Part 1 of the Evidence Considerations Series
Evidence is the key to prevailing in arbitration. As a front-line claims handler, you have the greatest opportunity to investigate and gather persuasive evidence should your claim later be brought into a subrogation or arbitration situation. With that in mind, AF has created a series of articles with tips and suggestions to help you focus your investigation on important elements that may prove to be essential in building a compelling case of liability and/or damages. This month’s article focuses on scene photographs.
As the saying goes, “A picture is sometimes worth a thousand words.” Good, quality scene photographs are beneficial in any case and may be considered to be superior to aerial photos (i.e., Google maps, etc.). Satellite photos are not always current and may not depict the intersection as it was on the date of the accident. Although aerial photos are certainly better than not submitting any evidence, a ground-level scene photo will usually provide a better perspective of the width of the lanes, as well as other details such as traffic control devices, bike lanes, center median lanes, cement barriers, lane marking, etc.
To maximize the impact of scene photographs, consider labeling the location of each vehicle prior to, during, and possibly after the collision. In addition, scene diagrams drawn from the perspective of the insured/driver will reinforce the verbal description of the scene and confirm information such as directions of travel and number of lanes.
In next month’s issue of E-Bulletin, we will discuss detailed statements as evidence.
Article published in: September 2017 E-Bulletin