Well, a new study shows distraction injuries caused by electronic devices aren't just limited to your car: they are on the rise for pedestrians (walkers), too! This probably isn't surprising to any city-dwellers or university-attendees were these things are most common. There were actually a couple students killed (one by bus, one by car) while I was in law school that were linked to distracted walking.
What's worse is that these injuries are more likely to be serious, and that makes sense. In a car crash, you have multiple safety mechanisms to minimize damage, but when you walk into a wall/trip over a bench/get nailed by a car, it's just your body versus the concrete. The problem is so bad the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons even has a "digital deadwalker" campaign (and a sweet Youtube video) to warn the public about these kind of dangers.
So, how does this play-out in the personal injury context, you ask? Hey, thanks for the question! First, distracted walking by the injured individual is obviously unhelpful for a claim. While it's not necessarily fatal, I can't see potential jurors having a ton of sympathy for the person too busy playing Candy Crush to watch out for that sidewalk deformity. Second, numbers and awareness like this could end up changing building codes or store design. Take, for instance, a woman who sued Apple after face-planting into a glass wall. In that case, Apple was already (allegedly) putting markings on the glass to draw people's attention, but more might be necessary to save the public from themselves (ala seatbelt laws). Third, distracted walking on the part of the injurer will have to be pursued more energetically by a good plaintiffs' lawyer. If my client gets plowed-into-and-injured by someone Joe-Schmoe trying to Periscope his walk home, you best believe that's a fact I'm going to use to my advantage. There are probably tons more implications, but three points is a nice, tidy number so I'll stop there.
Moral of the story: be careful out there, folks, it's a distracted world we're livin' in. Take it away, Sir Paul.