As an increasing number of companies are focusing on virtual reality (VR) products, consumers have a growing list of questions regarding liability exposures.
One of the most common questions in our fast-paced world is: “If I am injured while using a virtual reality device, is there any way to seek compensation for the damages?”
“This is a rather tricky question to answer,” says our Dallas product liability attorney at the Law Offices Of Dorothy Hyde. Not that long ago, lawyers thought personal injury claims involving videos games were baseless and frivolous, and look where we ended up today. People are successfully recovering five and six-figure awards by suing videogame makers for their injuries.
The same could happen to the VR industry, as claims against manufacturers of virtual reality devices could actually skyrocket when lawmakers in Texas and all across the U.S. adjust laws a little bit. These changes may also prompt insurance companies to add certain exclusions and limitations regarding VR-related injuries in their policies.
Concerns over virtual reality devices are growing
The truth is this: a growing number of tech companies are beginning to focus on VR devices for consumers. VR is the new toy everyone is playing with, and projections by financial experts indicate that VR device sales could reach the status of a $70 billion market by 2020.
One of the biggest concerns of safety advocates regarding the use of virtual reality devices is that their long-term physical and psychological side effects have not been studied yet. However, there have been multiple worrying reports indicating that people are actually putting their health at risk and are getting injured due to VR devices.
VR games and their risks for physical and psychological health
The VR world is so immersive that people choose to run away from the gloomy real world and find joy in VR games. But overuse injuries is not the only potential liability claim against VR technology manufacturers. Being a part of an imaginary world and loss of excitement in the real world has many long-term implications for a gamer’s psychological and emotional health.
Parents of children who become detached from reality with the help of VR devices may be the pioneers of class action lawsuits against manufacturers of VR devices.
“We already hear complaints from users of VR that they experience nausea and motion sickness, while others report injuries associated with defective VR devices,” says our experienced product liability attorney in Dallas. It is only a matter of time before some scandalous case involving VR-related injuries triggers a lawsuit avalanche against VR manufacturers.
Addictive VR games and injuries caused by addictions
VR games can be very addictive, and addictions can prompt people to commit violent acts and injury not only themselves, but also those around them. If Pokemon Go, the hit augmented reality game launched in summer 2016, was any indication, many things can go wrong when people get immersed into an imaginary world.
Our Dallas product liability attorney reminds readers of some of the most notable injuries caused by Pokemon Go:
- A distracted driver hit a police car while playing the game in Baltimore;
- California men fell off a cliff while being distracted by the game;
- Another man in New York City was robbed while playing the game; and
- Another man was assaulted at a bus stop while playing the game in Texas.
Not to mention that Pokemon Go encouraged some users to trespass and invade other people’s privacy to fulfill game requirements, exposing them to legal trouble under the doctrine of premises liability. While it may seem implausible at this point, class action lawsuits alleging physical and psychological injuries and damages caused by virtual reality devices and games could soon become a reality.Read More