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When drones attack: Who is liable for accidents caused by drones?

by | Nov 14, 2016 | Products Liability |

Drones have become extremely popular. Like many tech-based product in its infancy, drones are popping up everywhere in our culture. And as usual in the consumer technology marketplace, no one is talking much about the dangers of these items.

However, the dangers are real. Drones have caused serious accidents, serious injuries, and arguably a drone cost the Cleveland Indians the World Series. When a drone causes serious accidents and injuries, who is held liable? Is it the drone owner/operator, the manufacturer or the retailer who sold the item?

What Are Drones?

For those who don’t know, drones are unmanned aircrafts. Drones can range from full-sized planes or helicopters used for military campaigns to small, privately-owned miniature aircrafts used for surveillance, video and recreational flying.

The Dangers Of Drones

Miniature drones have become popular consumer devices, but they are not without dangers.

Drone accidents can include loss of limbs or blindness when the spinning blades strike a victim. If flown into traffic they can also cause serious auto accidents. Burn injuries can occur if the devices explode, as well.

When serious accidents occur, who is held liable?

Liability In Drone Accident Cases

According to Business Insider online, an Australian team of scientists and academics conducted in-depth research into the causes of drone accidents. The team’s findings are quite interesting.

First, the team determined that the majority of accidents were caused not by human error, but by technological error, most often a result of loss of communication between the operator and the drone.

Second, the team determined that most of the accidents reported lacked adequate information. Their study included research into 152 drone accidents, and less than 20 percent of the accidents they studied contained adequate information to determine the cause of the accidents conclusively.

The lack of detailed information in the accident reports can be a significant problem in terms of obtaining compensation for an individual accident and for making drones safer for the general public.

Compensation in Drone Accident Cases

If you have been hurt in an accident involving a drone, make sure you obtain all of the information you can. The more details you can gather, the more likely it will be to determine who is liable for the accident, making it easier to obtain compensation.

Talk with an experienced lawyer to help you through the process of obtaining compensation for drone accident injuries.


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