Drones, which are also known as unmanned civilian vehicles or UCVs, have been a focus of public interest since the military started using them overseas as a lower-cost and effective form of warfare.  People buy them for personal entertainment, photographers use them to take beautiful aerial photos and videos, and property developers, engineers, and architects employ them as planning tools. At the end of 2015, it was estimated that 700,000 drones had been sold that year.

Despite their popularity, they are a growing cause for concern, especially in New York. Last February, a GoPro drone smashed through the 27th floor window of an elderly New Yorker’s residence and landed on the floor barely four feet away from where she sat. Months earlier, a videographer accidentally flew a drone into the Empire State Building, causing alarm and leading to his arrest, and in July 2016 a drone operator flew his gadget dangerously close to a passenger aircraft as it was landing at JFK Airport.

Because of these and similar incidents, drone use is illegal in Manhattan. The FAA requires recreational users to limit the gadget fly zone to below 400 feet and at a safe distance from aircraft and airports. They must also remain within sight of the operator at all times, but this is not always what happens.

Despite these positive qualities, drones can be dangerous if used incorrectly or by inexperienced operators. They are banned from national parks because they can potentially harm wildlife, and in all environments, they present a serious injury risk if the operator allows their drone to go out of range or if inclement weather causes the machine to lose altitude.

Drone batteries are also a potential hazard. They are usually powered by lithium-polymer type batteries, which can be potentially dangerous to charge. Those that have been damaged during use can actually explode while charging, causing injury, fire, and more.

The types of injuries that result from negligent drone use include:

  • Impact injuries that cause severe bruising
  • Deep lacerations from the blades
  • Cuts and lacerations from shrapnel as the drone breaks apart
  • Burns and deep tissue injuries

Although drone injuries may be purely accidental, they can result in painful and even permanent impairments.  If you or someone you love has been injured by improper drone use in New York State, you may be able to sue for:

  • Current and future medical treatment
  • Rehabilitative costs
  • Loss of current and future wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death
  • Loss of consortium

A New York personal injury attorney can represent you in a lawsuit against the drone manufacturer or operator, depending on the circumstances in which you were injured. They will help you fight to receive the compensation you deserve so that financial concerns do not impede your recovery. Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, NY personal injury and accident lawyer who has helped recover millions of dollars for his past clients for their injuries. If you were involved in an accident, then contact Mr. Lutzky’s office to set up a free in-person consultation. Call 718-514-6619 to learn more or visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com.