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Pokemon Go Personal Injuries

Casey Woodruff

Did you ever think you would need to worry about your teens sustaining personal injuries while playing a smartphone game? Or have you considered the risks of being on the roads around Chicago, either as a driver or a pedestrian, while walkers and drivers alike are getting extremely distracted by a smartphone game and causing severe accidents and injuries? According to a recent article in People Magazine, the popular new Pokemon Go game for Apple iPhones and Android devices may be fun, but it is also leading to serious preventable accidents.

What else should you know about Pokemon Go? And what can you do if you sustain injuries because of a distracted driver or a distracted pedestrian?

What is Pokemon Go? 

According to the People Magazine article, Pokemon Go is a “wildly popular app” for iPhones and Androids that allows players to “catch” Pokemons in the real world. What does this mean? In short, as an article in Forbes Magazine explains, it is an augmented reality game in which players can “see” Pokemon and other creatures in the real world. The point of the game is to catch Pokemons, and every player has a list of creatures that she or he needs to catch as part of the game. The app also allows players to throw Pokeballs at Pikachu. The game comes with trackers that allow players to have “sightings” of the creatures and to refresh their screens to increase their odds of catching one of the Pokemon creatures.

Pokemon GoThe game might sound like fun, and some articles, such as the one in People Magazine, have underscored that Pokemon Go is getting more people out and about, and it is encouraging more exercise. At the same time, far too many accidents and personal injuries have been reported in connection with the game.

Accidents and Personal Injuries from Pokemon Go 

How could a smartphone game like Pokemon Go lead to accidents and injuries? In brief, players are getting distracted by the game and are not paying attention to their surroundings. Such distraction is bad enough for pedestrians in Chicago, but numerous accidents have also occurred after drivers crashed their vehicles while engaged in Pokemon Go.

As the People Magazine article notes, some of the reported personal injuries are relatively minor. For instance, players have reported falling off skateboards, tripping and falling on sidewalk holes and over curbs, and running into non-moving objects. The resulting personal injuries, too, have not been particularly severe in these cases. For example, some players have reportedly suffered minor cuts and bruises, while others have reported twisting their ankles.

Yet these are not the only accidents and injuries. To be sure, many more have been quite severe. Shortly after the game was released, an article from CNN News reported that two men fell 50 to 90 feet off a cliff while playing the game. Another report from WGNtv.com explained how a driver playing Pokemon Go actually crashed his vehicle into a police car. Many other incidents of distracted driving have also occurred.  Indeed, an additional report from WGNtv.com cited a serious accident in which a 28-year-old driver crashed into a tree after a Pokemon Go creature “caused him to divert his eyes from the road.”

As you can see, Pokemon Go has already resulted in car accidents and pedestrian accidents involving serious distractions. If you or someone you love sustained personal injuries because of another party’s negligence, you should speak with an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer to find out more about seeking compensation. Contact Woodruff Johnson & Evans today to discuss your case.

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