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Pokémon Go & Personal Injury Claims

It has been nearly two months since the July 6th release of Niantic’s Pokémon Go mobile game. While the smartphone application has managed to capture the attention of millions of players, it has also been the subject of harsh criticism. Accidents caused by distracted players have continued to be reported across the nation since the games release. Among the biggest problems, drivers who are distracted by the game and end up causing an accident. One Baltimore man crashed his Toyota RAV4 into the back of a police cruiser while focused on gameplay. Another New York man ran off the road and crashed into a tree.

It is not just drivers, however, who have been injured due to the distractions posed by this game. There have been numerous reports of pedestrians who have suffered harm through falls, robberies, and involvement in car accidents. One story of a 15-year-old Pennsylvania girl has garnered much media attention. Autumn Nolan was struck by a car while crossing a busy street during rush hour after an attempt to catch a Pokémon. She was hospitalized with injuries to her collarbone and foot as well as numerous smaller wounds. Autumn’s mother has gone on record warning other parents about the potential dangers of this game.

What Makes Pokémon Go Dangerous?

While mobile applications, games, and smartphones are nothing new, Pokémon Go has led to a spike in accidents due to distracted users. This has led many to ask the question, “What makes this particular game so problematic?” On the surface, Pokémon Go is like many other games. Players complete objectives, collect items and compete against each other. Unlike other games, however, in order to move an in-game avatar, a player must physically walk around in the real world. A player’s movement is tracked with their smart phone’s GPS system and synched with data from Google Maps.

The game’s developers, Niantic, have responded to criticisms by employing several methods that discourage players from operating the game while driving or in potentially hazardous surroundings. Upon logging into the game and before they are allowed to play, users must acknowledge that they will not use the game while driving and will pay attention to their environment. Niantic has even gone as far as to install updates which shut off certain features of the game if it detects that the user is moving too fast.

Have You Been Injured by a Distracted Pokémon Go User?

Despite these warnings and the widespread publicity of accidents due to the game, reports continue to surface of players who suffer injuries while distracted. It is difficult to gauge the true reach of injuries as these stories only represent the reported accidents. While there have been no reported car accident related fatalities involving Pokémon go, if the trend of distracted gameplay continues, more injuries are sure to follow.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a distracted Pokémon Go player, we want to hear your story. At Carlson & Dumeer, LLC, our Hartford personal injury attorneys have extensive experience representing those injured by the negligent actions of another party. Our team of legal professionals has worked to recover millions of dollars in settlements for past clients and if you are ready to take legal action, do not hesitate to contact us today.

Call us toll-free at (877) 795-5594 and schedule a free consultation with our attorneys.

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