Cellphone video games have a lot of fans, and the ease of playing them makes it possible for people of all ages to get hooked. Pokemon Go is the latest online game craze to capture the nation’s imagination, taking video gaming to a whole new sphere. Pokemon Go requires players to go out in public in search of the game’s virtual creatures to gain points. While credited with getting the public to be more physically active, reported incidents in which gamers put themselves and others in danger while playing the game have raised serious questions about legal liability for accidents and injuries that occur.
Pokemon Go Injuries
According to a July 2016 Washington Post report, Pokemon Go has topped the charts of Apple’s free apps. There have been more than 100,000 downloads of the virtual reality game through the Google Play App store. Once the game is installed on your cellphone, it gathers your geographic location, and displays virtual reality ‘monsters’ that appear through your camera screen. Players can search and capture the creatures just about anywhere, gaining points depending on the type and amount of captures made.
In a public setting, the Pokemon you see on your phone appear on other people’s devices as well, and it is not uncommon to see large groups of people intently staring at their cellphones, all in pursuit of the same tiny monsters.
While Pokemon Go has been heralded as a harmless form of entertainment that gets people to be more physically active, an increasing numbers injuries are being linked to the game. Slip, trip, and fall accidents while playing Pokemon Go are becoming more common. There is growing concern about the number of motorists playing the game while driving. The American Automobile Association (AAA) warned that drivers playing Pokemon Go present a significant risk of causing distracted driving accidents. AAA also cautioned that drivers should be alert for distracted pedestrians who may step out in front of an oncoming vehicle while playing the game.
Legal Liability for Pokemon Go Injuries
As the potential for Pokemon Go injuries becomes more of a concern, there are increasing questions about where and with whom the responsibility for those injuries should fall. There are two scenarios that raise questions as to legal liability:
Motor Vehicle Accidents:
Car accidents and injuries caused by drivers engaged in playing Pokemon Go would be treated the same as any other distracted driving accident. Determining responsibility for Pokemon Go injuries involving pedestrians could be more problematic. In a motor vehicle accident in which a pedestrian is injured, the pedestrian could be responsible for any injuries they suffer if he or she is found to have engaged in reckless behavior that resulted in their injuries, such as disregarding traffic signals or failing to use crosswalks.
Premises Liability Accidents
For Pokemon Go players injured while playing on the property of others, the laws concerning premises liability may apply. Above The Law, a legal information and news provider, states that public property owners could be held accountable for any injuries suffered by players on their property if dangerous conditions, such as uneven walkways or wet flooring, were allowed to exist. At the same time, in cases involving Pokemon Go trespassing, a trespasser who ventures on to private property while playing the game would be at a legal disadvantage in terms of claiming compensation for any injuries they suffered.
Reach Out to Us for Legal Assistance
If you or someone you care about suffered an injury in the course of playing Pokemon Go, contact the Colleran Firm today. Our experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorneys can review the specific facts of your accident and advise you of your legal options.. Whether as the result of a car accident or in cases involving premises liability, we can explain your rights to damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We serve Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. Call or contact our office online today to request a free case review.