Pokémon Go is Contributing to Pedestrian, Car Accidents

texting_while_driving-106967771With the advent of mobile technologies, the ability to remain connected to the global world and to one another has increased exponentially, allowing smart phone users and others to access information they want at the touch of finger – whether they are at home, at work, or walking around Chicago. Game developers have taken note over the years and many smart phone-specific games have gained almost a cult following with millions of downloads and people playing and talking about the games constantly.

The newest iteration of this phone-based game mania has arrived in the form of Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game that can be played on both Android and iOS based platforms. Since its release in July of 2016, it became the most downloaded app in the United States in itsfirst three days and it has been downloaded several million times total.

The game itself is free to download and play but there are options for in-game purchases if players choose to make them. Users can hunt the real world for virtual Pokémon who may appear in any spot from a player’s own backyard to an office building, a local cafe, a warehouse, or even on the bus seat next to you. Players can hunt for Pokémon as they go about their normal day’s activities as a smart phone’s GPS capabilities have the player’s account move in the real world as the player’s phone moves. Different types of Pokémon live in different areas of the world so if a player’s goal is to capture as many as possible, that player will have to look in a variety of settings for these virtual creatures.

To date, Pokémon Go has been a massive hit in the gaming industry but it has not been without its drawbacks. There have been countless reports of gamers so engaged in the platform that they are not paying attention to what they are doing. As the game requires players to move about cities, this can and has been very dangerous with players leading to and being involved in pedestrian accidents and car accidents, among other injury-causing incidents.

In the game, there are Pokémon that are rare and difficult to find. When users come across these Pokémon, some have taken very reckless steps to ignore their own safety and the safety of others in an attempt to capture the Pokémon, allowing the player to train, trade, and engage with the Pokémon. Reports have seen pedestrians cross busy roadways in Illinois against traffic, drivers ignore stop signs while being distracted by the game, and even people coming to a complete stop in traffic so they can continue to play.

Unfortunately, these actions are not only threatening to players who may be involved in a crash but also to innocent victims who are in the wrong place at the wrong time. When injuries result, it is important to know that those who are hurt through the negligent conduct of another may be entitled to seek and obtain financial compensation for their damages. A typical injury victim who works with a personal injury attorney in Chicago may be able to recover for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, permanency of harm, and any other wrongdoing that stems from an accident.

Prior Blog Entry:

Chicago Bicyclists: You Have Rights, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published July 13, 2016.