A fitness tracker mobile app will change the whole justice system & the way victims defend in court. Yes, you’ve heard that well! First, let’s take it step by step to better understand it.
In a typical auto accident, in order for the injured party to claim the recovery charges for suffering, they need to show that they have experienced a ‘threshold injury’ such as death, serious or permanent disfigurement, or a major.
During hearing in a courtroom, the victim (plaintiff), or injured party is burdened with presenting the proof in order to substantiate their sufferings. The plaintiff’s injury lawyer relies on data such as medical records, eyewitnesses and medical testimony from physicians, relatives, families and coworkers to establish that the injuries affect the victim’s life and that they are now leading a different life. Attorneys of the injured party highlight the impact the injury has caused on the plaintiff’s life, for example: unable to continue his or her job or inability to perform physical activities or significant change in their quality of life. On the other hand, the defense attorneys (often an insurance company) try to minimize the impact of the injuries.
And here it comes the amazement! There is a new law that allows plaintiffs to present data of their ‘before and after’ activity levels through devices called fitness trackers.
Fitness trackers are wearable devices that a person can wear on his/ her wrist or other body parts (depending upon the make and design of the device). The device monitors the person’s daily activity levels that can be monitored via a compatible mobile app.
Recently, a Canadian law firm used activity data from a “Fitbit” tracker to establish the fact that the victim has suffered a major loss in her activity due to an automobile accident. The victim was a personal trainer and led an active lifestyle prior to the accident. Now the Fitbit tracker shows that her activity levels are below baseline from someone of her age and profession. Her lawyer said, “Clinical interpretation used to be the most important aspect. But now, with the help of fitness trackers, we’re analyzing longer periods of time through the course of the day to gather the required hard data. We want to ascertain the fact that her activity levels have reduced as a result of the injuries of the accident.”
Today, data from fitness trackers are being used for various purposes such as before and after comparisons. As the technology of these devices keep progressing, data from fitness trackers and wearable devices could witness application in all types of cases, triggering a real revolution in our justice system.
Author: Cameron Wyatt