Distribution warehouse lot with lots of tractor trailers parked tightly together

OSHA Violations Can Be Deadly

The legal challenges in documenting accident scenes, especially those involving severe or fatal injuries, are significant. The traditional approach to gathering evidence at these scenes often involves navigating a maze of legal permissions to access the site, which can be time-consuming and fraught with bureaucratic obstacles. This delay in access risks the integrity of the evidence due to possible changes in the scene. However, drone technology offers a promising solution to these challenges.

Drones can document accidents faster.

Governed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, the airspace above both private and public properties is accessible to certified pilots operating drones without direct permission from property owners. This regulatory environment provides a unique opportunity for rapid response in the critical moments following an accident.

Benefits of Drones in Supporting Personal Injury Litigation

Advantages Realized

  • Immediate Access and Rapid Deployment: Drones can be quickly deployed to an accident scene, often much faster than obtaining permission to access the site on foot. This immediacy ensures that the scene can be documented before any alterations occur, preserving the authenticity and integrity of the evidence.
  • Comprehensive Documentation: High-resolution cameras and drone sensors can capture detailed images and videos, providing clear evidence of the conditions at the scene. This level of detail is crucial for analyzing the causes of the accident and identifying any contributing factors, such as road damage, signage visibility, or weather conditions.
  • Efficiency and Cost-effectiveness: Using drones can be more efficient and cost-effective than traditional methods of documenting accident scenes. It reduces the need for extensive manpower and circumvents the delays and expenses of obtaining access permissions.

The Case

At 12:30 p.m. on August 31, 2022, an employee was picking up an empty shipping container while working as a truck driver. The employee received a list of empty containers from a dispatcher and arrived at a facility to locate and pick up the assigned empty container. The employee exited his truck to inspect an empty container at his employer’s warehouse. While inspecting the container, another truck driver backed up to park a shipping container in an empty parking spot. The truck driver who was backing up had an obstructed view due to the shipping container, and he struck the container adjacent to where the employee was standing. As a result, the employee was pinned between two shipping containers and was killed by crushing injuries.

How Southbay Drone Services Helped the Law Firm

Within 24 hours of being notified and three days after the accident, We were able to document the entire warehouse facility. We created a photograph of the 84-acre site, Took photographs documenting multiple violations of the company’s policy on parking trailers, and a video of the rows of parked trailers for a potential jury trial. All this meant that the plaintiff’s lawyers had enough evidence to litigate this case successfully.

Drones are indispensable in investigating and reconstructing accidents for personal injury cases. Their ability to provide detailed aerial perspectives of accident scenes offers accuracy and insight previously challenging to achieve. As drone technology continues to evolve, its role in legal investigations is set to become even more significant, offering new ways to support victims in their pursuit of justice.