Navigating the Turbulent Air Space of Drones
There is an ever-growing cloud of uncertainty around the topic of drone use. One of the few certainties about drones is they appear to be here to stay. Recent estimates show that by 2023, the sales of military and civilian drones will total over $89 million. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is authorized to issue licenses for commercial drone use due to legislation to reform and modernize the FAA. Another certainty brought about by drone use is there will be potential civil liability issues for commercial and recreational drone operators. An incident involving a drone that had been knocked out of the sky by fans who had gathered outside a sports arena, arguably, could have led to an injury liability for that drone’s operator. There was no telling where it could have landed and who could have been hurt.
Whether you are a commercial or recreational drone operator, there are personal injury liabilities you need to be aware of in regards to the use of drones. During the course of a holiday promotion at a Brooklyn restaurant involving a drone that was supposed to hover above customers, a photographer was struck not too far from where it was hovering. Another incident took place in Florida where a drone struck and damaged the roof of a car that it was following. Such incidents are spurring state legislatures, like the state of Florida, to pass legislation that allows plaintiffs in civil actions to recover costs against drone operators if the drone “was a substantial contributing factor” in the damage that occurred.
In addition to civil liability for damage caused by a drone, some municipalities are seeking additional sanctions against specific drone usage. One city in Arizona has imposed restrictions and fines on drone flights over private and public property, unless permission has been granted to the drone operator.
If you are a business owner that is considering lifting off into the airspace of drone usage, it would be best to consult an attorney about ways to mitigate your exposure to liability for drone usage. Taking the step of performing a cost-benefit analysis of drone usage in your business should tell you if the potential benefits you could reap from drones would outweigh the foreseeable liabilities to mitigate. If you are a recreational user, finding a public space, at a reasonable distance from residences, offices or industrial areas should limit your exposure to civil liability or municipal violations.
If you have been injured or had property damaged by a recreational or commercial use drone, please reach out to the Law Offices of Michael Cordova for advice on your circumstances.
The recent movie, Concussion, has highlighted safety concerns around the game of football. With approximately 250,000 kids that play at the Pop Warner level and 1.1 million high school students who play football, safety in football is undoubtedly at the top of many parents’ minds.
What Can Parents Do?
If you have a child that plays football, you are likely asking yourself what you can possibly do to look out for them. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has made a number of recommendations to help assure that it is safer for its participants. One of the recommendations is that parents be on the lookout for officials and coaches that are enforcing rules of proper tackling and zero-tolerance for illegal, head-first hits. Youth programs that adhere to USA Football’s Heads-Up Curriculum have seen a 76% reduction of injuries that occur. The curriculum teaches players proper procedure for blocking and tackling.
The AAP has also recommended the presence of athletic trainers on the sidelines of football games for kids and teenagers.
Finally, parents may consider another recommendation of the AAP: non-tackling leagues. While Dr. Greg Landry of the University of Wisconsin has stated that you could delay the introduction of tackling in football to your child until you feel they are old enough, he sees a significant drawback to that. According to Dr. Landry, there are higher rates of injury to players that first get exposed to tackling when the other players are bigger and stronger.
Other Useful Tips
In addition to covering proper blocking and tackling techniques for players, USA Football has other helpful guidelines for parents looking to maximize the safety of football for their children. Their website provides tips for properly fitting your children for helmets and pads. Because heat exhaustion has claimed the lives of one too many football players, their site has guidelines pertaining to heat preparedness and hydration. USA Football also addresses how to recognize the symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest and how to formulate an action plan for dealing with these symptoms. Finally, USA Football’s site discusses signs and symptoms of concussions and what coaches should do in the event of a suspected concussion.
What Happens If My Child Gets Hurt on the Field?
If you feel that your child has been injured or has died because of a failure of duty by a coach or an official for the youth league or the school, you should call an attorney immediately. The Law Offices of Michael Cordova are experienced in personal injury and wrongful death.
Car Accidents: The Most Dangerous Times and Days of the Week
Getting behind the wheel of a car is the riskiest thing most people do every day. In 2014, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,675 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents on U.S. roadways. An additional 2.3 million people were injured in crashes in 2014. The dangers you face while driving varies, and there are several reasons why car accidents are so dangerous, including the time of day, simple distractions, or even unsafe behavior while driving.
The time of day.
The time of day plays an important role in evaluating fatal crashes. Driving at night can be very dangerous, as the instances of drunk driving, speeding, and driving without a seat belt all significantly increase at night, and each contributes directly to increased fatality rates. In 2013, the highest percentage of motor vehicle accident deaths occurred between the hours of 3:00 p.m. to midnight, with 16% of these accidents occurring between 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Days of the week.
Mid-week days, like Tuesday and Wednesday, pose the lowest number of fatalities. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, weekends—when the greatest number of people are on the road—predictably see the highest numbers of crash victims, with a combined average of 143 deaths for Saturday and Sunday.
Safe driving: the do’s and don’ts.
While not an exhaustive list, here are a few do’s and don’ts for safe driving.
- Always wear your seat belt
- Keep children in tested and approved car seats
- Follow the speed limits
- Pay attention when you are driving; a number of accidents happen only blocks from home
- Be courteous toward other drivers
- Give pedestrians the right-of-way in crosswalks
- Make room for bicycles
- Don’t drink and drive or get in a car with a driver who has
- Don’t make assumptions about what other drivers are going to do
- Don’t assume other cars know what you are doing
- Don’t tailgate other cars, pass on shoulders, fail to yield, run stoplights or stop signs
- Don’t talk on your cell phone at the same time
- Don’t engage in other activities while driving that distract your attention or reduce your reaction time
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, it is important to talk to an attorney immediately. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Cordova are experienced in injuries arising from car accidents.
The Basics: Timeline of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
The length of time for any case will generally depend on the complexity of the case. Generally, medical malpractice claims can be more complicated. Therefore, the timeline for a medical malpractice lawsuit is a little different from the typical personal injury lawsuit.
Incident and subsequent investigation.
Generally, as in any personal injury case, there will be an incident that causes injury. But, medical malpractice injuries may be tougher to spot. While some claims, like failure to obtain informed consent, might be easy to identify, errors in diagnosis, treatments, or surgery could take longer to surface.
First steps to take when you discover your injury.
While not an exhaustive list, here are some of the first steps to take when you discover your injury.
- Contact the medical professional involved—your goal is to get an understanding of what may have gone wrong and allow your doctor to determine whether it is something that can be remedied.
- Contact the relevant medical licensing board—licensing boards can issue warnings or discipline to the practitioner.
- Know how long you have to file a claim—in Arizona, you have a two-year time limit to file a claim for medical malpractice.
- If you decide to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, make sure you gather all of the relevant documents and records relating to your medical care.
If you or a loved one was a victim of medical malpractice, it is important to consult with an attorney immediately to discuss your case and help determine your best options. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Cordova are experienced in medical malpractice claims and can help discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. However these deaths and car seat injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.
Child Passenger Safety Laws.
The requirements for the use of a car or booster seat varies from state to state, but the results are all the same, use of proper restraints save lives. In passenger cars, child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers. For infants and toddlers in light trucks, the corresponding reductions are 58% for infants and 59% for toddlers. What these numbers prove is the importance of getting the right size seat for your child and installing it properly.
Keeping your kids safe.
Car seat defects.
When a child is injured from a defective car seat, the manufacturer of the car seat is at fault for their failure to exercise reasonable care in manufacturing the car seat. As a parent, taking extra precautionary measures is key to ensure your child’s safety. It is important to read the installation instructions, follow them carefully, and then test the seat to ensure you have properly installed your child’s car seat.
If you or your child has suffered a personal injury due to a defective product, it is important to speak with an attorney immediately. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Cordova are experienced in personal injury suits resulting from defective products and can help determine whether you have a valid claim.