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Can Your Fitbit Help You Get Compensation for Personal Injuries?

Fitbit and other similar personal fitness tracking devices help you stay in shape and keep track of important vital statistics. Can they also help you win a personal injury lawsuit? Recent examples of Fitbit device information being used in court suggests that in the future the data recorded by these devices will play an increasingly important role in the courtroom.

The First “Fitbit” Case?

In what may be one of the first cases involving data from a Fitbit device, lawyers for an injured woman are hoping the data from her device can help them establish that she is less active than she was prior to her injury. The woman was a personal trainer before suffering a personal injury incident. Four years later, her lawyers are wanting to establish that but for the injury she suffered she would have led a much more active lifestyle. Using the data from the woman’s Fitbit (which did not exist at the time she was injured but which she has since obtained), her lawyers are using computer program to construct a “profile” of how active she is over the course of several months. Her lawyers hope that the data will support the woman’s claim that her injury has decreased her ability to be active.

How Can a Fitbit Help Me?

If you regularly wear your Fitbit device, it may be able to provide you with helpful information in the event that you are injured in a personal injury accident. (Of course, to be of any real benefit, you would need to routinely wear your Fitbit.) As these devices remain on the market for several more years to come, the amount of data they can store as well as its accuracy will only improve. A Fitbit or similar exercise tracking device can help you:

  • Prove where you were when you were injured: If a defendant disputes your precise location when you suffered your injuries, a Fitbit or similar device equipped with a global positioning system (GPS) tracker or similar location-determining ability can help definitely show where you were in the moments before the accident. For example, suppose an accident occurs at 10:35 a.m. at a particular intersection, but the defendant claims you were not there. Data from your Fitbit may prove otherwise.
  • Prove the limitations of your activities: Similar to the manner in which a Fitbit is being used by the woman in the story described above, your Fitbit data can paint a picture for a judge or jury of how your life has changed following a personal injury incident. If you were used to running five miles every other day and your Fitbit shows you can now only walk about a mile every other day, this may be the evidence the judge or jury needs to hear in order to award you full compensation. (Note that this ability can also work against you: if you claim you are limited in your physical activity but your Fitbit data presents a different picture, you may find that your ability to recover compensation is reduced or eliminated altogether.)
  • Prove your health before your injury: In a similar vein, a Fitbit can help establish and prove your health prior to an accident. If, for instance, the defendant claims you were never able to run five miles every other day but your Fitbit shows you did run five miles routinely, this can help encourage a defendant to settle your case quickly or risk having an adverse judgment entered against him or her at trial.

Limitations on Fitbit Data in Court

The Fitbit and similar devices consist of new technology (at least “new” from a judicial perspective). Courts will likely be slow to accept evidence and data from Fitbit devices. Some of their concerns might be:

  • How does the device collect data?
  • Is the data collected stored at a secure location? Can anyone edit or manipulate the data without the user or someone else knowing?
  • Does anyone monitor or verify the Fitbit data?
  • How do you effectively cross-examine a Fitbit?

It is likely that expert witnesses will need to testify in several cases and address these concerns with worried courts before fitness trackers in injury cases are widely accepted.

Proving Your Personal Injury Case Takes Legal Guidance and Advice

Until Fitbits and similar devices are regularly referenced in court, personal injury victims should anticipate having to prove their lawsuits using eyewitness testimony, other evidence like photographs and diagrams, and expert witnesses (if necessary). At Ladah Law Firm, PLLC, we can assist you in locating and securing important evidence and we will develop a trial strategy designed to get you the most compensation possible. Contact us at (702) 252-0055 and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with us.

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Ladah Law Firm, PLLC

517 S. 3rd Street
Las Vegas, NV 89101

(702) 252-0055