Holding Inattentive Drivers Accountable for Injuries and Wrongful Deaths
Despite the focus on the use of mobile phones while driving, the distracted driving phenomena existed long before handheld electronic devices. Drivers routinely attempt to multi-task behind the wheel by brushing their hair, shaving, applying makeup, disciplining children, reaching for objects, and engaging in many other distracting tasks. The focus on portable electronic devices like cell phones by lawmakers, traffic safety experts, and the media stems from two features of these electronic gadgets. First, cell phones constitute the most dangerous type of distraction because they pose a manual, visual, and mental distraction. Second, the vast universe of “apps” that can pose a distraction number in the millions.
While the news is inundated with reports of drivers using cell phones to talk, text, update Facebook status, there is a new cell phone-related distraction now making news. The overwhelming popularity of the Pokemon Go game now has drivers focused on catching imaginary monsters rather than approaching traffic backups and pedestrians crossing the street. Although this widely popular online game is relatively new, media sources have already reported motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and injuries, resulting from drivers focused on “catching them all” rather than roadway safety.
At Stein & Shulman, LLC, our distracted driving attorneys have over 45 years of collective experience representing personal injury and wrongful death victims. While the reputation of our law firm for providing exemplary representation in litigation often permits us to settle cases without a trial, we engage in a thorough investigation, diligent legal research, effective negotiation, and persuasive advocacy to pursue the fullest recovery for our clients. This commitment to effective litigation has enabled our law firm to recover over forty million dollars in judgments and settlements for personal injury and wrongful death victims and their families.
Pokemon Go Is Causing Car Accidents Involving Distracted Drivers
Pokemon Go is a new category of game referred to as an “augmented reality” game. When playing the game, individuals capture fictional creatures that players search for in the real world. These creatures are monsters that were the focus of the Pokemon game developed in Japan. Because the game intermixes real world searches in the online game, users predictably drive their vehicle while trying to catch Pokemon. Pokemon Go displays a warning before the app is opened that indicates players should use the app safely while paying attention to their surroundings.
Despite this warning, reports have begun to appear in the media about car accidents caused by the game because its design encourages distracted driving:
- Motorist Drives Off The Road Pursuing a Pokemon: An overzealous Pokemon hunter slammed his vehicle into a tree while pursuing a “Lapras,” which is a blue sea creature in the game. The driver was so distracted his vehicle completely departed the roadway before colliding with a tree. The obsessive appeal of Pokemon Go is reflected in the fact the injury victim’s mother reportedly informed the media that her son refused to use his cell phone when driving.
- Driver Backs into Police Car Chasing a Pokemon: An example of the degree of distraction created by Pokemon Go is provided by a man who did not notice the police following him as he drove through a parking lot on the prowl for a coveted creature. While he would eventually notice the police surveillance that was initiated because of his erratic driving, he only realized the police car was present after he backed into the vehicle.
Distracted Driving Can Be Basis for a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Drivers owe a duty of reasonable care to others vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians. When drivers divert their focus from the road ahead and potential driving hazards to look at or manipulate their cell phone, this conduct can be the basis for imposing liability for injuries or fatalities. Although motorists distracted by Pokemon Go can be liable for their negligent conduct, injury victims might want to talk to an experienced Chicago distracted driving injury lawyer. Unlike texting or talking on a cell phone, phone records and activity logs might not reveal a driver was chasing Pokemon creatures.
Speak to a Chicago Distracted Driving Lawyer Today
The experienced Chicago distracted driving lawyers at Stein & Shulman, LLC understand the potentially life-altering consequences of operating a moving vehicle while a driver’s attention is elsewhere. Our law firm offers a wealth of experience and a proven track record of obtaining large verdicts and settlements for your clients. We invite you to contact us today at (312) 422-0500 or email us to schedule your free case evaluation.