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All too often, insureds are denied on their auto theft claims because of junk science. There are no facts other than speculation by the forensic locksmith masqueraded as fact.
Insurance companies use these independent services because they appear to be valid. At least until some poking around is done by an opposing expert and the truth is exposed. Here you have some “Forensic” (No one even questions the validity of this title) locksmith expert that takes a guess forcing the insured’s claim to be investigated. The forensic locksmith doesn’t care if he is accusing the insured of fraud. The forensic locksmith collects his money and goes on to the next target! For those not aware, most carry $2,000,0000 worth of errors and omissions insurance generally required by the carrier. Lawyers have been hesitant to sue them because it diminishes the claim against the carrier. I say sue them both. The forensic locksmith is an obvious fraud and that can b easily proven. The carrier is conspiring with the forensic locksmith for the purpose of not compensating the insured for the claim. Hmmm…. Wonder if te carrier and their expert can say the catch phrase RICO (You know, racketeering and Corruption). I am not a lawyer, but this might be an interesting route to check into.
Plaintiff and criminal defense attorneys, when you have auto theft denial cases, you are being played because of your ignorance on the subject of last key used. Judges, these so called experts are making a mockery of your courtroom in my view.
Of course this all sounds like I am real good at accusing the insurance auto theft experts of fraud with only my opinion. Wrong! I have fact! Key of the proper type is a fraud in itself and does not mean the insured’s key was used last. The only reason it is believed to determine the insured’s key was used last is because you actually believe science was involved to reach this conclusion. It is all a big lie!!!!!
If you have a case in which the insured is being accused of having the last key used in an auto theft, you need to contact me immediately! 1-866-490-1673 or 1-903-513-7808 and ask for Rob! I am capable of shutting down 99% of these cases! 25 years court room experience! Insurance defense and these charlatans are scared to death of me and have tried since 2002 to put me out of business and I am still here with a vengeance!
If you need to write, my email is email@example.com
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Here is the root cause to these cases:
This is what stands in the way of insured’s being paid for their theft claims, and makes the difference between a clean record or conviction on auto theft claims/cases. This story has nothing to do with auto theft, but the junk science of forensics. The same junk science applied by insurance carrier vendors when determining the last key used in a reported stolen vehicle.
You may say “This sounds to complicated, stolen vehicles and forensics.” Do not fear!
I am here to tell you dealing with these claims/cases for over 25 years as an expert witness, I can assure you I have everything behind the claim/case down to a perfect science either serving as a consultant or an expert witness.
I have made these issues my mission in life, to have more knowledge than anyone on every aspect of these cases. I still do not know everything, but am constantly trying for that goal. I know in many cases what the opposing expert does not know from past performances. Unfortunately, they get free training from me when I call them out on their non-sense in these cases. The problem is they never seem to learn, or their past mistakes are brought to life.
Auto Theft Claim Denial Cases Are Very Common! The only problem from my experience nationwide over the years has been taking on a new client attorney who will say “This is the first case of this nature I have ever had.”
Of course these cases need you to perform your lawyerly skills, but they are different.
What makes them different? Unlike many cases out there they are built on a house of cards with a sand foundation in a wind storm!
The mechanics of these cases: These cases are built on the third party forensics the carrier contracted to examine the ignition, the keys and anti-theft system of a reported stolen vehicle. The purpose is for forensics to determine how the reported stolen vehicle was last driven before the theft. Commonly, it is asserted that the insured’s keys were used last implicating the insured with the theft. There by making it a fraudulent claim.
The carrier has great confidence in their forensic experts in this area, because uncontested, the insured or defendant loses.
After all, the courts are in awe of a Certified Forensic Locksmith or engineer title, which causes their credibility to soar! The main reason: Ignorance of everyone in the court on auto theft methodology and how forensics is supposed to interact! There is no comparison, so the expert’s methodology can’t be questioned as well as he conclusions.
Let’s throw a monkey wrench into this finely tuned process the carrier uses to control its costs by not paying the claim, or convicting the insured as well if the claim goes criminal.
I guide the client through every aspect of the claims investigation. These investigations for a manufactured motive can’t go forward without the forensic expert inferring the insured had the last key used. Without the report and conclusions, the investigation has no way to go forward.
Depending on the strategy of the attorney, we can take the expert out in deposition, or damage his credibility to the attorney’s specifications.
Personal attacks are not applied, however any previous reports by the expert can be compared to the case at hand for standardized examination methodology. Many of these experts nationwide, I have past depo and trial transcripts and reports.
Forensic locksmithing the way it has been applied over the last decade has not progressed, but digressed. These guys have gotten lazy. The only forensics applied is in the title they so willing us to impress the courts!
There is no one that has the training, background experience I do in auto theft and forensics!
Just a little about me:
I had a business that repaired theft recovered vehicles for 20 years. This means that while these experts were locksmithing, I was putting major puzzles together in the case of a full strip! Not only did I make keys and service locks, but serviced factory and after market security systems. In fact, I defeated the impossible to bypass transponder systems. Los Angeles “Greines v Ford.” In another LA case serving as an expert witness, I decimated the opposing expert in “McCoy v Progressive.”
In Fresno it was “Sidhu v Farmers.” Over 25 years serving as a consultant/expert witness, there are a large amount of cases our side prevailed on, not including all the cases we forced settlement without court intervention. I have about 20 published cases through Westlaw and other legal resources.
I authored the first 1,350 power point slide training course on auto theft and forensic examinations in 2001. The testing methodology was vetted by the FBI tool mark and firearms supervisor as well as the US Army Crime Lab in Georgia.
My first book I authored was in 1998 “Auto Theft-Let The Truth Be Known!” Even though it has been out of print for some time, sill listed on Amazon.
In essence, there is not a vehicle out there that I have not been able to illustrate to a jury as to how to steal without the insured’s keys! Better yet, in many cases forensics can not be ruled in or ruled out!
It gets worse for the opposition–Who have I recently worked for? A repossession company, where from the time the tow truck wheel lift touches a vehicle’s wheels, it can be as little as 30 seconds before the vehicle is mine!
Here is the part that can be approached in many ways:
Is your client looking for a quick settlement? That is entirely possible! I review the file and the forensic report on the vehicle and generate a report that you as the attorney can submit to the carrier and ask them if they really want to proceed forward? We never bluff!
Or, the case goes to deposition for the insurance personnel involved including their forensic expert. I supply the questions for the client attorney, and we eviscerate them!
Last but not least, I can be retained as a consultant/expert witness and make a fool out of the forensic expert illustrating to a jury, not only can the vehicle be stolen without the insured’s keys, but all the so-called forensics applied to the case was a scam. These ae not my opinions, but fact!
Low Cost Benefit: If I am serving as a consultant assisting the attorney, travel may not even be necessary! This is truly possible in cases for quick settlement without having to go through the court system.
I have had prosecutors very confident in their dealer expert call me and talk to me for a half hour and dismiss the case!
These auto theft insurance claim denials are based on the forensic expert they have. Take out the expert and there goes the case!
If you do not currently have an auto theft claim denial case, you may want to be proactive and attempt acquiring one or two. You may find these cases to be simple, but fun to do in which you as the plaintiff attorney control the outcome of the case with your consultant! Let your consultant do the work for you.
I am an expert on every level required on auto theft claim denial cases. I am also an expert on the experts. I know what they can and cannot prove. For years, their conclusions inferring the insured was involved have not been a fact, but a pure deception in my opinion by the use of semantics. These experts are not lying. They are just telling half truths. It works because no one in the court knows better, yet I have proved it time and time again for the past 25 years!
I also do failure analysis and crash analysis. Vehicle recalls like the GM ignition recall.
I had a fatality Chevrolet crash in which the air bags did not deploy. They did not deploy because of the GM ignition switch recall. Was the vehicle listed in the recall? No! I had to cross references the ignition lock and key design to find that it was in fact involved in the recall. I supplied a very extensive report including weather conditions, as well as using a like kind vehicle to test my theories. Everything matched what the on site crash investigator surmised over a year prior.
Insurance defense attorneys and prosecutors may feel left out here. Please don’t. I can assist you by reviewing your claim/case in order to head off any future liability issues by your forensic lock expert.
I work for anyone looking for the truth!
Copyright 2019. Rob Painter.
I am going to address some forensic fire evaluations I have been involved in. You should find them interesting because no matter how you slice it, the conclusions are beyond question.
There are structure fires, forest fires and car fires. No, a fire is not just a fire! Vehicle fires are by themselves.
Facts surrounding the fire: Fire self suppressed because it was covered with a heavy car cover (thick insulated blanket). Engine started and fuel filler door button accidently pushed. It is possible that because cover was on vehicle there was too much resistance in the filler door opening, but no matter what it illustrated a dangerous design issue. In the left rear quarter were two foam insulator bags wrapped in polyethylene (extremely flammable) plastic bags. All this designed on a poly carbon Corvette body. Fuel filler door made of steel. Wiring and opening actuator mounted directly above the insulator/ sound deadener bags.
The fire marshall that examined the fire could not reach a conclusion.
The origin of this fire was at the filler door area. Flames were venting from this area melting the 1/4 panel in the area.
Research on consumer complaints turned up complaints of filler door sticking and binding through auto service bulletins.
Service manual cited extreme warnings of heat or direct flame being anywhere near the foam bags.
Copyright 2019. Rob Painter. All rights reserved.
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Vehicle Security Consultant
Vehicle & Semi Collision Analysis
Air Bag Non-Deployment
GM Ignition Recall Consultant
I do not claim to be the ultimate source on auto theft and forensics however over the last two decades it appears I know so much more than the insurance experts I oppose in court. My court record reflects this.
In normal situations, the expert is only one small entity of the overall case and testifies on their expertise in regards to a specific subject.
Auto theft claim denial cases are an exception to the rule. These cases no matter how investigators and insurance defense lawyers spin it, are strictly based on the conclusions associated with the reported stolen vehicle and how it was last driven.
An investigator will state that a denial is not based on the conclusions of a forensic locksmith, and their purpose is only one tool in the investigators arsenal of investigative tools.
Now for the truth: Financial motive and other items related to the case for denial are just add-ons after the fact. Had the insurance compensated expert not accused the policy holder of being in possession of the last key used, there would be no investigation and no denial!
These cases center around the insurance expert’s conclusions. Successfully refuting the expert causes the investigation house of cards to come crashing down, as has been proven for over 20 years in the nation’s courts!
In the event the insured or defendant does not have their own consultant to represent them, chances of prevailing are very slim.
The judge or the jury is going to listen to that insurance expert who commonly titles himself with the term “forensic.”
After all, many are so fascinated by the forensic TV shows, they equate the forensic locksmith of performing specialized technical services to reach their conclusions. Although there are truly specialized procedures that can be applied so the examination methodology can be replicated in automotive forensics, none of these procedures are applied by the insurance experts in this field.
I have found that these facts are impossible to point out to insurance investigators, because they commonly have a friendship bond with these experts. Any question as to their methodology or conclusions is looked on as a personal attack towards the investigator’s friend, or it is just one competitor speaking bad about the other.
My experience with these investigators is that many are extremely smart and thorough. They are only as good as the information they receive from their experts.
I support the SIU (Special Investigation Unit) completely. If not for their involvement, insurance fraud would be far more rampant and our rates would be much higher. The problem has been how to get investigators to listen and demand that the expert can factually support their conclusions. Where can they learn what to ask these experts so they don’t end up on the wrong side of a bad faith case? From me of course!
Currently, the forensic locksmiths and engineers servicing these claims are using ambiguous language in their reports, no standardized methodology and no technical knowledge or procedures are being performed. Evidence is being destroyed or not retained.
Investigators don’t ever think of this, but yes, even your claim can be denied. I have represented regional SIU managers that thought they would never have their car stolen. They never pictured being the ones under investigation until they were!
All because of incompetence on the part of the expert!
Auto theft investigation is the only field I am aware of, where the expert does not allow any opposing expert near the vehicle when he is performing destructive testing to an ignition lock. Treated as a secret, the experts who have a vested interest in the outcome of the claim can simply alter evidence by inserting a key into an ignition lock.
Science is not secret. If treated secretly, it is not science!
My knowledge does not end in auto theft matters, but this is my passion! So often the Certified Forensic Locksmith drafting a report as to how a reported stolen vehicle was last driven was inferred to be last driven with the insured’s key. Or was it? Was it the report was deliberately obfuscated to make the reader to believe this?
Investigators commonly run on a hunch based on already bad information. They are taught at free seminars put on by the experts that vehicles equipped with transponder based anti-theft systems can’t be driven without the use of the owner’s key. There by making the vehicle unstealable.
Auto makers make the same assertion. After all, they are not going to tell the public their security is outdated and can ne defeated by the time the vehicle is on the show floor!
Investigators believing this non-sense have already pre-judged the insured as submitting a fraud claim. Instead of being unbiased and open minded giving the insured the benefit of doubt, the investigator just needs to confirm they have a fraud claim. This, by using an outside source the Certified Forensic Locksmith or engineer.
Their rule of thumb is because the CFL has a business not associated with the carrier they are independent. However if the CFL does not find in favor for the carrier (their client) almost all the time, the carrier does not need their service and will find someone that will say what the carrier needs to investigate the claim further.
The CFL will no longer claim a specific key was last used. It used to be that one firm would identify the specific last key used. This process required work however. The ignition was removed, disassembled and the wafers (tumblers) were examined under a microscope comparing to the keys for identifiable tool marks. The microscope was capable of photography of the components under magnification.
Now, the ignition is rarely removed and disassembled. The only time we see photos of the wafers is when the ignition was apart by dropping to the driver’s floor as the ignition lock melted during a fire. At that time the wafers are recovered. What was very common in this situation was that microscopic photos were taken to wow the court. Of course judges and jurors had no idea what they were looking at in the exhibits, but it was impressive to see these tiny parts blown up in photos.
Here was the problem: the soot and the baked on crust was not cleaned from the wafer lands (where the key rides when inserted into the lock). In essence, unless one had x-ray vision, any markings from tampering, picking or the use of a newly cut key could not be observed. There was never a problem presenting a predetermined conclusion though where the lock was last rotated with a key of the proper type.
Some might call this scheme used as a valid investigation tool a fraud. I won’t, I leave it up to the reader. However, if it is a fraud, isn’t that interesting? Facilitating fraud in order to accuse the insured of fraud.
As stated before, I don’t feel this issue is on the investigator. They are using the company Protocol by hand picking these experts from a company vendor list.
It sounds legitimate that they use an outside independent forensic firm. The word indepent leading someone to believe they are impartial. Their quasi boss is the insurance company, so they are going to say whatever helps the investigator.
They let it be assumed they determined the last key used. Instead, they state the last key used was a key of the proper type. This phrase leaves open for any key, the insured’s first or second key, a duplicate key, a cloned key, a thief’s key. It doesn’t matter. They all fit under the statement key of the proper type.
Forensics is about eliminating hypotheses until one fits. The CFL doesn’t do this.
They make factual statements that they can’t support. Who can catch them? Virtually no one, but me!
So what are these conclusions based on in the testimony of a CFL on a reported stolen car?
Speculation, guess work and bull crap assuming they will never be exposed as the charlatans they are. They know lawyers and juries have no clue about what the CFL is talking about. The CFL knows with that bogus forensic title they espouse they will be believed. Unless of course I am present to rain on the parade!
One really needs to think on this one. Sending locksmiths out to examine vehicles that have no ignition locks. What qualifies them with electronic knowledge about these systems? Sure, many can program a key fob if they have the equipment, but after that they are lost! Any issues of bypass or error, they simply are not capable of determining how the vehicle was last driven. That is like sending a plumber to do an electrical rewiring job!
Yet, insurance investigators commonly have the keyless ignition vehicles reported stolen have them examined by Certified Forensic Locksmiths. We really need to question the conclusions on every keyless ignition that every CFL made!
In the CFL report it is commonly found manufacturer information giving the description an operation of the system. This is all design theory that is quite different from that which happens in the street. However, inserting this information in the report makes the reader to believe the system cannot be defeated by default.
One hypothesis is to interrogate the computer on a vehicle not involved in a fire of flood. (Can’t be performed on those vehicles). The purpose is to check for active error codes. Another valuable purpose, in most cases determines how many keys are programmed for the vehicle.
Is this operation commonly performed by CFLs and engineers? Almost never! What if a third programmed key shows up? Could that have been the thief’s key?
So how can a fair and impartial examination be performed on your vehicle? That is my point! It can’t!
As far as I am concerned, every denial involving a CFL or an engineer should be re-evaluated. Maybe it is a fraud claim and should be treated accordingly. What about the examinations terminally flawed? There are many!
Much of the information included on this site has never been addressed before except by myself. It is my intention to cause inquiry and interest in a field that can go multiple directions. If you are looking for a challenging exciting career opportunity, who else would you want to learn from as someone that has lived it for more than two decades?
There may be information as to how to steal cars. None of this information is secret unless you ask the insurance experts, who will state you stole your own vehicle for the insurance money!
Automotive forensics can be origin and cause of a vehicle fire, accident reconstruction, determining as to how a reported stolen vehicle was last driven, recall and more. It’s taking the assignment and using simple scientific principals and following the facts.
There is nothing like the feeling when you discover a case, where there is no other possible conclusion!
This is also known as the thrill of the chase! When any other forensic examiner can replicate your methodology and reach the same exact conclusion!
Fortunately, because there are so many charlatans and incompetence in the auto theft and forensic field, competent analysis is wide open when it comes to opposing the insurance experts.
Known as Certified Forensic Locksmiths and some engineers, screams incompetence at it’s best.
Clint Eastwood playing “Dirty Harry” said it best: “A man has to know his limitations!”
Evidently, these guys don’t.
I am going to list experts I have successfully opposed in courts and some I have not had the opportunity to yet.
I may highlight their reports and what is wrong them. Please remember, these are opposing experts and not competitors. I don’t know any of them personally. In fact, some I have never met.
The reason for this, is to show their short comings and how it is just going to get worse for their client carriers.
I am not a lawyers, but these cases they offer reports for, in my opinion scream bad faith!
These publications are not meant to embarrass anyone. Tjey deal with statements made they cannot support.
Yet, insurance carriers use them as a straw man to accuse the insured of fraudulent activity!
What the investigator will say to the insured: “We had an independent forensic firm examine the vehicle and they determined the vehicle was last driven with a key of the proper type.”
This statement is wrongly and deliberately translated to be one of the insured’s keys. After all, it is claimed forensics was applied. If so, which key of the proper type was last used? The insured’s every day use key? The second key seldomly used? A duplicate key? A cloned key? A thief’s key?
It wasn’t that long ago they removed the ignition, disassembled it and examined the components under an microscope. Of course, why go to all that work, when a jury or judge knows no better. Now examinations that took hours take minutes!
Different buttons will be for many different subjects.
If you like real life puzzle solving in search for the truth, there is nothing like automotive forensics!
Below is just one example as to how you can be criminally charged because in one case, the vehicle was not treated as a crime scene. No evidence was retained, and even though the insured told the investigator his car had remote start, the expert never attempted to confirm so equipped. The thief had found a functioning transponder key under the dash and drove the car off with that key! The expert accused the insured of having the last key used. Because of the expert’s incompetence he is being prosecuted!
If your car is stolen and it has an aftermarket remote start, the chances are high in California and the Northeast that you will be criminally charged with insurance fraud and filing a false police report at minimum. The forensic examiner inspecting the vehicle may not realize transponder was bypassed!
Many regions do not pursue these as the mentioned areas. If the vehicle is insured in Las Vegas for example, they simply do not have the time for this.
In Massachusetts there is a law enforcement arm known as the IFB (Insurance Fraud Bureau). They are well meaning and take their jobs seriously. From my experience in the numerous times of dealing with cases they create a serious issue because of their ignorance. There evidently is no care about something known as evidence. They support the purported forensic expert working for the insurance company determining as to how a reported stolen vehicle was last driven.
Evidence: They don’t retain the vehicle or any of the components that were used to render a conclusion. If this is a criminal case and I am no lawyer, but why isn’t the vehicle treated as a crime scene? From my experience, even in a house break in, it is treated as a crime scene. Evidence is gathered. Finger prints are taken as well as documentation stating where items were found and of course lots of photos.
Yet, in Massachusetts and California these appear to be insignificant details years later when the case is prosecuted!
Unfortunately, this puts the defendant at a great disadvantage, because even if they hire their own expert, he has no evidence to examine and can’t confirm or deny anything the insurance expert concluded.
If this was a truly scientific examination, it could be replicated by another expert.The examination can’t be replicated years later because every thing used to reach the conclusion no longer exists!
Yet, many times attorneys disregard these very important facts and it all hinges on the word of the forensic expert the judge qualified to render his expert opinion. Think this can’t happen to you? You are wrong. It can happen to anyone!
California, New Jersey are no better. I am very anti fraud and support insurance investigators 110%. Where I have a problem is with their forensic examiners where the term “forensic” is just a title to them and no reflection on their work product. The argument would be is I am just down-ramping competition. No, they are no competition as I prove in court! They are opposition experts that don’t appreciate me exposing them. Too bad!
Look, I don’t want to minimize the really big problem with insurance fraud. Most of the investigators I know nationwide in my opinion are true professionals and they are pretty good at spotting the bogus claims. They don’t just investigate auto thefts and they involved in it all. The problem I see and it isn’t their fault, but a person can only know so much. They are only as good as the information supplied to them. In the case of auto theft and forensics. I have found that if someone claims to be an expert at anything and they tell it to the right person at the insurance company, they are put on the vendor list. The insurance company makes no effort to confirm they are in fact an expert.
Of course the insurance company that gets upset when they lose a bad faith case.
Auto theft is my specialty, but I perform many different consults as it relates to vehicles and failed components.
Just give a call to 1-866-490-1673 or 1-903-513-7808.
You can write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Later I will also