Who Is Liable For Drone-related Injuries?
Currently, there is no outright guidance in the laws of Florida that covers accidents caused by drone usage. A law has been proposed by state Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla to give recourse to victims who suffer personal injuries or property damage at the hands of drones. The bill seeks to fill what is considered a gap in the law.
Senate Bill 642
The bill would call into question what actually caused the damage or injury. If the drone is found to be a “’substantial contributing factor,’” then the owner and/or operator of the drone can be held liable for damage caused by the operation of the drone. If the damage occurred as a result of a design flaw or defect, the distributor and manufacturer can be sued. Under the proposed legislation, operators would be required to report any damage or injury caused by the drone. House bill 459 has also been filed on this issue, and now sits with the Civil Justice Subcommittee awaiting further action.
The Next Step in Drone Regulation
This proposed legislation follows the 2013 Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act, which limits the ways in which police officers are allowed to use automated drones to conduct surveillance. This law bans use of unmanned drones unless there is a warrant or threat of a terrorist attacks. Any information gathered by the drones is inadmissible evidence in the courtroom. Another recent law makes it illegal to use drones for surveillance where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Why is Drone Legislation Important?
Drones are becoming increasingly more prevalent in our society. They have become less expensive to manufacture, thereby making them less expensive for the general public to purchase. Public interest in and concern regarding the machines is growing as more people are able to purchase drones. Online retailer Amazon plans to use a drone service for package delivery. Amazon will use unmanned drones to deliver parcels in less than thirty minutes after your order is placed.
Drone owners must also take into consideration Federal Aviation Administration rules on flying drones. Amazon notes that it was granted approval to fly drones for research purposes two years ago. Walmart and Google have also begun the move toward using drones for deliveries, and Walmart has already asked for the FAA’s permission to begin testing its drones. Drone usage in the retail industry is only increasing, and states and the FAA are working to keep people safe from injuries caused by these drones.
Let Our Skilled Miami Lawyers Help You
If you have been injured by a drone, you may have the right to compensation from the drone’s owner, operator, manufacturer, or distributor. It is wise to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your rights. This is a fairly new issue that is rapidly becoming relevant in the laws of Florida. Therefore, it is important to seek the counsel of knowledgeable Miami lawyers who are prepared to fight for you. Call the office of Pita Weber & Del Prado today at 305-670-2889 or contact us online for a free consultation.