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Colvin, Saenz, Rodriguez & Kennamer LLP Brownsville Insurance & Corporate Attorney

How to Use a Plaintiff’s FitBit to Bolster Your Defense to a Civil Claim

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You’ve probably seen people wearing mobile devices on their wrists, biceps, and other areas. These devices are known as “wearables” and they are gaining in popularity. In fact,  it has been reported that approximately 1-in-6 consumers in the U.S. have a wearable device like a Fitbit, Apple Watch, and so forth.

The concept of wearables has been around for decades. For example, the first Bluetooth headset was made available to consumers in 2000. In 2004, GoPro went to market. Analysts expect the wearable market to increase from an estimate of 325 million in 2016 to over 830 million in 2020, according to statista.com. 

How Wearables Can Provide Important Evidence in a Civil Lawsuit

Wearables have exploded in popularity as fitness devices. People wear FitBit devices and other devices to track their steps, heart rate, calories burned, etc. What people may not realize is that this data can also be used as evidence in a lawsuit.

For example, let’s say an auto accident occurred and the plaintiff is claiming that their bodily injuries are so serious that they are no longer able to perform physical activities or return to work. If it turns out that the plaintiff has a Fitbit account or similar application, you can request the data from that device. If the data shows that the plaintiff’s activity levels have not changed greatly from before to the accident to present day, it can weaken the credibility of the plaintiff’s claims.

How To Obtain FitBit Data

Your Brownsville civil defense lawyer can request this data through a request for production of documents and interrogatories. Your lawyer can also ask about the FitBit during a deposition of the plaintiff. 

How to Get FitBit Data Introduced as Evidence at Trial

In order to get the FitBit data admitted at trial, your lawyer will need to take the necessary steps to authenticate the veracity of the data. This is extremely important because some plaintiffs may object to the introduction of this data as evidence because it is unreliable.

The Texas Rules of Evidence, specifically rule 901, govern the authentication of wearable device data. To satisfy the requirements of Rule 901, your lawyer should retain the services of an expert to analyze the data in order to present evidence sufficient to substantiate the veracity of the data.

There are data retrieval specialists available who can help ensure the data is thoroughly reviewed, including the meta data, and validated.

Speak to a Brownsville Civil Defense Attorney Today

As you can see, wearable devices may present an opportunity to challenge certain aspects of a plaintiff’s bodily injury claims. This is why you should retain the services of skilled and experienced civil defense attorneys who are prepared both to collect and present this evidence in court. Contact the Brownsville defense law firm of Colvin, Saenz, Rodriguez & Kennamer L.L.P. today. Our team of attorneys are experienced civil defense advocates. Contact our office by phone or e-mail to schedule a meeting.

Resource:

statista.com/topics/1556/wearable-technology/

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