During an injury lawsuit, the injured person (the plaintiff) must be able to show a jury how an injury has affected his or her life. Anyone can claim that a botched surgery or car accident left them unable to pursue their hobbies—proving that claim is an entirely different matter.
Personal injury attorneys look for any evidence they can to prove their client’s case in court. Many are now looking towards the advent of personal fitness trackers like the Apple Watch or the Fitbit to prove that their clients are no longer able to run or walk as much as they used to.
These tracking devices are worn on the wrist and record data like the number of steps taken during the day, the person’s average heart rate, and the amount and quality of sleep that the person gets on an average night. All of these types of data can be used to assess that person’s physical state of wellbeing, which is important in any personal injury case.
For example, if a person wore a tracker every day for a year before a car accident, that information would provide a good baseline of that person’s prior standard activity level. If he or she continued to wear the tracker after the accident, it would be expected that he or she would walk or run less frequently and for shorter distances. In addition, a person’s quality of sleep may decline if he or she is in constant pain.
Attorneys for injured people who wear these devices now have a way to objectively prove how an injury has affected their client’s life. Rather than just taking the word of an injured person, this data can be used to show the jury exactly how a person’s life has changed.
On the other side of this coin, attorneys for the defendant can also use this data to show that a person may not be as injured as he or she claims. For example, many injuries do not show up on x-rays or MRIs, but may still be incredibly painful. If a car accident victim alleges to have suffered this type of injury, but still jogs five miles every morning, it is unlikely that he or she is being truthful.
While the introduction of this type of data is not yet common in injury cases, it will likely become more crucial as more people begin using fitness tracking data in their daily lives. There is also some concern that this data may be manipulated by unscrupulous plaintiffs or attorneys, so the legal ramifications of these devices may be in flux for quite some time.
At the Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D. Esq., our attorneys pride ourselves on staying up-to-date on the latest advances in both law and medicine. As both a medical doctor and an attorney, Dr. Kramer and his staff of legal and medical professionals will use every means possible to prove your case in court, and will use their medical and legal expertise to help you get justice after an injury.
For a free consultation, call us today at (310) 289-2600 or use our online contact form to have your case reviewed for free.