Jason Stephens | September 25, 2023 | Texas Law
The use of drones is heavily regulated by state and federal drone laws. While it might be a crime to use drones to record or take pictures that violate state privacy laws, it does not mean you have the right to shoot down drones flying over your house in Texas.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones are considered aircraft. Federal law prohibits the destruction of aircraft. Therefore, if you shoot down a drone flying over your home, you might face legal consequences.
Instead, it is better to call your local authorities if a drone is flying over your home and you have questions about your legal rights. The drone pilot might be violating one or more local, state, or federal laws governing the operation of drones over private property.
You can call a Fort Worth drone accident lawyer if a drone injures you. A drone accident can cause severe injuries and permanent impairments. Depending on the circumstances, the drone operator, manufacturer, and/or another party could be liable for the damages caused by the drone accident.
What Types of Injuries Are Associated With Drone Accidents?
Drones are not toys. They are machines capable of causing traumatic injuries. The blades can cause catastrophic injuries if they come into contact with someone.
If a drone strikes, it can cause several injuries, including:
- Facial injuries
- Loss of vision and eye injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Nerve damage
- Head and neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Hand injuries
If you sustain a drone injury, seek immediate medical treatment. Drone injuries can lead to permanent impairments and disabilities. Therefore, even if you believe you are okay, it is wise to see a doctor.
What Causes Drone Accidents and Injuries in Texas?
Drone accidents and injuries can happen for many reasons. Reasons for drone accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Inexperienced drone operators
- Failing to follow the rules and regulations for operating drones safely
- Defectively designed and/or manufactured drones and drone parts
- Using drones for unauthorized purposes
- Operating a drone while under the influence of alcohol/and or drugs
- Flying a drone in poor weather conditions
- Drones colliding into each other or other objects
- Malfunctions with the software used to operate the drone
One or more parties could be liable for damages caused by drone accidents. The drone operator, manufacturer, businesses, and property owners are a few of the parties that could be liable for your damages.
What Damages Can I Recover for a Drone Accident in Texas?
- The cost of past and future medical treatment and rehabilitative therapies
- Property damage
- Loss of income, including reductions in future earning capacity
- Psychological trauma, including emotional distress and mental anguish
- Reduced quality of life and loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent impairments, scarring, disabilities, and disfigurement
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
The value of a drone accident claim depends on the extent of your injuries and other factors. Texas contributory fault laws could apply if you were partially to blame for the cause of your drone accident.
Contributory Fault and Drone Accident Claims in Texas
Texas uses a modified contributory fault standard for personal injury cases. It does not automatically prevent a victim from recovering compensation for damages if they contributed to the cause of their injury. However, contributory fault laws can prevent you from recovering damages if you are more than 50% to blame for the accident.
Instead, if you are less than 51% to blame for the drone accident, you can claim damages based on your level of fault. If you are 10% to blame, you could receive 90% of your damages. If you are 25% to blame, you could receive 75% of your damages.
Juries decide questions of contributory fault in personal injury lawsuits. Otherwise, at-fault parties and insurance companies use allegations of contributory fault during settlement negotiations to lower the settlement amount.
How Long Do I Have To File a Drone Accident Claim in Texas?
The Texas statute of limitations for most personal injury claims in Texas is two years from the injury date. However, product liability claims could have different deadlines.
If you miss the deadline to file a drone accident lawsuit, the court can dismiss the lawsuit. Therefore, you should seek legal advice from an experienced Fort Worth drone accident lawyer as soon as possible. A personal injury lawyer can review your case and advise you of your rights during a free consultation.
CONTACT OUR LAW FIRM IN FORT WORTH, TX
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107