The introduction of audio-visual techniques as investigatory tools has induced some progressive claims offices to adapt these methods to their operation plans. Audio recordings and cameras have opened up for the top-notch investigators new areas of activity to make the completed investigation more telling, accurate and permanent. Having a legal consult will be a big help for your case.
o Name of address
o Social Security Number
o Occupation and Wages
o Past Work History
o Time, Place, and manner of accident
o Immediate effects
o When first report made and to whom
o Nature and extent of injury
o Medical treatment received: names and addresses of every doctor; hospital, X-rays (if any).
o Present complaints.
o Past history: operations; accidents, periods of disability (if any) and compensation received (if any).
o Period of disability claimed
o Outside benefits received: health and accident policies; group insurance benefits; union benefits or fraternal society benefits
The Investigators should carry still cameras with them which can be used judiciously in organizing the results of their investigations. Movie cameras can be kept in the claim office and given to the trained investigator whenever the need arises. The films, from the still or movie camera, can be used by hearing representatives to great advantage in the trial of a claim in the event it is contravened.
Before going out on the case and before the claimant is interviewed, the investigator will acquaint himself with the nature of the claim as shown in the report of the employer or insurance broker or agent as well as with the extent of injury as shown in the medical report. If he has any questions he should discuss the issues with the personal injury attorney before he begins his investigation.
On the other hand, color photographs are often used by plaintiffs’ attorneys so that the injuries can be better seen, especially if there are contusions, skin tears, or black and blue marks.
In workmen’s compensation, where an investigator has used photography, the company defense may employ these photographs to disprove allegations being made by a claimant. For example, a claimant can allege that he moved a pail during which act he sprained his back. The claimant may describe the size of the pail, its width, length and weight. By the time he is finished he has created a word picture in which a pail has subtly assumed the dimensions of a barrel. Here, photographs showing the actual dimensions of the pail are convincing and persuasive.