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wearable technology

Can Wearable Technology Help Your Personal Injury Claim?

In 2016 innovative wearable technology is moving at an accelerated rate. We consume information and organize our lives with the devices we hold and wear. Members of the public know that our smart devices can perform some impressive functions! But do we know exactly ‘how’ smart they really are and the advanced capabilities they have?

Wearable technology has comfortably found its way into our lives whether you’re the owner of a new Apple Watch or a Motorola 360. The immense capabilities of these devices could help you greatly if anything serious were to ever happen to you.

In the world of personal injury law wearable tech may become a pivotal element in bringing justice to those who have become victims. If you have been in an accident wearing your smartwatch may just help with validating your claim.

With the popularity of wearable technology growing rapidly year on year, our movements are constantly being digitally recorded, all though some of us may not feel too comfortable about that these recordings can play a big part in identifying the culprit at fault in the event of a personal injury.

Not Just for Tracking Calories

We all know that Smartwatches have been huge for helping us lose weight by tracking our steps and the calories we burn, however what’s going on under the hood is far more valuable than it appears, when you make a personal injury claim data recorded by your smartwatch can easily now spark the interest of your insurance company as well as doctors, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, to help determine the extent of your injuries and move the progress of your claim forward.

For instance, if you followed an exercise regime before suffering a personal injury your smartwatch will have previously recorded data of your day to day routine. If the consistency of this data falls below your average the state of your health before and after your accident can be determined and used as evidence.

Continuing to use your smartwatch after your accident can show the deterioration in your health such as reduced mobility and disruption in your sleeping patterns. With this data therapists can provide a much more precise report detailing your physical state which will strengthen your position in your court case.

It has been reported that during a personal injury case in Canada data from popular fitness device, Fitbit, was used to prove reduced mobility of a claimant who was previously a fitness instructor. The evidence collected from the device gave clear insight into the effects that the accident had on the claimant’s health, as standard procedure requires a statement from the claimant and a report from the medical expert. The two went hand in hand and equally supported one another in determining the final outcome of the case. The data was later analysed by Canadian software company Vivametrica by taking the data from the activity log of the Fitbit and comparing it with averages in the claimant’s age group and profession, the data was later used in court to prove the severity of the injuries caused.

Possible Issues

As exciting as the probability is for the use of this technology in personal injury cases some possible issues have been brought forward regarding misusing the technology. Government officials have raised concerns regarding the possibilities of data being skewed, for instance if the claimant were to take off their device and give it to a friend or relative to wear whose physical state was the not the same as the claimants after their accident. This could cause issues in court and result in the claimant receiving compensation they do not deserve. If this occurred the claimant would be fraudulent and would be struck out. The claimant would be in contempt of court and face the possibility of a term of imprisonment.

Privacy will of course cause issues in the eyes of the public as the individual’s biometric data will have to be accessed, while the popularity of wearable technology is rising it certainly acts as no surprise to us that insurance companies want this kind of data to be accessible to them.

Final Thoughts

So can wearable tech help you win your personal injury claim?

At this stage the answer can only be stated as yes and no. The data your smartwatch records is certainly innovative and can help with progressing your personal injury claim and place the odds of receiving the compensation you deserve more in your favor, but there is certainly still a level of skepticism.

About Paul Morrison

Paul Morrison
Paul Morrison is head of the Personal Injury and Medical Negligence departments at Tollers. He spent four years in the Court Service before entering private practice in 1987. He is responsible for numerous teams of lawyers acting for Claimants in pursuing claims for compensation as a result of accidents, medical negligence, neglect, abuse and occupational disease.

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