Personal Injury Lawyers Talk About the Dangers of AR
Augmented reality (AR) can simply be defined as the creation of a new universe on top of the real world; it involves the addition of a new digital layer to the existing world. AR allows you to use your mobile phone to spot a Pikachu along the sidewalk, or put on some goggles and start making a virtual sculpture in your room.
Presently, the most common augmented reality app is Pokémon Go. This is an AR application that allows you to chase and catch monsters in the real world. Pokémon Go is a craze that has taken over the country, for both the young and the old generations. It is quite interesting to watch people wander around trying to get Pokémon Go balls so that they can be able to capture different Pokémons. Niantic Labs and Nintendo have merged a mobile app game with GPS to come up with a game that allows you to play seemingly in the real world: Pokémon Go.
But is this game really safe?
Pokémon Go may seem like a harmless game starring cutesy creatures, but it can actually cause you harm. Several injuries linked to the game are already being reported by the media. There have been a number of reports since the game’s release, including car accidents, personal injuries, people walking into traffic, and even people falling off cliffs. So far, major injuries have been reported in New York, Pennsylvania, and California. All these incidents involved Pokémon Go players who were not paying any attention to their surroundings when playing the game.
It is one thing to play this game as a passenger, but it is important that a driver does not play when driving. This is an even greater problem compared to distracted driving. The duration of time it will take you to execute an action in the game is much longer than the time it would take you to glance at a text message. We, as personal injury lawyers, advise that Pokémon Go players ought to deactivate the game when driving in order to prevent any car accidents from occurring. Even a passenger playing could distract the driver. Pokémon Go is meant to be played when walking and not driving; the game is not worth the loss of life or lives.
By creating another layer of reality, one which is capable of luring users into possibly dangerous situations, AR companies are actually exposing themselves to liability for the user’s personal injuries. Litigators believe that it is just a matter of time before AR app developing companies start facing personal injury lawsuits.
As reports of Pokémon Go-linked injuries continue to increase, people are starting to wonder if Nintendo will soon be facing personal injury lawsuits. According to a report by CNN, the Pokémon Go application has an inclusive Terms of Service Agreement which its users are needed to accept before they are permitted to play the game. This agreement protects the company from getting sued by its users for damage of property, injuries, and even death. Simply put, you agree to play at your own risk! CNN, however, reveals that non-users are not bound to the Terms and Service Agreement and are thus not excluded from suing the company if injured by Pokémon Go players. Whereas Nintendo is trying its very best to protect itself from liability, a lot of individuals are getting injured when playing the game, which means that we will most likely see few related claims surface in the future. These claims will play a big role in defining how much liability video game producers invite for AR games.
Have you or your loved on been caught up in the Pokémon Go craze and sustained personal injuries, or have you sustained injuries caused by a Pokémon Go player? Contact our personal injury lawyers to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Last Updated: 03-24-2017