Wearable Technological Devices: a New Tool in Personal Injury Law

by Theodore A. Spaulding on Sep. 02, 2015

Accident & Injury Personal Injury Consumer Rights  Consumer Protection Industry Specialties  Communication & Media Law 

Summary: In recent years, wearable technological devices such as the Fitbit have evolved as a popular tool to track steps, miles, calories burned, heart rate, and similar information related to physical activity.



In recent years, wearable technological devices such as the Fitbit have evolved as a popular tool to track steps, miles, calories burned, heart rate, and similar information related to physical activity. Though these devices were primarily designed to help consumers track their fitness, they have the potential to be useful in other realms as well, including law.

 

Many personal injury cases are ripe with speculation that the plaintiff who filed the claim is exaggerating the severity of their injuries or the limitations in their life caused by the injuries. Medical professionals and similar expert witnesses have long been utilized to give their opinion of how a particular injury could limit a victim. In addition, the victim can take the stand to testify to the effects they have experienced. However, such testimony is often less persuasive to a jury than concrete data or numbers would be.

 

In recent months, some personal injury victims have been wearing Fitbits1 to track their number of steps and amount of physical activity on a daily basis. These numbers can then be compared to their previous statistics or—if they did not previously track their activity—the average data of a healthy individual or their age and profession. In doing so, plaintiffs are hoping to more concretely demonstrate the limitations they have experienced since their accident and injuries.

 

Fitbit evidence not foolproof for plaintiffs

Like many other types of legal evidence,2 Fitbit data is not guaranteed to convince a jury that a plaintiff is telling the truth about the extent of their injuries. For example, the defense in a personal injury case may try to claim that a plaintiff is intentionally taking fewer steps, being less active, or not consistently wearing the device to manipulate the data. In addition, a defense may even request that a plaintiff wear a Fitbit or similar device to prove that they are more active than they claim. Plaintiffs' attorneys will have to be prepared for these tactics related to wearable technological devices.

 

Contact an Atlanta personal injury attorney today

If you have sustained an injury, you need a personal injury lawyer who stays up to date on all of the advancements in personal injury law. Please do not hesitate to call the Atlanta firm of Boling Rice LLC at 770-744-0890 for a free consultation today.

 

 

1http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/11/16/fitbit-data-court-room-personal-injury-claim/

2https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/evidence

 

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