Wearable technology is a relatively new trend that offers convenience in many aspects of life, and these devices can sometimes help or hurt plaintiffs in personal their injury claims. Wearable devices, such as the FitBit®, Apple Watch®, and other smartwatches and fitness devices, have several capabilities that can make a difference in a personal injury claim.
How Can My Wearable Technology Impact a Personal Injury Case?
In many personal injury claims, one of the most common tactics for a defendant to escape liability is to shift blame to the plaintiff. For example, a plaintiff files a lawsuit against another driver for causing an accident, but the defendant argues that the plaintiff was speeding or otherwise contributed to causing the accident. In these cases, physical evidence is usually the best way to accurately determine each party’s fault.
Wearable technology like fitness trackers and smartwatches often come equipped with GPS locators, step counters, daily fitness tracking applications, and a number of other features that may have a bearing in your personal injury claim. If you were injured in an accident and were not able to maintain your previous physical activity levels as a result, a fitness tracking app might have data that shows the decline in activity after the date of the injury. This could be valuable evidence for plaintiffs who need to prove specific elements of their claims. However, it should be noted the information from these devices may also hurt a plaintiff’s case by showing no decrease in the physical activity levels or other information stored on these devices.
A current personal injury case in Canada is the first in which FitBit® data played a role in the physical evidence of a lawsuit. A personal trainer suffered an injury, and a third-party analytics company Vivametrica provided data to prove her quality of life and motor functions diminished after the injury. As a personal trainer, her inability to exercise impacted her personal finances, and her attorneys hope her FitBit® data will help prove the extent of her losses.
Potential Issues with Wearable Technology Evidence
While digital tracking applications are extraordinarily sophisticated and can track the minutest details of a person’s physical activity, they are ultimately digital software and therefore vulnerable to skewing, hacking, and unauthorized alterations. It is also difficult for a plaintiff to prove that he or she was the only one using the technology in question. For example, it would be easy for a plaintiff to give his or her FitBit® to a friend to wear to skew the tracking data on the device.
If you recently experienced an injury, your wearable technology may play a role in a future case. The attorneys at Ginnis, Krathen, & Zelnick, P.A., have experience with all types of personal injury claims, so contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with an attorney and learn more about your legal options.