© Anthony Behar/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect Can You Sue for Injuries in the Metaverse?
Without question, the Metaverse has been a hot topic for technology professionals. Metaverse principles are still being defined, but experts already project that digital environments will become an essential part of daily life.
This raises many questions about how society will function in digital realms. For example, if you get injured in the Metaverse, could you sue in the same manner as in the real world? Morgan & Morgan law firm, the self-claimed largest injury law firm in the U.S., is convinced that yes.
“Whether you get injured in the Metaverse or real life, Morgan & Morgan, America’s largest personal injury law firm has your back,” says the firm in their short advertising video, adding that their clients won’t pay a single unless the firm wins the virtual case.
Injuries in the Metaverse
The firm claims to concentrate on injuries that happen while enjoying metaverse experiences. According to the lawyers, while the mind wanders the VR environment, the human body still exists in reality, so it is possible to get injured using AR/VR devices.
“Most VR headsets, such as the HTC Vive and Facebook’s Oculus Quest, are designed to completely remove the user from reality using a noise-canceling and sight-restricting headset, resulting in broken bones, concussions, and injuries to spectators who got too close to the user.”
Virtual Reality devices inhibit the senses, making the user more exposed to the dangerous elements in their surroundings. This can result in broken personal belongings and injuries.
“In some cases, users have attempted to climb onto an elevated surface in the meta world and fallen on their faces because the surface doesn’t exist, which has resulted in disfigurement and expensive hospital bills for these individuals.”
Work-related Injuries in the Metaverse
Both tech behemoths Meta and Microsoft (NASDAQ:) are working on metaverse solutions for the work environment. Microsoft is extending its Microsoft Teams software functionalities to add a metaverse experience for corporate teams. Meta is working on Horizon Workrooms.
According to the law firm, VR devices were created for entertainment purposes. VR equipment manufacturers have yet to address safety regulations. When the equipment is used in the workplace, and people are injured, there is a strong case for legal action against the companies.
“Some manufacturers have failed to emphasize safety in the manufacturing process, causing innocent people to sustain injuries during use. If you’ve been injured by a VR headset or any other metaverse device, our attorneys can help you file a lawsuit against the manufacturer and recover the damages you need to move on from the situation.”
According to Morgan & Morgan, the problem is compounded by the ambiguous accountability of VR injuries, as there are numerous contributing elements that can shift liability to other parties.
“If a user misuses their VR headset and becomes injured, they’re likely liable for the damage because their actions were negligent. On the other hand, the manufacturer would be liable for the damage if the headset contained a defect that resulted in injury. Still, the user would have to prove that their use didn’t contribute to their injury,” says the firm.
On the Flipside
- The laws and regulations within the Metaverse are still to be developed. The big tech companies have addressed the issues regarding bullying and abuse within the Metaverse.
Why You Should Care
According to estimates, the metaverse market is expected to grow 39% to $824.53 billion by 2030. The metaverse will be the place for entertainment and remote work, with many new professions to evolve that will fuel digital economies.
Read more about the metaverse getting investors’ attention in the midst of the crypto winter:
Metaverse and Gaming Industry Raised $748 Million: Immunity to Crypto Winter?
Read more about the development of big tech metaverses:
Big Tech Metaverses: Everything You Need To Know About Meta, Microsoft, Google (NASDAQ:), and Apple (NASDAQ:)