United States Patent  [ii] Patent Number: 5,128,859
Carbone et al.  Date of Patent: Jul. 7,1992
 ELECTRONIC ACCIDENT ESTIMATING SYSTEM
 Inventors: Albert R. Carbone, 2300 Ward Ave.
#503, Ville St. Laurent, Quebec H4M 2V3; Filippo di Fusco, 3113 Bonneville, Longueuil, Quebec J4M 1K4; Dominic Carbone, 8033 Joliot Curie, Montreal, Quebec HIE 2T1, all of Canada
 Appl. No.: 618,166
 Filed: Not. 26,1990
 Foreign Application Priority Data
Sep. 12, 1990 [CA] Canada 2025201
 Int. CI.' G06F 15/21
 U.S. CI 364/401
 Field of Search 364/401, 413.13, 400
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
4,774,562 9/1988 Chen et al 358/13
4,833,625 5/1989 Fisher et al 364/518
4,845,636 7/1989 Walker 364/479
4,899,292 2/1990 Montagna et al 364/521
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
0145464 6/1987 Japan .
PTS New Product Announcements, Dialog Accession No. 0168486, Nov. 2, 1987, "Lasodyne Unveils Multi-User
Communications Week, Jun. 4, 1990, p. 28, "Color Fax's Future".
Primary Examiner—Dale M. Shaw
Assistant Examiner—David Huntley
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Chilton, Alix & Van Kirk
An electronic accident'estimating system has been produced by integrating commercially available electronic hardware with proprietary software developed expressly for the estimating system. Electronic images of accidented vehicles are taken by the bodyshop estimator. These images are then imported to a computer by using a color video digitizer. The images, once resident in the computer, provide the visual evidence substantiating the estimated accident damage. The bodyshop estimator fills in the accident estimate on the computer, highlighting areas on the various images as required. Once the estimate is completed, the estimate file is compressed in size and transmitted electronically to the insurance company. At the insurance company, an insurance estimator then decompresses the estimate file and begins to peruse the estimate. If further clarification is required, the insurance estimator can request more images to be taken and transmitted. Execution of repairs can also be easily audited by the insurance company by simply requesting that images be taken during the repairs at specific repair milestones (replacement of body panels, application of primer, etc.) and transmitted to their office. The system also provides on-line archiving of accident estimates.
15 Claims, 5 Drawing Sheets