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Who Can be Held at Fault for Drone Accidents?

Who Can be Held at Fault for Drone Accidents?

In previous blogs, we have discussed drones and the issues they introduce when it comes to accidents and injuries. With drones now widely available to consumers, and many companies considering drones for use in product delivery, it is inevitable that drone accidents will increase. Unfortunately, laws regarding the safe operation of drones and the rights of victims harmed in drone accidents have been sluggish in catching up to the new technology and legal issues involved.

Although there are gray areas in the regulation of drones and limited case law involving drone accidents, these cases can be effectively handled with the assistance of proven attorneys like those at Biren Law Group. Our lawyers leverage their decades of combined experience to navigate the unique issues inherent to drone accident cases, and focus on applying their knowledge of personal injury law to new types of accidents involving negligence.

As negligence is at the core of any personal injury lawsuit, it becomes important to focus on who was responsible for acting with reasonable care, and how that individual or entity failed to uphold their legal duty. Determining who can be held at fault for negligence in a drone accident will depend on the underlying cause, which may involve:

  • Operator negligence – Drones, and especially most available consumer-grade drones, are operated by individuals. These individuals have a legal obligation to operate drones with reasonable care. When they fail to do so - whether by operating drones too close to people, in a reckless manner, or in any other negligent way - they can be held liable when they injure innocent victims.
  • Product liability – Drone manufacturers have a legal duty to ensure the safety of their products when use as intended. When defects during the design of a drone or its various features make them inherently unsafe, manufacturers can be held liable for resulting injuries and damages. They can also be held liable for manufacturing defects (poor workmanship, inadequate safety testing, or poor quality materials, etc.) and for failures to provide proper instructions or warnings. Victims harmed by defective products may pursue compensation by filing product liability claims against manufacturers, or distributors and retailers in certain cases.
  • Premises liability – Drones are being used commercially for a variety of purposes, including commercial photo and video production. In a previous blog post, we discussed one particular case where a lawsuit was filed by drone accident victims against the drone operator and an event management company that oversaw a wedding where the drone had been recording video. In cases where drones are being used on a premises owner’s land, or at events such as concerts, property owners could potentially be held liable for any failures to ensure the safety of visitors and guests, including those harmed by drones. Drone accident victims may explore their options for pursuing premises liability claims based on where their accident took place.

Drone accidents may be unusual, but they are nothing to take lightly. Because drones operate from heights, can weigh as much as 50 pounds, and have spinning blades, they pose considerable risks to victims in accidents, including risks of catastrophic injuries such as broken bones, severe lacerations, and brain injuries. Victims should not have to bear the burdens that accompany these serious injuries.

At Biren Law Group, our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys are prepared to help victims of drone accidents understand their rights following preventable injuries, whether they may have a valid case for compensation, and who can be held liable for the damages they incurred, including medical expenses, lost wages, and their pain and suffering. Because these are unique and challenging cases, they demand the attention of attorneys with proven case results in personal injury cases involving a range of legal issues.

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