When a company finds itself in the middle of a lawsuit, or even in a situation that is potentially litigious, it can end up in a situation where it has little or no substantial evidence to back up its claims. When it comes down to your word against a claimant, the benefit of the doubt might go to the claimant, costing your business thousands, or even millions, of dollars in settlements and legal fees.
Avoid unjustified settlements
Unfortunately, company trucks are often seen as an easy target for people looking to make dishonest gain.
“Some people see the name of a big company on the side of a truck, and they see an opportunity to make money,” says Tim Taylor, Chief Client Success Officer at Telogis. “They falsely claim that a truck or crew did damage to their property, and in the past it was a he-said, she-said situation. Now it’s possible to just go back through the travel logs and show that the truck wasn’t there, or never made a stop, or wasn’t speeding … saving companies thousands of dollars in false claims and litigation.”
Aside from false claims for supposed damage done by a company, there have also been cases of employees (past or present) making claims for unpaid wages where work has apparently been done but not paid for.
Other claims may come from larger organizations or government departments, as in the case of the 2007 Californian brush fires that destroyed more than 1,500 homes. Reviewing historical GPS data can give a company the evidence it needs to prove that regular maintenance had been undertaken, thus avoiding unfair litigation that results in expensive settlements.
If your driver causes an accident, who’s liable?
What if one of your drivers is involved in an accident, one that was caused by dangerous driving or speeding? Maybe they hit a pedestrian or caused significant property damage. What would determine if you as an employer could be held liable? The law of frolic and detour may apply, for example, if they were taking unauthorized time off work to go to the movies and caused the accident on the way.
GPS tracking could verify that a vehicle was outside of a specific area at a given time, thus absolving the employer of legal liability.
Save money on processing claims
But it’s not just the ability of historical GPS tracking to defend false claims that makes it a great investment for fleets. These tracking solutions can also speed up claim processing times and cut down on administrative costs.
Without an accurate GPS record of worker and vehicle activity, including times, locations and activities, time-consuming witness interviews may need to be undertaken. The problem is compounded when there has been a significant time lapse since the alleged incident and the claim, resulting in foggy memories and forgotten details.
GPS solutions keep a clear record of who was where and when, and what they did, resulting in expeditious claims processing, regardless of the time lapse between the incident and the claim (electronic records are generally stored for up to two years, however this can be extended or paper reports can be archived if necessary). It means the investigations team can quickly verify an account from a customer, driver or eyewitness.
A verified company history can help
GPS tracking can help fleets develop a verifiable record of responsible and safe work, which can also help when claims are made against a company. When it can be clearly shown that a company promotes, encourages and practices safe driving, it is more likely to successfully defend itself against a doubtful claim.
Key driving metrics (such as a clean driving record) can easily be tracked and reported, which can work in favor of supporting a driver’s account.
Fewer claims equal lower premiums
It’s not just stressful for the company and the drivers involved when false claims are made; it can also be expensive due to wrongful settlements and insurance costs. By keeping a clear record of your fleet activity you can keep your premiums down and minimize unnecessary claims.
Better for you, better for your drivers
GPS tracking is not about acting like “Big Brother” and looking over the shoulder of your drivers.
It’s about keeping an independent record of your fleet’s activities, and defending drivers that might be targeted with fraudulent claims or accusations of misconduct.
Don’t wait until you are fighting an unjust claim before you think about implementing GPS tracking.
Switch on to Telogis GPS fleet tracking and be fully prepared to effectively defend your fleet against expensive lawsuits.