If you haven’t been playing Pokemon Go yet, you’ve certainly passed by someone on the street that has the game open. The mobile app, an “augmented reality” game based off of the popular television show from the early 2000s, quickly became the hottest thing around after it was released about a month ago.
The game requires players to walk to specific landmarks in the real world for different items and competitions. But since users must keep their heads and eyes focused on their phone to play, they’re putting themselves at risk for major injuries.
The Risks of Pokemon Go
In the short time since the game’s launch, numerous injuries have already been reported due to playing Pokemon Go. Whether it’s a skateboard accident, twisted ankles, or walking into a tree, hearing about a slip or an accident has become all too common now amongst players.
But while there are definitely risks that come with playing Pokemon Go as you walk around, nothing compares to the dangers of trying to play when you are behind the wheel of a car. It’s easy to want to open the app and play while you’re driving – after all, what sounds better: walking for 5 kilometers to hatch and egg, or driving for 5 kilometers to hatch an egg?
The risks, however, are just not worth the reward.
Pokemon Go behind the Wheel Is a Form of Distracted Driving
Remember our previous posts about distracted driving? That’s what you’re doing when you play Pokemon Go while driving. Just like texting and driving, playing Pokemon Go takes your attention away from the road and puts you at a higher risk for getting into an accident.
Sadly, it didn’t take long for Pokemon Go to cause car accidents and collisions. In one particular incident in Baltimore, a man was driving and was too focused on catching Pokemon to notice he was heading right for a cop car. He even hit the cop car and didn’t look up from his game until he was at the end of the street. Luckily, no one was injured, but I’m sure the driver was embarrassed – and could have gotten into big trouble.
Personal Injury Protection and Pokemon Go
Besides the fact that it could get you in an accident in the first place, Pokemon Go may end up costing you thousands of dollars in medical and financial losses, as well as increases on your insurance premium.
This is not the case for every accident, but it sure is possible. After all, personal injury protection (PIP) is still going strong in Florida, despite recent efforts to measure its impact and eventually remove it from state law.
Based on current statutes, if you get into a car crash while playing Pokemon Go, you will be covered for up to $10,000 in medical damages. Your losses will be compensated, no matter who’s at fault for the accident.
However, if the damages and losses exceed $10,000, or if someone involved sustains a permanent disfigurement or injury, you may have to appear in court. Then, fault may be assigned and compensation will have to be paid. Imagine going to court and having to pay thousands of dollars. Because you seriously hurt someone. Because you were playing Pokemon Go.
So the next time you think about logging onto Pokemon Go behind the wheel or walking around a busy area, think twice about the risks you face and the potential costs of a Pokemon Go-related accident.
And if you have been injured in an auto accident due to distracted driving or another type of negligence, don’t hesitate to file a claim to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
About The Author:
A partner at Lawlor, White & Murphey and a distinguished personal injury lawyer, Ben Murphey tries complex disputes that include civil appeals, maritime and admiralty claims, wrongful death, and labor disputes. Mr. Murphey has been recognized for his excellence in the area of personal injury litigation by being rewarded with a 10/10 AVVO Rating and named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for 2010-2013 and Super Lawyers for 2014-2016.. Mr. Murphey regularly tries cases in state and federal courts around the country, being admitted to practice before all Florida courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.