With the introduction of new technology there seems to always be unexpected challenges to public safety. Case in point is the recently released and wildly popular augmented reality game, Pokemon Go. Although the game may appear to be a seemingly harmless game, Pokemon Go is turning into anything but that. Indeed, the app, which has become a full-fledged cultural phenomenon, is causing countless automobile accidents and resulting in serious injuries to innocent victims throughout the country.
What Is the “Pokemon Go” Game?
For the uninitiated, Pokemon are cartoon creatures that were popular in a video game series for Nintendo Gameboy hand held consoles. Nearly three decades later, in July 2016, nostalgic millennials made the release of the location-based, augmented reality game for mobile devices, “Pokemon Go,” an overnight sensation.
Niantic Labs, the game’s manufacturers, combined the Pokemon characters with a mobile phone’s GPS capabilities to provide gamers with an interactive gaming experience where the digital and physical worlds meet. Pokemon Go utilizes the phone’s camera to allow the player to see Pokemon characters overlaying the physical world depicted on the screen of their mobile device as captured by their phone’s camera.
Although Pokemon Go is designed to be an immersive and fun experience for players and even encourages gamers to leave their homes and walk around in order to catch Pokemon, the game has turned into a nightmare for some individuals. Some players have become so distracted while focusing on their phone’s small screen that they have injured themselves and others while playing the game.
Pokemon Go Accidents & Injuries
The algorithm of Pokemon Go designates places, such as landmarks, parks, and stores, as Pokestops – locations where players can collect ammunition and other assets. However, the game is unable to distinguish between what environment is safe or unsafe. This results in players who are unfamiliar with the new locations to wander into unsafe and dangerous situations.
Unfortunately, some players are also driving while playing Pokemon Go. This is obviously a serious accident waiting to happen. Playing this game while driving is held to the same standards as texting while driving, which is against California law and can be dangerous or even deadly.
Liability for Pokemon Go Accidents
With so many bicycle accidents, car accidents, and slip and fall accidents caused by distracted Pokemon Go gamers, the question that needs to be asked is who is responsible for these accidents: the game manufacturer or the game player?
While each case is fact specific, the responsible party will invariably be the player who caused the accident that resulted in the injuries. In other words, the person playing Pokemon Go who causes injury to themselves or others will be the negligent party. It will be a difficult task to hold the manufacturers, Niantic Labs, liable for any resulting injuries or damages. In addition, gamers are required to sign a detailed waiver that indemnifies Niantic Labs from responsibility for any resulting injuries sustained or death.
Injured a Pokemon Go Player? Call Us Now.
If you or someone you know has been injured by an individual who was distracted by the Pokemon Go game or distracted by anything else, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to help protect your legal rights and help you obtain the full compensation that you deserve.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney, call the Law Offices of Vahdat & Associate at 1-800-BUT-4-LAW. Attorney Ghazal Amy Vahdat and her legal team are ready to fight for you.