For the first time, a court in Canada is using data from a Fitbit, an exercise monitoring device, as evidence in a personal injury case. Whether or not the evidence ultimately helps the plaintiff, experts predict this will be the start of a new trend. In a few years, we may see the use of this type of data become commonplace as both plaintiffs, insurance companies, and maybe even prosecutors use this data to bolster their arguments.
What Are Exercise Monitoring Devices?
Exercise monitoring devices, or wearable devices, are small gadgets that measure biometric or movement data to help you better record your physical activity. Many of them are worn on your wrist like a watch, though others can be clipped to your pants or belt, or can even be inserted into your shoe. These devices all measure your activity in different ways. Some measure you heart rate, while others use the movement created by your arms or legs to estimate how much running you are doing. Some of these devices can provide even more information such as estimated number of calories burned or even how much deep sleep you are getting per night. Currently, these devices are mainly used by dedicated fitness enthusiasts, but their ease of use and versatility are helping them spread to the general population.
Why Is It Being Used in a Personal Injury Case?
In the previously mentioned case, a personal trainer is making a personal injury claim. To provide further evidence of how her injury has affected her over the last four years, her attorney is using Fitbit data to show that her exercise and mobility has been significantly lower than women of a similar age and occupation. The legal team is working with a biometrics analysis firm, Vivametrica, to establish what a comparable person’s activity would look like and demonstrate how her activity is much lower.
What Does This Mean for the Future?
Well, this means that we should expect to see this data used a lot more often. Just as courts started using GPS and cellphone data in the last few decades, soon this type of data may become commonplace. If you are a victim of a personal injury in the future, and your wearable device can prove you’ve been physically affected, this data could be a very useful tool for you.
That being said, this data will also be used by defense teams to strengthen their arguments. If an insurance company discovers that you use an exercise monitoring device, they may subpoena that information and try to use it against you. If the data proves that you have been physically impaired than you have nothing to worry about, but it could become a big problem if it tells a different story.
Regardless of whether you use this type of device or not, if you have been injured recently, contact our personal injury team at Bighorn Law today. We can help you determine if you have a case, and help you get the compensation you need to get back on your feet.