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October 04, 2019

Can wearable technology help you win a personal injury case?

Important progress in computer technologies, solid-state micro-sensors, and telecommunication has made it possible to advance electronic devices that can be worn as accessories. Wearable gadgets, the latest category of technology devices, bring about many advantages when it comes to health and fitness, lifestyle, healthcare and medical, not to mention safety and security. They outperform smartphones as the fastest-growing technological innovations. Smart devices such as rings, wristbands, and watches change the way we experience the world.

Interestingly, wearable technology is making its way into the courtroom. Wearable gadgets are slowly but surely becoming powerful tools in the area of personal injury. Since they record and report a great deal of information about the health and lifestyle of a person, this doesn’t really come as a surprise. If you would like to find out more about how wearable technology impacts personal injury cases, please continue reading.

Accident reconstruction for personal injury litigations

Being able to recreate the events that led to the occurrence of personal injury can help determine fault in the case. Accident reconstruction involves the investigation, analysis, and drawing of conclusions regarding the causes that led to the unfortunate event. As a rule, experts are called in to determine the cause of the serious injury or death and explain how things could have been prevented. After the accident is recreated, you know for sure which party’s insurance company is obligated to pay damages.

Fashion electronics can help reconstruct the moments prior to the accident. What is more, they can help determine the extent of the injuries. Imagine the following scenario: You were involved in a collision and suffered a head or neck injury. If you have a Fitbit or another wearable gadget for sport, you can use the data to prove the negligence contributed to the crash and you weren’t to blame. The wearables can highlight the effects of the car accident, backing up what you’re saying. The data coming from wearable technology provides clear evidence of the state of your health before and after the accident. For instance, your Fitbit can prove that your activity levels are lower than expected for someone of your age or profession.

Data from wearable technology can be entered as courtroom evidence

One day, wearable devices like Fitbit and Google (News - Alert) Glass will change the legal process. Right now, we’re only beginning to introduce data from fashion wearables as courtroom evidence. A Canadian law firm specialising in personal injury claims used data obtained from a fitness tracker to demonstrate life-affecting activity post-injury. As you can see, it’s important to continue to use your wearable devices. They will show the deterioration in your overall health with an emphasis on mental and physical fatigue caused by the disaster. Details that a wearable device can provide include heart rate, blood pressure, weight loss, diet, exercise, and mood.

Lawyers used Google Glass to win a personal injury case. The client was required to video their post-injury life after having lost an arm and a leg during a work accident back in 2012. Needless to say, legal professionals don’t deploy the data directly. To gain some useful insight into the huge chunks of data, they run the information through an analytics platform. The results show that the plaintiff’s activity levels are compromised due to the injury. Technology boosts workplace safety, but it can also change things during an existing claim.

Wearable technology has proven to be useful in personal injury cases. The smart electronic devices can be used in other legal cases as well. For instance, in criminal cases, investigators can use the GPS data generated by sports wearables to determine the whereabouts of a person and approve or dismiss their alibi. By monitoring the patterns from the GPS metrics obtained, it’s possible to make the right decision. GPS data is reliable enough to be admitted to court. Attention needs to be paid to the fact that it’s necessary to have some kind of corroborating evidence because, sometimes, GPS devices are subject to misinterpretations.

Let’s summarize how wearable gadgets can impact a legal case:

1. Providing evidence for a personal injury claim

The longer you stay in recovery, the greater the pain and suffering is. If your personal injury case goes to court, you’re able to collect damages from the negligent individual. As mentioned earlier, wearable technology can be deployed to help your damages case. Instead of having a medical expert untie the knots in the case, you should better use the data from your wearable devices. Surprising or not, it will help the jury calculate pain and suffering.

2. Calling to question the credibility of a testimony

A credible witness is defined as a person who makes a testimony in court, whose credibility is unquestionable. Evidence can get thrown out in court. An attorney will determine which testimony can be challenged and excluded from trial. While information from fashion electronics can be used to support the plaintiff’s version of the story, it can also be used to complicate a personal injury case. To be more precise, the data from a device like a Fitbit can be used to contradict a testimony. In 2015, a woman in Pennsylvania claimed that she was attacked during sleep. The investigator came to the conclusion that she was lying based on the information from her Fitbit. It seems that the smartwatch showed the exact opposite.

3. Can act as a digital expert witness

Personal injury attorneys rely on digital expert witnesses for the impartial examination of evidence. An expert is hired to assess the case and provide a conclusion. Data from wearable gadgets can eliminate the need for the testimony of such experts. The reason for this is that the evidence proves the facts. As long as the statements aren’t hearsay, the findings support the original facts. Profile data from wearable technology can be compared to personal data and, most importantly, testify the injury.  

The bottom line is that wearable technology has a significant impact on personal injury law. Wearable technology still represents a work in progress, but it’s being used for an ever-increasing number of claims. If you’ve been injured as the result of the negligent behaviour of another, let the legal battle begin.

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