Will Your Fitbit Help or Hinder Your Injury Case?

By Peter DePaolis

Accident and Injury Attorneys Discussing Fitbit’s Influence on an Injury Case

Serving the Areas of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Fitness trackers have become increasingly popular over the past few years. One of the largest manufacturers of those personal fitness trackers is Fitbit. However, Samsung, iFit, and Apple all have their fitness tracker versions, as well.

These trackers are designed to help people stay in shape, remain active, and keep in touch with their fitness goals. However, they also have another significant use.

A few years ago, it was highlighted how fitness tracker data was being used as evidence in personal injury claims. In one case, it was used to prove that a woman was lying about an assault. In another, it was used in a personal injury claim to show that a woman’s activity levels had been dramatically reduced after her accident.

So, one might wonder if a Fitbit or other personal fitness tracker would be helpful or harmful to a case – since these two examples highlight one success and one failure.

The Reliability of Tracking Fitness and Activity Levels

Fitness trackers do show activity levels, including blood pressure, heart rate, travel distances, number of steps, and even the number of floors walked per day. This data could be used and then compared to previous data, potentially showing a drop in activity levels.

However, that same data could be used against you. The defense might use personal trackers to show that you have not dropped dramatically in activity levels, which could be used to disprove the severity of your injuries. Bottom line: Before assuming that your Fitbit will come to the rescue, you may want to consult with your attorney, pull the data, and see if there are red flags. While you cannot keep the evidence away from the other side, your attorney may need to explain certain spikes in activity during your recovery – such as activity during physical rehabilitative therapy, or walking to your doctor’s appointment from the parking lot.

The Addition of the Fitbit and Other Fitness Tracker Communities

Another important thing to consider is how most fitness trackers have communities. These are where you post your mood, activity, and other tidbits, as with social media sites. While you think you are sharing that information with family and friends, that information could be pulled from the community and used against you.

Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney First

Our law firm sees the potential positives and negatives to fitness devices. Furthermore, we know that sometimes these tools are not always 100 percent accurate. However, there is a risk that a Fitbit could harm your case; there is also a slight chance that it will help. It is best to sit down with an attorney, review the fitness tracker’s data, and consider how much information is there to prove that you have been injured (and that the injury actually impacted your life).

For questions about personal injury law evidence, contact an attorney at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP. We can review the factors of your case, the evidence, and see what other evidence could be helpful in proving that your injury is valid. Schedule a free case evaluation now at one of our three office locations in the D.C. region, or speak to us online.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.