Activity monitor bands such as Fitbit and Jawbone can do a lot of things for you. They can count how many steps you take, kilometres you travel, calculate the calories you burn, and even collect data about your sleep patterns. It seems as though these wearable gadgets might even be able to help you prove your case. A law firm in Canada is working on the first known personal injury case that plans to use data from such a device to demonstrate the effects of an accident on their client.
Negligence involves doing (or sometimes even not doing) something that a reasonable person would or would not do in a certain situation, and damage, injury or loss occurs to someone else as a result. Negligence cases resulting in personal injury have long been prime targets for manipulation and conjecture. Until recently, however, lawyers have need to rely upon experts to give their opinion to prove their case. However, McLeod Law in Calgary, Canada is working on the first known personal injury case that will use activity data obtained from their client’s wearable gadget (a Fitbit) to demonstrate the effects of an accident on their client.
By taking the Fitbit’s data and running it through analytics platform Vivametrica (which uses public research to compare a person’s activity data with that of the general population), the data will back up the client’s case.
‘We’re expecting the results to show that her activity level is less and compromised as a result of her injury.’ says Simon Muller from McLeod Law.
Cases like this could open the door to this sort of data being used not just in personal injury claims but in other areas of law, such as assessing fraudulent insurance claims.
This sort of data is just another example of how technology can be a source of potentially relevant material that can be used in litigation.