You might be a Florida resident who has suffered personal injuries from an “unmanned aircraft system” and not even know it. This very fancy term is one that the Florida Legislature has selected to define both commercial and recreational drones. As drones are growing increasingly in popularity, so are the associated number of drone-related accidents that result in personal injury.
The Florida legal system is beginning to recognize the sweeping popularity and legal repercussions that go hand in hand with this popular hobby and have responded accordingly by enacting laws that regulate the use of recreational drones. While legal authority relating to drone use and personal injury is only beginning to emerge, leaving many questions yet unanswered, this recreational trend is certainly beginning to find its way into case law as the overall number of drone-related personal injuries become more commonplace.
With respect to the heightened risk of personal injury that accompanies the recreational use of drones, whether this recreational flying toy falls from the sky before landing square on your the head, or whether it smashes through your windshield resulting in a serious auto accident, the unsuspecting victims of drone-related accidents are entitled to compensation for the resulting personal injuries. If you have suffered personal injury as a result of the negligent or reckless operation of a recreational drone in the Tampa, Florida vicinity, your first step should be to contact the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Burnetti, P.A.
What is a “Drone” According to Florida Law?
Florida defines a “drone” as a powered, unmanned, flying device that:
- Has no human operator;
- Utilizes aerodynamic forces
- Either has the ability to fly by itself or is operated remotely autonomously or be piloted remotely;
- Is expendable or recoverable; and
- Has the ability to carry a “payload whether lethal or nonlethal”
If you find yourself a bit perplexed at what exactly a few of these elements mean, you are not alone. Defining “payload” and sorting out the difference between “expendable” and” recoverable” is far from an easy task. This is one of those areas of personal injury law that would best be left to an experienced attorney.
Drone Related Personal Injuries
Many critics of the Florida legislature’s increased focus on regulating drone use feel that such a legal focus is tedious and over-inclusive. After all, the definition of “drone” does admittedly include what many consider to be harmless, remote- operated flying “toys” for children. The general consensus is that while recreational drones may be pricey and technologically advanced, they nevertheless are intended for innocent recreational use.
Nevertheless, these critics fail to consider the very real injury that these “toys” not only have caused but could potentially cause. They are far from harmless, to say the least.
The reality is pretty clear – A 50-pound toy dropped from 100 and up to 300 feet in the air onto an unsuspecting victim is going to do some serious damage. This reality is further compounded by the fact that these large and potentially dangerous recreational “toys” are manned by remote, untrained “pilots” that are able to purchase and operate these drones armed with nothing but decent internet access and a general understanding of how to go about making an online purchase. The piloting of commercial drones requires a tremendous amount of technical skill and practice – and for good reason.
Believe it or not, the number of individuals that have suffered serious personal injuries from recreational drones is extensive. If you are one of the ever- increasing number of Florida residents to have suffered a drone-related injury, contact the reputable personal injury attorneys in the Tampa area, Burnetti, PA to help you navigate this new and yet uncharted area of Florida personal injury law.
Some REAL injuries sustained as a result of recreational drones:
There have been many very real and serious injuries caused by the use of recreational drones. Some of the most common examples include the following types of injuries:
Serious Laceration or Amputation Caused by Drone Blades
Injuries including everything from a photographer losing the tip of his nose to Enrique Iglesias nearly losing one of his fingers from the blades of a drone has been documented in the past few years or so. In one extreme case, a young boy lost his vision in one eye after his neighbor lost control of a recreational drone.
Blunt Impact Injuries
This category of injury needs little explanation. When you are struck by a ten to seventy-five-pound object- and up- falling from hundreds of feet in the sky, there is a very good chance that you are at risk of some blunt force trauma. Whether it be a concussion or serious and lasting brain damage, the injury associated with blunt force impact such as this is substantial, to say the least.
Consult with a Florida Attorney About Your Drone Related Personal Injuries
If you are one of the unlucky victims of this increasingly popular hobby, you may be entitled to not only compensatory damages but perhaps even punitive damages. If your injuries are the result of a neighbor, friend, or even a stranger’s negligent operation of a recreational drone, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Under these circumstances, punitive damages would be intended to punish the reckless drone operator and help to ensure that no one else suffers injuries as a result of this reckless behavior. For this reason, you would want to get in touch with a personal injury attorney to discuss the details of drone law and how they relate to your case. Contact personal injury attorneys at Burnetti, PA if you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries by the negligent operation of a recreational drone.