As smartphone usage, capabilities, and technology continues to develop, smartphones and other “smart” devices like smartwatches and sports bands are increasingly playing an important role not only in our everyday lives but in personal injury claims as well.
Considering the amount and types of data that these devices can record, it is no surprise that both insurance companies and injury victims are turning to these devices to supplement, and at times contest, the evidentiary record during the personal injury claims process.
When it comes to your personal injury claim and how the data contained within your smart device can impact the strength or success of your claim, here is what you need to know:
What Information Can the Insurance Company Access on My Smartphone?
One of the most common questions our Mercer County, personal injury clients have of us during the personal injury process is what kind of access and information the insurance company has a right to regarding the data contained on their phone or other types of smart devices.
Unfortunately, there is no definite answer to this question, as the kinds of evidence the insurance company can request during the discovery process depend a great deal upon the relevance of this potential evidence to different areas of your particular case. For example, if you mention that you discussed your injuries or accident with a particular friend, the insurance company may be able to compel you to disclose all of your conversations with this friend, including messaging history on apps like WhatsApp, Line, and Google Hangouts.
Additionally, if there is a question as to your whereabouts at a given time or how your injuries have prevented you from performing certain actions such as routine exercise or traveling, for example, the insurance company can compel you to disclose the GPS record contained within any smart devices they believe you would have had on your person when performing any of these activities.
Smartphones and Your Mercer County Personal Injury Claim
The level of information that your smart devices can contain and the insurance company’s ability to access the information they feel is relevant to your personal injury matter all lead us to several important conclusions.
First and foremost, while honesty with both your attorney and the insurance company is essential during any personal injury claim because much of what you claim can be contested, or verified, using the information contained within your smart device makes it that much more important that you are completely truthful about what happened, how it happened. The affects your injuries have had on your life. Any exaggeration or embellishment you make, if discovered to be such through evidence collected on your smartphone or through any other means, may mean that you ultimately recover much less than you actually deserve, if you can make a recovery at all.
Secondly, smart devices can be a double-edged sword. In some cases, the information contained within these devices can help you, and your Mercer County personal injury attorney verify your location at the time of your accident. Maybe the information contained within the smart device of a witness to your accident can verify how the accident happened! Conversely, it may be the case that you accidentally left your phone at your friend’s house, and the insurance company using the GPS data contained within your phone may say that you were actually at your friend’s house rather than at the scene of the accident you are claiming caused your injuries.
Trenton Personal Injury Law Firm Helps Protect Your Smart Device Data and Maximize Your Recovery
The bottom line is that your smart devices, and the information they contain within them, are increasingly playing a more influential role in the success of any personal injury claim you may file for accidents such as car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and falls, construction accidents, premises liability claims, and more. This means that your personal injury attorney’s investigative work for you and their ability to present these findings to a court and insurance companies is becoming that much more important due to the increasing availability of information and the access to that information that smartphones and other smart devices are providing.
At Cohen & Riechelson, our attorneys have extensive experience successfully recovering full and fair compensation for the victims of the reckless or negligent actions of other parties in personal injury claims of all kinds in towns across New Jersey and Mercer County, including New Brunswick, Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and Lawrence.
Practicing law since 1972, our firm has the knowledge, experience, and commitment to attentive and effective service you and your family need to navigate the increasingly complex process of any personal injury claim and ultimately recover the financial compensation that your family needs and deserves.
To speak with our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your accident and resulting injuries, your options for recovering financial compensation for those injuries, or how the information contained within your smartphone may affect your personal injury claim, please contact us online, or through our Hamilton, NJ office at (609) 528-2596.