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Danger in the Skies: The Potential of Injury From Drones

Drones are quickly becoming a staple in the lexicon of the average American.  Every day news outlets report on drones in some capacity.  At first drones were something associated with the military, making headlines in the early days of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  According to the Washington Post, the military owns about 10,000 drones.  However, now drones are so commonplace that many Americans will receive drones as gifts during the holidays.  Drones have gained so much popularity now that they have even appeared on the popular investment show Shark Tank.  At that time there already existed prototypes for a device that could turn your phone into a drone.


The Rise of Drones

However, drones are not just part of the consumer market.  Amazon, the popular online retailer,  already utilizes a service that delivers goods via drone. Nevada is taking tentative steps to enter the drone market. The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that the industry could have an $8 billion impact on the State.  Even now the world’s first droneport is being built in Boulder City, Nevada, only a short drive from Las Vegas.  According to Digital Trends, the droneport is the first of 5 FAA approved unmanned air systems (UAS) test sites in the country.  Currently there are 2,500 U.S. companies that have FAA clearance to fly commercial drones.  At the droneport all of those companies will have priority over manned aircraft.


Regulation of Drones

Drones are only now starting to be regulated.  To a certain degree, very few laws exist concerning drones.  Even now that the FAA has required drones to be registered, the laws concerning registration are still vague in certain respects.  Las Vegas Now reported that a series of regulations governing drones came into effect earlier in October 2015.  Among those laws are restrictions on weaponizing drones, trespassing via drone if flown under 250 feet, and flying drones while intoxicated. A certain level of regulation makes sense.  Digital Trends reports that there have been 921 near run-ins between manned aircraft and drones since 2013.


Drone Related Injuries

Unfortunately, with the increase in drone traffic, this also means an increase in drone-related injuries.  Recently the Los Angeles Times reported a drone crash in Pasadena, CA that injured a mother and 11-month-old child, while they were walking down a neighborhood sidewalk.  The FAA is currently investigating that incident.  Even more recently BBC reported on a drone accident in the UK that left a toddler, only 18-months-old, blind in one eye.  The surgeon treating the boy said that these kinds of drone injuries were “inevitable.”


What to do if You’ve Been Injured by a Drone?

Although this is a very exciting time for technology, there is still a lot of danger associated with drones.  With very minimal laws restricting training and flying of drones, there is ample opportunity for injury.  If you or a loved one are hurt by a drone, you may have a personal injury claim.  As soon as you are injured you should contact a licensed Nevada personal injury attorney, after seeking medical treatment.

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