Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers Discuss Concerns Over Increasing Drone Use

Usages for Drones

Drones, also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) or remotely piloted aircrafts (RPAs) are equipped with a four-to-eight blade propeller designed to allow the aircraft to take off and land vertically. Most are remotely controlled by a person holding a handheld device, but some of the more modern drones can be programmed and operated using a built-in Global Positioning System. Industries expected to incorporate drones include distribution, film, energy, engineering, entertainment and agriculture.

The potential uses for drones seem almost limitless, sparking many to express concerns about possible privacy and safety issues. Most drones are equipped with cameras that allow their users to take high resolution photos and video of just about anything. This could potentially give rise to a wave of invasion of privacy or harassment lawsuits across the country. Other major concerns involve the safety of drones and the skill of amateur pilots. A few drone-related accidents have already made headlines, and there are undoubtedly more to come as more and more drones share our airspace.  

Maryland’s Drone Regulation

The rapid pace at which drone technology and availability is advancing has left lawmakers scrambling to enact legislation to address the safe and responsible operation of the fast-moving and potentially dangerous devices. Recently, the state of Maryland created a law that gives the state and federal government sole jurisdiction on drone regulation. For now, the basic rules for hobbyists include keeping the drone within the operator’s visual line of sight, less than 400 feet above the ground, and more than five miles from an airport. Commercial usage is governed by separate rules, which include obtaining permission from the FAA.

Those who own or are planning to purchase a drone for personal use are advised to check with their homeowner’s policy to ensure coverage in the event their drone causes an injury or damage to property. Drone operators should also be aware that not all drones are alike in terms of their range of distance and ease of maneuverability. Prices for drones range from only a couple hundred to thousands of dollars, and those in the higher-end tend to provide greater agility and stability.

Beyond the potential for criminal and personal liability issues related to the careless or malicious use of drones, there is also the risk that a drone can malfunction, creating a product liability issue. Though drones have been used successfully by the military for years, drone technology in the private sector is relatively new. It is imperative that drones are designed, sold and marketed in a responsible manner that allows owners to use them safely.

Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Those Harmed in Drone Accidents

If you have suffered an injury caused by negligence, Maryland personal injury lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help. Our firm has successfully obtained more that $100 million for victims of all types of accidents. To discuss your possible claim with one of our highly seasoned Maryland personal injury lawyers, contact us online or call 800-547-4LAW (4529) today to schedule your free consultation. A qualified member of our legal team is available to take your call 24 hours a day.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to represent injured drone accident victims throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.