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Episode 9: Reduce False Accident Liability Claims – 6 Pieces of Evidence to Exonerate Your Drivers

September 24, 2021

If your business depends on mobile workers and fleets of vehicles to deliver your products and services, accident and damage claims are inevitable – even with the best safety program in place. And while studies show that in the overwhelming number of crashes involving a car and truck, the commercial driver is not at fault, they’re often blamed.

False accident liability claims harm your drivers’ records, they lower your CSA score and result in excessive legal and insurance payouts. In today’s episode, IntelliShift’s VP of Marketing,  John Carione, shares the 6 key pieces of evidence you need in order to build a case to exonerate your drivers – and your brand.

You can download a short ebook that captures this information at: info.intellishift.com/exoneration

 

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Podcast Episode Transcript

Hello, I’m John Carione, host of the ConnectedOps Visionaries podcast. Today I’ve got one of our shorter “connected insight” episodes for you. These special episodes are designed to deliver actionable insights and best practices that you can put to work in your business right now.

Today, I’ll share best practices to help you protect your drivers – and your business – from false accident liability claims. Because, let’s face it, while your branded vehicles are fantastic moving billboards to promote your business, they’re also easy blame targets in the event of an accident or property damage.

If your business depends on mobile workers and fleets of vehicles to deliver your products and services, even with the best safety program in place, accident and damage claims are inevitable. Studies show that in the overwhelming number of crashes involving a car and truck, the commercial driver is not at fault, yet they’re often blamed. These claims harm your drivers’ records, they lower your CSA score and result in excessive legal and insurance payouts.

It’s critical that you have the evidence to build a comprehensive case for exoneration when your driver is not at fault. This is evidence you can package up and hand off to authorities or insurance providers, when needed.

There are six key components to building an effective exoneration case:

First, download a timestamped video clip of the event

With a dual-facing cameras you gain visual context that shows exactly what was happening on the road and in the cab in the moments leading up to, during and after the incident. This video evidence can show, for example, if your driver was following all safe driving practices when they’re cut off by another distracted or aggressive driver.

Second, determine the event severity

When your vehicles are correctly calibrated by size and type, and you’ve setup event parameters and thresholds according to your safety metrics, you’ll have objective evidence showing the severity incidents like harsh braking and turning. Add AI-video capabilities and you can prove that you’re drivers weren’t distracted, following too close, drifting out of their lane, and other high-risk behaviors.

Third, run an asset location report

This report identifies the exact location of your vehicles at the time of the incident. It shows which, if any, of your drivers and vehicles could have been involved. It’s especially helpful in cases where you’re hit with a claim of property damage, since these often come in the form of after-the-fact complaints based largely on the fact that your vehicle was sighted in the vicinity.

Fourth, generate a route report

Context is king when it comes to total exoneration or accurately and fairly assigning liability in cases where your driver did contribute to the incident. A route report shows the exact movement of your vehicle in the moments – and minutes – leading up to the event. Validate the route traveled, vehicle speed and time of travel to build deeper context around the incident.

Fifth, include a driver scorecard report

While it’s not evidence tied to a specific event, when your best drivers are falsely accused of causing an accident or damage, you’ll want to include their scorecard report. A demonstrated history of safe driving practices can be a persuasive element to support your overall case. For example, in an event where another driver claims your vehicle was operating recklessly – a driver with an “A” scorecard grade with no history of speeding or other risky behaviors may add credibility to your case.

And finally, don’t forget your pre- and post-trip inspection photos

If you run digital inspection processes that require drivers and operators to capture live pre- and post-trip vehicle inspection photos, you’ve got built in evidence for your exoneration report. Photos can prove that your vehicle returned in the same condition it left – that no damage was incurred – visual proof that your vehicle couldn’t have been involved in the damage claim.

Get everything in place to build this comprehensive case for exoneration, and you’ll lower costs and preserve your reputation. If you weren’t able to capture all of this information, don’t worry. I’ve got a short eBook for you to download that outlines each of these best practices. You can go to: info.intellishift.com/exoneration to get your eBook. You’ll also find the download link in the show notes.

Have a great day!