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Pokémon Go Leads to Increase in Accidents

Seemingly overnight, the smartphone app “Pokémon Go” has taken the world by storm and has shot itself to the top of the app store, smashing records left and right as one of the fastest growing and most downloaded applications in history. Now, people everywhere are living out their fantasies of catching and training Pokémon in the real world, with many communities having sprung up throughout the country related to the app. Through the app’s clever use of GPS and augmented reality, players can find the iconic little monsters during their daily travels - making them appear as if they were right in front of players. While much of this is good fun and an excellent method of getting young people off the couch, like most things in life, it is not without its fair share of dangers.

Numerous reports of Pokémon Go-related accidents and injuries have surfaced in the weeks since the game’s launch and fueled public safety fears – particularly in regards to drivers and pedestrians who are distracted by the app.

On Tuesday, July 12th, 2016, a 28-year-old Auburn, NY man swerved into a tree and totaled his car while trying to catch the digital monsters while driving at night. The very next day, a Pennsylvania teen was hospitalized after being hit by a car while crossing a busy highway at night while playing the game. Later, on July 20th, a distracted Pokémon-enthusiast slammed into a Baltimore police officer’s vehicle. These are just a few of the many Pokémon-related car accidents occurring across America.

The app is so addicting that it even has people walking into disaster. In California, two men in their early 20s had to be rescued by firefighters after falling more than 40 feet from an ocean bluff while playing the game, suffering moderate injuries. According to reports, the men had crossed into a fenced-off area in order to catch Pokémon.

The app has also been used by criminals as a means of luring victims. A USA Today article recently reported that a group of teens in Missouri may be behind 10 to 11 different armed robberies throughout St. Louis and St. Charles Counties, in which they used the app’s “lure module” feature to attract nearby Pokémon and other players to their location. In Anaheim, a man who was playing the game in the early morning hours was stabbed multiple times by a group of men at a park.

At Lenahan Law Firm, our team of Dallas personal injury lawyers advise you to exercise extreme caution if you or your children are using this app. The following advice can help you stay safe:

  • Never use your cell phone while you are operating a motor vehicle or riding a bicycle. This includes refraining from playing games, sending text messages, placing or answering calls, or browsing the internet.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times while walking. Focusing on your cell phone could cause you to miss nearby hazards and greatly increase your risk of injury.
  • Travel in larger groups in well-lit, public areas, and never trespass onto another person’s property when trying to catch Pokémon.
  • Be mindful about the consequences that can come with sharing your location information with others.

If you have suffered an injury through no fault of your own, contact Lenahan Law Firm. Having recovered millions on behalf of injured clients, we have what it takes to ensure your rights are protected. Call (888) 828-5630 or schedule a complimentary case review today to get started.

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