With technology ever improving, personal injury cases are finding uses for modern fitness tracking devices.
These devices, marketed as Fitbit, Jawbone, Misfit and Garmin among others, detect user movement and use those motions to record data including steps taken, distance traveled and even activity levels. This information is helpful in tracking progress against fitness goals and calories burned. More recent models even track body mass index and have GPS functionality.
Fitness Tracker Data in Personal Injury Cases
When an injured individual brings a personal injury case, he or she must prove the severity of the injuries. In the past, doctor exams, witness reports, test documentation and proof of lost work was presented as evidence, but some of these are limited as they are clinical interpretations. Determining the extent of injury isn't always objective and can be biased.
However, data from fitness trackers has been growing in acceptance as valid evidence of activity levels before and after an injury. Many authorities call these trackers the "black box" of body records, likening them to the black boxes that record plane and train movements. Those models with GPS capability can identify the user's location, which can either provide important evidence or can complicate a case if the user lied about his whereabouts.
Two recent cases highlight the advantages and problems of using fitness trackers in court cases. A Canadian personal trainer was injured in an auto accident. Using the data from her Fitbit, her attorney evaluated her post-accident activity and compared it against that of the general public. The comparison showed a reduced activity level compared to established baselines for someone of her age and profession, thereby proving the severity of her injuries.
Another case involved a Florida woman who claimed that she had been sexually attacked in Pennsylvania. Investigators used the data on her fitness tracker to demonstrate that her activities were markedly different from her allegations. She was charged with tampering with evidence and making a false report.
There will certainly be many more opportunities as well as challenges in using fitness trackers in court cases. Privacy rules have already been questioned and a warrant may be necessary where a user is unwilling to provide the device. But it seems certain that these trackers will be a growing source of evidence in personal injury cases.
Let Us Help with Any Type of Personal Injury Case
If you or a family member has experienced any type of personal injury, you need an attorney with the right experience in these cases. We will work hard for you and pursue compensation for your physical and emotional injuries. Please call The Francis Law Group for a free consultation. Attorney Tony Francis, personal injury attorney in Orlando, will fight to get you the compensation that you and your family deserve. You can reach us at 407-363-9939 or contact us via the website.