It may seem as if overusing or abusing your smartphone is your own problem, that any injuries caused by our personal use of smartphones and sedentary lifestyle is our own fault.
“But this is not entirely true,” says our product liability lawyer in Philadelphia at the Dan Doyle Law Group. In reality, many people in Pennsylvania and all across the United States do not realize that they could actually be entitled to receive compensation for smartphone overuse injuries.
In the modern world, the vast majority of America’s population cannot imagine their lives without smartphones. Spending a day without a smartphone feels as if you are isolated from society, when, in reality, having no smartphone for an entire day opens up a plethora of opportunities to interact with society in ways that an average smartphone owner cannot even imagine or forgot about.
However, this is not the main point here. If you are constantly browsing your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter feeds (more often than necessary), checking your emails (even though there has been no notification), texting your buddies (when you really have nothing to talk about, and your entire conversation is made up of emojis), and watching YouTube videos for hours on end, you are overusing your mobile device.
But you are not alone. According to statistics, an average American checks his or her smartphone a staggering 110 times a day! Not surprisingly, smartphone overuse injuries have been on the rise, and it is incredibly common to hear complaints from smartphone owners that they have developed overuse injuries in their neck, back, elbows, fingers, hands, wrists, and even eyes.
More often than not, it never occurs to people that they might be overusing or abusing their smartphone until it is too late. Smartphone overuse injuries can be quite painful and can affect various aspects of your life. Needless to say, you may be required to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on medication and other medical expenses to treat your injury or at least prevent it from getting worse.
But can you actually seek compensation for all that? Our experienced product liability attorney in Philadelphia says that while you typically cannot sue smartphone manufacturers for your overuse injuries (manufacturers are immune from these types of personal injury lawsuits because they warn consumers of potential danger of using their devices for a long period of time), you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and damages via other sources.
Regardless of how your injury was caused – hunching, bending the neck, clutching your phone, repetitive motion, unnatural bending of your thumbs, elbows, hands, and wrists, or eyes strain from smartphone overuse – you may be entitled to recover damages if these injuries are associated with overuse from your job or other required device use.
“You may not be able to sue smartphone manufacturers for overuse injuries, but it does not change the fact that you can actually seek compensation from your employer,” says our Philadelphia product liability attorney at the Dan Doyle Law Group. You may be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits if you can prove that your smartphone overuse injuries are work-related.