It seems as if Pokemon Go has changed the scope of smartphone gaming. Players are forced to walk around in order to play, hunting Pokemon and fighting in gym battles as they do. In spite of pop-up bubbles advising players to be safe, accidents, injuries, and criminal activity has occurred. Thinking about playing Pokemon Go? Here are a few things you should know about the game first:
1. Assumption of risk is only a defense in some states.
In many cases, companies use assumption of risk as a defense in court. Unfortunately for them, this only works in several states, and even then, it is a partial defense. The player may not have to acknowledge risk and continue playing in order to escape compensation for injuries that occur. Additionally, some states require that the player has well-rounded and specific knowledge of the risks of playing the game rather than a general understanding.
2. Terms and Conditions do not limit liability.
As expansive as the terms and conditions that you agree to when you initiate play may be, they may not cover every injury that occurs. Additionally, the terms may not cover crimes that occur that harm the player. Plus, simply because something is written in the terms does not mean it is legally enforceable.
3. Trespassing may occur by luring players into certain areas.
Pokemon Go encourages players to hunt for Pokemon in specific places. In some instances, this may result in trespassing. Players may not even be aware that they are trespassing on private property. In some states, property owners have the right to use lethal force on trespassers. This presents a problem for people who find themselves wandering onto private property while playing the game.
4. Business owners need to be careful.
If you own a business, there is a chance that your place of work has become a Pokestop. This is great for many businesses, as it attracts customers who might be looking to play the game. Still, heads glued to a small screen could lead to more slip and fall accidents.
5. Drivers need to watch for distracted pedestrians, and vice versa.
Distracted driving, walking, and bicycling are all major issues with smartphones already. Add an addictive smartphone game to the mix and you have plenty more risk. Car accidents and pedestrian accidents could increase as more people begin playing the game.
If you have been injured while playing Pokemon Go, it is wise to consult with an attorney about your options.