A drone, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, (UAV), is often in the news for its military use in far-away countries. It is controlled remotely, and can be used in areas where it is too dangerous for manned flights to go. It comes in all sizes, from the size of a matchbox car to a full-sized airplane. It can have cameras attached to provide surveillance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in order to help keep troops safe.
They can fly as high as 30,000 feet as well as low to the ground. They can go up to five days without needing the battery charged. It has been confirmed that they have bombed areas where an ordinary aircraft would be unable to reach.
So, what do drones have to do with a personal injury blog? A lot, as it turns out. Since toy drones made their appearance, people around the world have been hurt when the drone operator lost control or, as some operators have claimed, their control system got hacked. Either way, drone operators who lose control for any reason can be held liable for injuries caused by their negligence.
Types of Injuries Caused by Out-of-Control Toy Drones
In the last few years, in all reaches of the world, people have suffered serious injuries when a drone has dropped out of the sky to land on them. Less than a year ago, in Worcestershire, England, an 18-month-old baby lost one eye when the neighbor’s drone was airborne for only about a minute before it clipped a tree, spun out of control and plowed into the toddler, its propeller ripping his eye in half. The child will need many operations before he can even be fitted with a prosthetic eye.
In the fall of 2015, in Pasadena, California, a mother was pushing her 11-month-old baby down the street early one evening when suddenly, a drone dropped into the carriage and landed on the baby’s head, cutting it open. It required an emergency room visit and stitches to repair the damage. The accident was caused by a young man who was flying his toy drone, about a square foot in size, when he lost control. He apologized profusely and officers allowed him to go free without giving him a citation. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) opened an investigation to see if any aviation regulations were violated.
In June 2015, singer Enrique Iglesias was performing in a large auditorium in Tijuana, Mexico, when he noticed a small camera drone heading toward his head. He reached out to stop it and ended up with a fractured hand and severely cut fingers. He required reconstructive surgery to repair his hand and It took him weeks to recover.
There have been many more similar accidents across the U.S. and the world. There will likely be more as more and more drones hit the air. For example, Amazon has proposed the use of drones so they can provide 30-minute delivery of packages. Construction companies want to launch them so the cameras can inspect scaffolding and pipes for leaks. The list goes on.
Traumatic Brain Injury: Hit by a Falling Object
A big concern is the possible increase in traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Being hit by a falling object is the second leading cause of TBIs. When the object hits the head, it causes the brain to slosh around in the skull, with the soft brain hitting the hard sides of the skull. Injuries range from temporary confusion to total paralysis with 50,000 deaths a year due to TBIs.
Almost all of the reported accidents involve the victim being hit in the head by the falling drone. Although Iglesias was hit in the hand, it was the hand he held up to prevent the drone from hitting his head. The danger of suffering a serious head injury when a drone falls out of the sky seems to be great.
Our Experienced Drone Injury Attorneys Can Help
The medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering that victims of a TBI experience are great and often life-long. If you or a loved one was injured when hit by a toy drone, no matter how large or small the drone, you need the services of a Georgia personal injury attorney. Contact our Georgia Trial Attorneys at Kirchen & Grant. as soon as possible. 866-4The-Win. The law sets a limit on how long you have to bring your claim for damages after the incident. If you do not file within the legal time limit, you lose your right to damages no matter how seriously you were injured.