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As drones take off, personal injury law firm launches new practice

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If one local attorney’s hunch is right, the next potential frontier of personal injury law has flown way beyond the days of shooting your eye out with a Red Ryder BB gun.

Geoff McDonald & Associates recently created a new practice focused on drone injury liability – that is, injuries caused by the sorts of unmanned aircraft that are becoming increasingly popular as toys and tools for consumers and businesses.

Geoff McDonald

Geoff McDonald

“This is George Jetson stuff,” founder and namesake Geoff McDonald said.

Drones are broadly defined as unmanned aircrafts and include those operated by remote control or programmed to do a task without a designated operator. They range in size, with some small enough to be gifts and others large enough to monitor power lines.

They’re used in agriculture, construction, engineering, photography, real estate and a host of other industries. And recreational use is soon expected to skyrocket. The Consumer Technology Association, which conducts market research, predicts that 400,000 drones will be sold this holiday season.

“Right now, technology is growing exponentially every 16 months,” McDonald said. “It’s not just doubling. It’s like 10 times 10.”

“It’s a piece of flying metal or plastic or carbon fiber, with not one but four blades, propellers if you will, primarily made of either plastic, which is more forgiving, or carbon fiber, which is not so forgiving,” he said.

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