, regulators and law enforcement agencies have expressed safety concerns over the possibility of collisions with airplanes or people that could result in injuries.
For non-recreational drones under 55 pounds, pilots must:
- Be at least 16 years of age
- Hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the direct supervision of someone who holds such a certificate
- Be vetted by TSA
- Register their drones and contact information in a national database
Although operators of recreational drones have looser regulations, they are also required to register with the UAS registry and comply with the FAA safety guidelines, which are intended to reduce the risk to other aircraft and people. Under the current safety guidelines, operators must keep their drones within eyesight and are prohibiting from flying them:
- Near another aircraft
- Near groups of people
- Near emergency response efforts
- Over stadiums or sports events
- Above 400 feet
- Under the influence
Since these unmanned aircraft systems are a relatively new concept, the drone laws in Texas and around the country are still being crafted and refined. For instance, the Texas legislature recently passed a set of drone laws, which regulate how and where a drone may be used. If you are injured in a drone crash, you should discuss the matter with legal professionals that are experienced and well-versed in all types of aviation accidents, like those at The Krist Law Firm, PC, who have represented victims in some of the most infamous aerospace and aviation disasters in recent history.
Drone Accident Injuries
Drone accidents resulting in injury are usually the result of operator negligence or defective or malfunctioning equipment. Drone propellers are fast moving blades that can cause real damage if it comes in contact with a person. Drones that fall out of the sky either because of a crash, malfunction, or loss of operator control, can result in serious injuries to people on the ground.
When drones are not operated responsibly, they can lead to serious injury. Under Texas law, drone operators who act negligently can potentially be held liable for any injuries he or she causes. Additionally, if you are injured because of a drone’s manufacturing or design defect, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses through a product liability claim.
With the various and considerable ways that a person can be hurt by a falling drone, the issues surrounding drone insurance can also become complicated. If a drone is operated commercially, a credible pilot should be carrying bodily injury and property damage insurance, but most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover the use of a drone, even if it is being used recreationally in your own yard.
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our Houston auto accident lawyers have over four decades of experience handling virtually every type of personal injury case and can help you navigate even the most complicated insurance issues. We have helped our clients recover past and future:
- Medical costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical impairment
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Mental anguish
Talk to a Houston Drone Accident Attorney Today
If you or a family member have been injured by a drone due to operator negligence or a defect, contact The Krist Law Firm, P.C. today to discuss your options. Our Houston personal injury lawyers are committed to providing exceptional client service with the goal of obtaining the maximum possible compensation for every client we represent.
Contact us today at 281-283-8500 or online. We offer a free consultation and there are no fees unless we achieve a recovery on your behalf.