Drones and Your Personal Safety

Author: Abbigale B. Fredrick, Richmond, VA Attorney

Drones were one of the most popular holiday gifts for 2015, and as more drones take to the sky, the potential for personal injury from reckless or inexperienced operation of these drones will escalate.

Even though they may look like toys, drones have the potential to seriously injure or endanger people and property. In response to the danger drones carry with them, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began registering remote-controlled aircraft on December 21, 2015 so the agency could track the owners of drones that collide with other aircraft or fly dangerously.

Anyone who owns a small, unmanned aircraft of a certain weight must register it with the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) registry before they fly it outdoors. People who previously operated their UAS must register by February 19, 2016. People who do not register could face civil and criminal penalties. For more details on whether or not your drone must be registered, please visit the FAA registry website at www.faa.gov/uas/registration. Registered owners will get a certificate and a number to mark on their aircraft so that authorities can track down the owner if there is ever a problem

Drone operators are pilots operating in the public airspace, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility. The FAA has partnered with top unmanned aviation groups on the “Know Before You Fly” campaign (http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/), which includes a website and instructional video with tips on the right and wrong ways to pilot your newly unwrapped drone. The purpose of Know Before You Fly is to help educate drone operators before they fly so they know the airspace rules and understand they are accountable to the public for flying responsibly.

If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of negligence of a drone pilot, contact the personal injury law firm of Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen. A free consultation with one of our attorneys can help guide you through the legal process of pursing a claim against those responsible for any injury.

About the Author: Abbigale B. Fredrick is the Intake Attorney for Allen & Allen, located in the firm’s Richmond, VA office. Abby supervises the new case department and works with clients at the earliest stages of their cases. She meets with potential new clients and helps determine how Allen & Allen’s attorneys are best able to meet their needs. Abby’s background in insurance defense gives her valuable insights into how insurance companies handle and evaluate personal injury and medical malpractice claims.

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