Devices and smartphone apps that measure health information such as heart rate or sleep cycles could find their way to the courtroom. The data generated by a wearable fitness device reveals a lot of information about activity levels and other health information. Courts are beginning to use this information as evidence.
Like social media posts or mobile phone location data, wearable devices produce information that could be used to either support or call in to question an argument in a court case. For example, in a recent personal injury case in Canada, lawyers used a personal trainer’s Fitbit data to show she had reduced mobility after an accident. Such evidence could also be potentially harmful to someone in a personal injury case, since defense attorneys might argue fitness data shows the person is less impaired by an injury than they have said.
Of course, there are questions as to the reliability of the data. Not every motion recorded by a motion sensor is going to be strenuous exercise, and like any electronic device, people may forget to charge them. Interestingly, other devices, like the Apple Watch heart rate monitor, have been thought to malfunction due to tattoos. Apparently, the dark ink used on some wrist tattoos affect the accuracy of the heart rate monitoring, yielding faulty results.
Your use of a wearable device may have unintended consequences if you are ever in a personal injury case. Like Facebook posts, a fitness tracker may reveal information that could harm your claim. Since the sensors reveal large amounts of data about movement and health, you should weigh the consequences of using one.
For more information or to discuss a personal injury claim, call the experienced personal injury lawyers in Philadelphia at Galfand Berger LLP. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Reading, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and we serve clients throughout the Harrisburg and Allentown regions, as well as in South Jersey. Call us today at 1-800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form for a consultation with one of our skilled Philadelphia personal injury lawyers.