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Posted On January 7, 2013 Personal Injury

The Future of Crash Evidence: Digital Imaging Technology and Car Accident Claims

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: guy gets into a car accident with another driver, police arrive on scene along with some emergency medical personnel, pictures of the scene happen, injuries receive treatment. As the week progresses, the insurance adjuster gets ahold of those accident photos and decides there’s no way their driver is responsible for the crash – in spite of a police report stating otherwise. The insurance company refuses to provide compensation based on their interpretation of the evidence. Those two-dimensional pictures, as it turns out, aren’t working as compelling evidence. The driver, injured through no fault of his own, may be facing a lengthy court battle to obtain the compensation he’s entitled to. Fortunately, new technology from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) could change all that.

Gadgets to Fight Insurance Companies

Investigators from the NTSB are using laser scanners at accident scenes to create three-dimensional images of crash sites. The scanner, mounted on a tripod, rotates a full 360 degrees to capture images, according to the NTSB’s blog. Investigators use multiple scans taken from the scene to produce a full recreation of the area. The technology also recreates skid marks from tires, damage to vehicles, and accurate positioning of objects.

Computer simulations based on the data collected by laser scanners can show investigators how a collision occurred, and ultimately, which driver may be responsible for causing it. The implications of such mockups are, in my mind, twofold:

  1. Compelling Crash Evidence: A picture isn’t worth as many words as a digital recreation of a crash with pinpoint accuracy. An insurance adjuster may be hard pressed to deny the liability of their driver when presented with a video of the accident that shows the accident occurring in real time right down to the tire burns and vehicle speeds.
  2. Smoother Claims Processing: An insurance company trying to deny liability for an accident claim in the face of such evidence is walking a dangerous line between fair claims handling and bad faith insurance. Placing the financial interests of the company over the rights of policyholders and injured victims to obtain compensation is illegal. Imagine an insurance company that denies a client’s claim only to have the uphill task of overcoming digitally-accurate images of the scene at trial? The argument for the plaintiff practically writes itself.

Preservation of Evidence is Still Key

Laser scanners aren’t available all across the country, so there’s no guarantee of having them available to collect evidence at every crash scene. Preserving evidence from the accident, including those old-fashioned two-dimensional photos, is still vital for an accident claim’s success. The road ahead for winning claims for injured clients looks a bit sunnier, and that can only benefit them in the long-term for resolving claims faster with settlement amounts that befit the damages they’ve sustained.

If you’ve been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, you may have rights to compensation for your injuries. Having a team of personal injury attorneys with experience in handling car crash claims working with you can maximize your chances to obtain the money damages you deserve and put your claim to rest in the shortest amount of time possible. Call us today for a free assessment of your accident and an explanation of your legal options.