Wearable technology has gone from calculator watch to Apple Watch in the last few decades. Now we can tweet from our T-shirts, view the world through Google Glass, and keep track of our health and habits second by second with a Fitbit – and these wearable tech trends are only predicted to continue growing and advancing. (Be on the lookout for smartwatches, computerized clothing, and wearable technology as future business accessories.) As we continue to integrate this technology into our lives, the data it collects presents an ever more detailed picture of our daily activity – a picture that may soon be routinely used as evidence in the courtroom.
For example, a personal injury case could revolve around evidence from a Fitbit showing a marked decrease in activity following an injury. Just such a case occurred at the end of 2014 in Canada. The plaintiff, a former personal trainer, used the data from her Fitbit to demonstrate the change in her physical activity following a traffic accident. Could a pattern of spikes in heart rate make a case for undue workplace stress? What about a malpractice lawsuit incorporating data that shows a physician’s chronic lack of sleep? How much more detailed could accident reconstruction become with data from someone’s wearable tech about speed, direction, and location immediately preceding a collision with a semi truck?
In the case of the personal trainer in Canada, the evidence for the plaintiff may have gone from a sketchy record of gym visits before and after the accident to a detailed record of gym visits correlated with heart rate data that shows a real difference in fitness and activity. With real-time data about activity levels, location, and even sleep patterns, quality of life claims in court cases may become infinitely more quantifiable. A claim of emotional damages may now be supportable by hard data showing a pattern of insomnia, high blood pressure, or other physical symptoms of stress and/or other negative emotions. Personal injury attorneys and doctors may also be better equipped to address the consequences of an incident before more severe or more visible conditions develop.
Of course, wearable technology will not be a magic bullet making every personal injury lawsuit an open-and-shut case, but it is certainly a new and powerful tool for developing a claim. Like most evidence, there will undoubtedly be complications in some cases. For example, wearable technology is vulnerable to fraud – someone else could be wearing your Fitbit at the time of an injury or during recovery – so the data collected will still need to be corroborated with things such as traditional eyewitness testimony, data from other devices, and other types of evidence. Regardless, wearable technology makes possible a new level of specificity when addressing the effects of personal injuries, whether in private life or at work.
Naturally, there are also concerns about the ethics of accessing and using this kind of personal data. We, as a society, are still deciding what level of privacy is appropriate as technology increasingly pushes the limits of precedent. But it is not just social media, smartphones, and government surveillance that are at issue anymore. Wearable technology is increasing the “resolution” of our personal information. As this resolution increases, it is natural that new applications will be found for that information. Personal injury suits are just one such area where our health, habits, and routines can now be weighed and considered as hard data.
Bonnington, C. (2014, December 12). Data from our wearables is now courtroom fodder. Wired. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/2014/12/wearables-in-court/
Gibbs, S. (2014, November 18). Court sets legal precedent with evidence from Fitbit health tracker. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/18/court-accepts-data-fitbit-health-tracker
Norris, A. (2014, December 27). Wearable technology: 2015 is the year of the smart bra. The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/predictions/technology/11306735/wearable-technology-trend.html
Related ArticlesView All Blog Articles
Out-of-State Car Accident Jurisdiction: A Visitor’s Guide to Texas Injury LawNov 03, 2022
Texas isn’t just the second most populous state in the U.S. It’s also one of our nation’s biggest destinations for out-of-state travelers. According to Travel Texas, the state hosts more than 70 million visitors per year. While we certainly wish that everyone who visits our state enjoys a stress-free trip, the reality is that more […]
What Happens if You Get in an Accident With a Delivery Truck Driver?Nov 01, 2022
If your neighborhood is anything like ours, chances are you see a steady stream of delivery trucks, vans, and other vehicles pass by your house or apartment on a daily basis. The trend really took off at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it certainly shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Nowadays, […]
How to Prepare for a Deposition in a Texas Personal Injury CaseOct 24, 2022
If you’ve suffered a personal injury that wasn’t your fault and you need to file a civil lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve, sooner or later you will likely have to provide your personal testimony in a deposition. Although depositions are not given before a judge, the things that you say will be considered […]
Can You Get a Concussion Without Hitting Your Head?Sep 21, 2022
Concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injuries, are far more common than most people realize. Most estimates figure at least 3 million new cases occur in the United States each year, with falls, sports accidents, and car crashes commonly responsible. But because so many people with mild traumatic brain injury delay or skip medical […]
U-Turn Laws in Texas: Who’s at Fault After a Crash?Aug 24, 2022
There’s a lot of confusion about Texas’ U-turn laws. While U-turns are generally legal in Texas and a convenient way to quickly change direction, they’re also known for leading to numerous car accidents. If you’ve been involved in a U-turn accident, it might not be immediately clear who is at fault. First, although the driver […]
11 Things You Need to Know About a Bicycle Accident Insurance Claim in San AntonioJul 23, 2022
Cycling is a great way to get some fresh air, exercise, and save on gas money. So it’s no surprise that bike commuting is increasing in popularity. But even with dedicated bike lanes and increased awareness of cyclists, motor vehicle accidents are still a serious concern. While San Antonio has made great strides in becoming […]
5 Reasons You Should Always Talk to a Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer After a CrashJul 21, 2022
After a traffic accident, you have a lot to think about and plenty of decisions to make. One of them is whether you’ll work with a commercial vehicle accident lawyer to demand compensation for your losses. You should always talk to an attorney if you’ve been hurt in a car or truck accident. No matter […]
What Causes Texas Oil Truck Accidents (and What to Do If You’re Injured)Jul 13, 2022
In Texas, the oil and gas industry is big business. More than 400,000 Texans are directly employed within the industry, helping to produce, transport, and refine more than 1.5 billion barrels of crude oil per year. The sheer amount of oil tankers we have on the ground virtually guarantees that at least a few serious […]
Considering a New Braunfels Car Accident Lawyer? Here’s What You Need to KnowJul 07, 2022
New Braunfels, TX has come a long way in just a few decades. Comal County remains one of the fastest growing in the country, and new developments continue to be built throughout the region. One negative consequence of all this growth? An increase in car accidents. There were 2,715 recorded crashes in the county in […]
How Much Is a Good Settlement for Nerve Damage After a Car Accident?May 27, 2022
Nerve damage is common after auto accidents. Nerves are sensitive, fragile tissues that can easily be pinched, compressed, crushed, or even severed in a serious accident—potentially leading to serious and lifelong physical and emotional distress. Unfortunately, pinched nerves and other injuries are not always immediately apparent following a crash, which can prevent car accident victims […]
Do you or a family member
need legal advice?
Crosley Law Firm, PC is a professional corporation of trial lawyers focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injuries or wrongful death. If you’ve been injured, fill out the form for a free consultation, or call 210-LAW-3000.