Posted – November 21, 2014
Will Fitbit, a wearable devise that tracks a person’s daily physical activity, be the next wave of evidence to hit courtrooms in personal injury cases? One law firm in Canada has taken the lead, and is hoping the technology will help its client win her case.
Fitbits, and other wearable devises like it, are worn by users and can track a multitude of data about their physical activity and even sleep habits. McLeod Law of Calagary, Canada believes that their client, who was injured four years ago, will be able to prove that she previously led an active lifestyle using the data collected by her Fitbit.
The firm’s plan is to have their client wear the Fitbit during an “assessment period,” after which the data will be sent to an analytics company, Vivametrica. Vivametrica will then compare her information to that of the general population. The firm hopes the data will show that their client, who was a personal trainer, has activity levels under a baseline for someone of her age and profession as a result of her injuries.
Traditionally, doctors observe injured plaintiffs for a relatively short period of time and then offer their professional opinion. The limited data doctors collect during such visits, combined with the fact that litigants will find doctors who will give them the opinion or diagnosis that works best for them, makes the case for Fitbit that much stronger. In theory, using information collected from Fitbit-like technology would remove this potential bias and offer some concrete evidence.
The idea comes with its own set of potential abuses, too. Clients could easily modify their daily activity to better position themselves for litigation. Additionally, insurance carriers could possibly require claimants to wear such devises and use the information against them. Although this raises potential constitutional issues, we believe it won’t be too long before we see American courts paving the way for Fitbit in the courtroom.