This article is a companion piece to this video featuring Rathbone Group’s Jason Sullivan and Mike Jacob of Veritas Engineering
Claim adjusters hold the critical role of gathering evidence and thoroughly documenting an investigation scene, especially to be able to pursue subrogation later on. Capturing an adequate amount of evidence does not have to require using a fine-toothed comb and spending hours gathering notes. What is needed is a plan to quickly, yet meticulously, document the scene entirely. A solid strategy is to start at one end of the room and capture the entire room every two steps with photographs until you approach where the failure occurred. Document the area where the failure occurred including any specific marks around the item thought to have caused the loss. Then take a second sweep and look for any odd marks or anything that may otherwise be evidence. This is essentially two minutes of effort well-spent because what will be valuable evidence to a subrogation expert may seem trivial to the adjuster.
Full Documentation Eliminates Alternative Cause Defenses
Capturing this evidence can be crucial to avoiding distracting or misleading counter-arguments later on. The goal is to accurately describe the who-what-when-where-why of the environment as best as possible. This will give the experts that study the evidence the highest chance at describing reality, and leaving little to imagination or further question. Being able to accurately describe and recreate the scene later on will help increase chances of success.