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Telematics can act as witness


Telematics can be used to root out fraud in automobile-related workers compensation and other types of claims, experts say.

Some of the newer software allows companies to visualize crash data, determine fault or fraud, expedite claims, forecast bodily injury and even measure how driving may be affected by external conditions such as icy weather or damaged roads, said Leah Cooper, managing director of global consumer technology at Memphis, Tennessee-based Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc.

“The use of telematics, especially if you’re talking about crash visualization and the ability to make predictions based on point of impact, speed and whether or not bodily injury might have occurred, has also been a big factor in workers compensation,” Ms. Cooper said.

For instance, a company can receive data immediately after an accident occurs that can tell them the likely severity of an injury, allowing them to intervene and encourage drivers who say they didn’t feel they were badly injured to get checked out by medical professionals, or root out fraudulent instances where an employee is claiming a major injury for an accident that occurred at 5 miles per hour.

Telematics devices can also assist in an investigation of a loss by showing who was at fault for the accident and the force of the impact, which can help if there is a significant exaggeration of injuries and provide defense material for fraudulent workers compensation and third-party claims, said Steve Rodriguez of York Risk Services Group Inc. in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Although the thought of cameras in a truck cab may give some employees pause, the cameras can be witnesses to accidents, noted Paul O’Connor of RCM&D Inc.

“Commercial fleets have been targeted in some cases with fraudulent activity, and regulatory groups point a finger at them quickly,” Mr. O’Connor said. “These cameras can help exonerate the drivers.” 


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