WEARABLE TECH ON A COLLISION COURSE WITH PERSONAL INJURY LITIGATION

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With the Apple Watch release date just around corner, it is clear that the excitement, curiosity and growing popularity of wearable technology is bound to continue. This will also have a significant impact on the future of personal injury claims. So much of what we do is now recorded in digital form.

In today’s high tech world, the advent of wearable technology and the digitization of everything we touch, see and do leaves behind a trail of “digital handprints” and “digital fingerprints” to be tracked.

Wearable technology in the form of watches, armbands, shirts and jackets are already here. Whether it is measuring calories burned, weight gained, weight lost, distance ran, sleep duration or steps taken in a day to name a few. There also appears to be a paradigm shift in the healthcare sector moving towards the use of data and technology to better manage care of patients.

However, this information could very well end up in the hands of the insurance companies should you proceed to pursue an injury claim.

As it currently stands, information about your Facebook Account and other social media platforms are regularly scrutinized and often producible to insurance companies during the course of litigation. For example, information that may be relevant to an injury claim on a Facebook Account might include photographs of the claimant and/or status updates on that person’s page.

It is still too early to know how data obtained from wearable technology will be treated in litigation. However, the information about one’s movements and physical motions, speed, etc may offer a vital piece of information to prove whether or not someone is as impaired or injured as they claim.

Ultimately, the courts will have to balance the reasonable expectations of one’s privacy with the relevance and importance of the information to one’s claim. That being said, it is a matter of time before the courts begin ruling on the disclosure of electronic information from wearable technology.

Enjoy wearing your technology… but user beware.