An 11-month-old child was injured after being struck by a drone that crashed.
According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the incident occurred on Marengo Avenue near Union Street the evening of September 12, 2015.
The drone crashed on the ground near them.
When the mother, who was pushing the stroller, looked down, she heard her daughter crying and noticed she had a large knot on top of her head.
The flying shrapnel from the quadcopter also caused a large cut to the baby’s head.
She was transported to a local hospital where she was treated and released. The mother did not suffer any injuries.
The drone’s 24-year-old owner rushed to the scene to find his unmanned quadcopter damaged and the child injured.
He told police he was attending an event in City Hall and flying the drone overhead one block away from where it crashed, when he lost control of it.
Safety Guidelines for Drones
Police are now warning the public to follow safety guidelines when they operate drones. Drones should not be flown over congested streets or crowds or at altitudes where they would interfere with other aircraft. Officials are investigating this incident to determine if the drone owner violated any laws.
Drones are considered aircraft and are subject to FAA regulations and guidelines. The Federal Aviation Administration is reviewing the case. The drone owner could face criminal prosecution or civil fines of up to $10,000 similar to what happens with laser strikes.
Liability for Drone Injuries
The whole idea of unmanned personal aircraft is new not just for us citizens, but also for our justice system. There is no current case law discussing liability for drone-related injuries. But the element of negligence should apply in these cases.
For example, if a commercial drone crashes and injures someone, the company operating the drone can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused.
In this particular case, the drone was operated by a person. If the user made a mistake operating the drone, which caused it to crash, the negligent drone owner or operator can be held liable. Store-bought drones now recommend buyers purchase drone liability insurance coverage in case they injure someone.
If the drone crashed because of a product defect, injured victims may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer as well.
An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will be able to help injured victims and their families better understand their legal rights and options.