Smartphones; a Double-Edged Sword in Personal Injury Claims

March 14, 2019

Smartphones; a Double-Edged Sword in Personal Injury ClaimsIn a survey released in January 2017, the Pew Research Center found that 95% of all Americans own a cellphone of some kind with 77% of those phones being smartphones, up from 35% only six years ago! This rapidly increasing usage and prevalence of smartphones has affected how we live our lives in countless ways, but one critical way that we will discuss today is how smartphones and other smart-devices can affect the outcome of personal injury cases.

On one hand, the chances of someone recording your car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, pedestrian accident, or any other kind of accident have improved significantly, and this kind of video documentation can often be of enormous help to your Monmouth County personal injury attorney in proving what happened to you, how it happened, and exactly how the parties who caused your accident and injuries were responsible.

On the other hand, however, insurance companies may also be able to compel the injury victim themselves to disclose information from their smartphones such as GPS location data and history, as well as messaging and communications they have had with others regarding their accident, injuries, and the subsequent impact they have had on their life.

If you or a loved one has been injured in any kind of accident as the result of the reckless or negligent actions of another party or parties, here is what you need to know about how cellphones, smartphones, tablets, etc, can affect the outcome of your personal injury claim.

Red Bank Accident and Injury Lawyers Discuss “Gathering Evidence and Witness Account after an Accident”

Depending on the nature of your accident, the police may or may not be involved. For motor-vehicle accidents like car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents, the police will almost certainly be present at the scene, which most likely means they will interview any bystanders who happened to witness the accident. These witnesses may have taken video recordings on their smartphones, and your Red Bank accident and injury lawyer can go through the police records of your accident and find witnesses who claim to have recordings of the accident which help you demonstrate the severity of your accident as well as the negligence of the responsible parties, both key elements of any personal injury case.

However, for things like slip and falls or injuries resulting from unsafe or poorly-maintained premises, the police may not be immediately called to the scene. It then falls upon the investigate work of your personal injury lawyer to request things like security tapes, traffic camera footage, and even to find witnesses to your accident which left the scene before they could be interviewed by the police.

If you have been injured in any kind of accident, chances are there is a video recording which substantiates your claim and the facts of your accident somewhere, and an experienced attorney will understand exactly where to look for this kind of evidence, and how to properly enter this evidence into the court record.

Middletown Personal Injury Attorneys and “Your Cell Phone Data and Your Personal Injury Claim”

So while cellphones and other smart-devices can often help the success of a personal injury claim, they can also greatly hinder the success of your claim if the insurance company can find any contradictions between what you say, and the data contained within your phone.

Current legal precedents are such that the insurance company can compel you to disclose information from your phone if they are able to prove to the court that said information may be relevant to your claim, and the facts that are being established. For example, if you state that you discussed how you felt after your accident with a friend via text message, chances are the insurance company will be able to compel you to disclose your message history with that friend as evidence. And, upon review of this evidence, if anything you are saying or have said is not in line with the conversation you had with your friend, it can severely damage the success of your personal injury claim.

Beyond messaging, there are also situations in which the GPS data contained within your phone may be relevant. For example, if there is some question of your whereabouts at a given time, the GPS record contained within your smartphone can either prove or disprove what you are claiming, and this relevance to your claim is what can cause it to be forcibly disclosed as evidence.

If at any point, the insurance company is able to find some discrepancy between what you have said to the courts, and what you said to your friends or what actually happened, chances are you will recover much less compensation than you truly deserve, if you can make a recovery at all. This all means that it is more important ever that you are completely truthful about your accident (what happened, your role in the events, etc) and your injuries (how severe are they exactly, and what affects have they had on your life) to not only your Middletown personal injury attorney, but to your friends, family, the courts, and the insurance company as well.

Contact Our Monmouth County Personal Injury Attorneys Today

At The Law Office of Chamlin, Rosin, Uliano & Walsh, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to successfully resolve personal injury and workers’ compensation claims of all kinds in towns across New Jersey and Monmouth County, including Red Bank, Freehold, Middletown, Ocean Township, Wall, Asbury Park, and West Long Branch.

Over the last 50 years of diligent and effective service to our clients, our firm has had to continually adapt to, and understand, the affects of rapidly changing technology in our society, and while cell phones and smartphones are the latest technology we have incorporated into our personal injury strategy, we don’t expect them to be the last.

To speak with our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding any kind of accident, your injuries, your options for recovering compensation, and how exactly our firm can help you and your family to do so, please contact us online, or through our West Long Branch, NJ offices at (732) 440-3950.