Using Activity Tracker Information in Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
When you’ve been hurt on the job, you may find yourself in the position of needing to prove the extent of your disability to a Kentucky workers’ compensation judge. It can be challenging to show how much less active you’re capable of being now than before you were injured. However, with the boom in popularity of wearable activity trackers, a new resource exists that can provide a factfinder with evidence of the impact of your workplace injury on your daily life.
Wearable technology is a booming market. While these devices have become widely available only over the past few years, already 20% of all Americans say they own a wearable activity tracker. These devices, which include among them the Apple Watch, Fitbit, and Nike Fuelband, can measure a great deal of information about your daily movements and vital signs, including your heart rate, sleep patterns, number of steps taken, and an estimate of the number of calories you’ve burned. Some employers and health insurers have even begun incentivizing the wearing of these trackers by employees and insured individuals, in order to encourage exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
Using activity tracker information in a worker’s compensation case allows you to contrast and compare your activity levels to show how much they have changed. One example of how this data has been used is in the case of a former fitness instructor who was hurt on the job. While her original injury occurred years ago, before she made use of any wearable technology to track her movement, her attorney used testimonial evidence of the average amounts of activity of an individual who teaches aerobics, as well as the injured instructor’s testimony of her former activity levels, and compared this to the amount of activity recorded on the woman’s fitness tracker worn in more recent months.
Keep in mind that, if you do make use of an activity tracker, the defense may try to subpoena this information to present as support for their own claims at a hearing. Data from an activity tracker may not always provide an accurate representation of your injury, nor your ability to do your job. For example, if you’ve injured your back so that you can no longer lift the heavy loads you’d need to lift for your position, this might not keep you from participating in low-impact forms of exercise, which could present an inaccurate picture of your ability to work to a judge. However, a skilled workers’ compensation attorney will know how to explain this evidence to the factfinder and present a strong case for your entitlement to support while you recover from your workplace injury.
If you’ve been hurt on the job in Kentucky and want to ensure that you’re fully compensated for your injuries, contact the skilled and knowledgeable Georgetown workers’ compensation attorney Jeremy Mattox for a consultation on your case, at 502-867-6766.