Drone Liability

Is a Realtor guilty of negligence if they do not ask for the correct documentation from a drone operator?

The answer is “PROBABLY”. An experienced drone operator is concerned about operating within FAA safety guidelines and protecting their client with proper liability insurance. Novice operators are risking your livelihood by not providing certified documentation from the FAA and a certificate of insurance. What happens if an operator causes bodily injury? The operator will probably be sued, but the Realtor that hired them may be sued, also. The novice operator will more likely file bankruptcy and will leave the Realtor “holding the bag”. 
Enrique Iglesias learned the “hard way” that drones are not toys after his injury onstage in Tijuana on May 31, 2015. Drones may look harmless, but in the wrong hands they can be dangerous. 
If a drunk driver injures someone, he will be facing criminal charges and probably a civil lawsuit. If a sober driver injures someone, he may not be facing criminal charges, but probably will be facing a civil lawsuit. According to the law, liable means that a court has determined that a person or company is legally “negligent” for causing harm to another. What is negligence? Generally speaking, when someone acts in a careless way and causes an injury to another person, under the legal principle of “negligence” the careless person will be legally liable for any resulting harm. 
When the experienced drone operators watch the news and hear about a drone flying around a major airport, wildfire or White House. They are very angry. There are laws or guidelines in place to prevent a major accident from happening, but the majority of these incidents are not trained operators.
Read the following article from drone operator Kevin McCarty:
I have been considering writing this for some time now. But, after a few recent and rather scary encounters, I decided that I should not wait a moment longer.
Drone technology is moving forward at a pace that most never considered possible. We are seeing new and innovative improvements daily and seemingly hourly at times. However, there is one component that is not really keeping up. That is the novice operator.
As of now, all of the consumer grade drones NEED an operator to fly. That isn’t a problem as there is certainly not a shortage of people wanting to fly a drone of their own. The problem is this: IT’S NOT AS EASY AS IT LOOKS!
No, it is not as easy as taking the drone out of the box, turning it on and then it magically flies. It requires input from a person in order to do that, for now. That is where the real problem lies. While I am thrilled that there are so many people that want to be a part of the drone hobby/industry, I’m not thrilled with the haphazard way in which they approach it.
Someone with zero experience flying anything RC related seem to think that it is a SNAP to fly a drone. Manufacturers want to sell the drones so they make it appear as simple as possible. Experienced operators post videos on the internet and make it look very easy.
Operating a drone, no matter how advanced or which manufacturer requires a knowledge and skill. The skill comes from hours and hours of practice. The knowledge follows. It is well past time that the drone community step up and start reinforcing this before something terrible happens that we cannot simply fix or forget.
Manufacturers should be doing a much better job qualifying their products as far as skill and knowledge truly required to safely operate it. Though the drone itself is not dangerous by itself, combining it with an unskilled operator is what completes the DANGEROUS equation. But if we continue to allow new drone operators to learn on their own by trial and error, something more than a broken drone is likely to fall from the sky. End of Kevin’s article.
Kevin has 7 years of experience in remote control flying and some great observations.
When a drone liability lawsuit happens the trial attorney will sue the operator, manufacture and whoever hired them. Do not be a realtor in a lawsuit. “When you decide to hire an operator protect yourself. Check the operator’s years of experience and certificate of insurance.”
The best regulation is self-regulation. Help qualified drone operators, if you see person operating drone irresponsibility, please notify the authorities. You could be saving a life, if one of these novice operators flies a drone up into a Boeing 777. The Drone Operators Team say “thank you” for helping make our skies safer.
Mention drone operators and receive a 10% discount.

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