Lawyers ready for inevitable Pokemon GO lawsuits
NOW that there's a popular mobile game finally getting people out into the fresh air, the inevitable slew of bumps and scrapes has arrived.
And where there are bumps and scrapes, there are personal injury compensation claims and liability wars in civil courts.
Brisbane injury compensation lawyer Mark O'Conner says that one lesson to be learned from overseas is that players who are too focused on their screens can end up crashing into trees or losing control of their car while on the hunt to be the very best.
Mr O'Connor, a Director of Brisbane law firm Bennett & Philp- Lawyers, wants to highlight the hazards people face when playing Pokémon Go.
"A common complaint from people who are involved in accidents is that the driver who hit them was or was likely using their mobile phone - I'm waiting for a new generation of cases where the offending driver was using Pokémon Go," he said.
He said he had seen a sign outside a well known Brisbane bicycle shop advertising Pokemon Go handlebar mounts for sale, which was especially worrying.
"Cyclists are subject to the same road user laws as motorists so the same cautions apply over not cycling and being distracted by your mobile phone while chasing cartoon creatures around the streets,".
An American player has already crashed his car while playing, and Mr O'Conner is warning Australians they are not immune to legal action if they crash into or injure someone while playing.
"Don't drive or cycle and Pokemon hunt at the same time. If you cause an accident that results in injury to others or damage because you were distracted , you could find yourself at the sharp end of a damages claim.
"Explaining that you were pursuing Pikachu, or Charmander, Squirtle or Bulbasaur won't cut it at a compo hearing," Mr O'Connor added.