Click on the service title to expand for a further explanation.
- For example, point out of necessary information such as general location of accident, final positions of vehicles or establishing witness positions.
- Detailed photograph of the scene:
This may include detailed digital photographs & digital video footage of either the general layout of the scene, specific evidence found at the scene, or specific views such as a driver’s view or a witnesses view, typical compiled for large screen digital presentation at trial in a power point presentation.
- Detailed plan of the scene or proportional sketch:
Diagrams are typically compiled so as to clearly depict the general layout of the scene, including such factors as any physical evidence found at the scene, or factors that may have influence the accident, as well as for use in further evaluation of the case. All diagrams are compiled in Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) programs and can be presented to any scale and size format.
- Measuring of all relevant information:
It may be required that general or detailed measurements of the scene need to be taken, such as widths of lanes, driver or pedestrian’s line of sight, verifying distances of objects, recording positions of various evidential factors such as tyre marks, scrape marks, gouge marks and debris amongst others, or simply to accurately depict the layout of the scene.
- Time / space related observations & measurements:
Specific observation and measuring of a driver, pedestrian or witness’s line and or distance of sight at a particular position prior to or at the time of collision may be required in order to evaluate various factors such as reaction times or simply weather they were actually able to see various factors at various positions.
- General observations:
It may be required that observations be made as to the effect of the environmental factors such as sun positioning or wet surfaces as well as physical factors, such as the possible effect of the Horizontal and Vertical alignment of the road surface on the collision. Vehicular, pedestrian and traffic light patterns or functioning may also require analysis among many other factors
Measurements or observations that may have been taken or made by the attending officer, witnesses or parties involved, typically represented in the attending officers statement and or diagram, witness statements and diagrams and insurance documentation respectively, may require evaluation at the scene through re-positioning.
Assessment of all documentation from the various services, departments, witnesses or parties involved, relating to the incident
Evaluating the possibility or accuracy of a version or factors that may be noted in the documentation during an inspection on location as is noted in points 1 & 2 above.
Interview of drivers, witnesses, personnel from the various departments and services, to establish or verify the versions of events and establish credibility as a witness
It may be required that a witness or party has not re-visited the scene and or has not been asked to detail the events or evidential factors relating to the matter that they may be aware of. As such meeting with them and document their evidence in a statement or affidavit or in diagrammatical form for evaluation may be essential. During this time the accuracy or credibility of the individual’s evidence can be evaluated.
Examination and evaluation of damages through the physical inspection of vehicles (where available) or video or photographic evidence:
Locating and attending at the vehicles related is very often crucial in the overall evaluation of the case, the physical evidence collect from such an inspection is critical in determining such factors as the Principal Direction Of Force (vehicle contact angles), occupant positioning and or movement and general vehicle condition. Inspection of the vehicles and recording of the evidential factors with detailed digital photography and or digital video footage is often required. Where required collection of specific parts for further analysis can be undertaken, or appointment of specialist examiners where necessary to conduct independent examinations on specific parts, to establish general condition or possible part failure, such as the examination of broke side shafts, bearings, steering components or suspension parts is considered and undertaken
The microscopic examination of bulbs (headlight / indicator / tail & brake lights) to establish the incandescent nature of the filament / bulb at the time of collision, thus establishing if brakes were applied, headlights or indicators were used. Presentation of this evidence vide digital microscopic photographs (where necessary and possible) as well as digital video footage for presentation.
Where possible, calculation or indications of the speed of a vehicle from braking marks, yaw marks or displacement of vehicles, time space calculations as well as acceleration and deceleration rates can be undertaken. Very often, the requirements of section 1 through 5 above need to be undertaken in order to obtain sufficient or accurate enough evidence on which such calculated evaluations can be based.
The analysis of tachograph charts or reports and the subsequent verification of the information established there from
It may be required that a Tachograph chart or report be evaluated so as to possibly establish such factors as vehicle speeds, time of impact, improper or erratic driving or driver actions leading to the scene. The tachograph or report may well be used to verify such factors as a driver or witness’s version of events or to establish such factors as vehicle load.
Research may be required into such factors as a vehicles Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM), tare, length, width, wheel base, track width, overhang, gear ratios, seat belt types and operational specifications, airbag and airbag system types and operational specifications, braking systems and specifications as well as many other factors. These can be research and supplied in required specification and detail.
Where it is not possible to undertake the specific requirements in house, arrangements are can be made for specific examinations or analysis of such items or factors as Paint scrapings (possibly to reveal if the paint is from a particular vehicle and or colour of paint), Metal stress or fatigue having caused failure (typically on wheel bearings or specific load parts) or blood and general tissue matching or typing.
As has been indicated in the various sections above all video footage, photographic and diagrammatic evidence (be it our own, or that of a third party) can be presented in large format digital display by the use of state of the art laptops, digital projectors, screens and monitors, including the supply and use of laser pointers and the like, in a wide range of formats and programs, for testimony purpose.
- Conversion of VHS to digital video footage is undertaken in house.
- Duplication or compilation of video footage, photographic and diagrammatic evidence in digital format onto CD/DVD is undertaken.
- Rental of Laptops, digital projectors, screens, monitors, laser pointers and or the service of setup and operation of this equipment for trial is offered.
Vehicle abuse is most common among fleet hired, rental and company supplied vehicles, typically resulting in unnecessary costs. Analysis of the vehicles clutch, tyres, suspension and general vehicle condition often reveals vehicle abuse and poor maintenance or driving habits. This type of assessment may be required where a vehicle has failed due to suspected vehicle abuse, such as a clutch failure from wheel spinning (dropping the clutch). Tyre flat spotting from harsh braking (wheel lockup) or from hand brake turns is a common abuse and can often be easily spotted.
Poor driving habits relate to human errors in general driving and are well documented as being among the leading causes or contributing factors in traffic collisions. Typically once a driver has obtained his or her drivers license they are not required to undergo any further evaluations, this often results in bad habits being formed over time and the driver not even being aware of these. Such habits can be issues of incorrect seating position, poor mechanical operation of the vehicle casing excessive vehicle wear and tear and lack of foresight or general observation. Assessments are undertaken in various forms, such as “ride along” and written critique, ride along and verbal critique, ride along and video camera recording followed by critique and by alternative vehicle “covert observation” type critique and assessment.
All further traffic accident investigations and related matters, such as traffic study counts and research are also undertaken
Where required, traffic counts and almost all types of statistical research projects can be undertaken.
Services for almost all forms of statistical and quantitative compilation, such as spreadsheet / Excel, MS word and Power Point Presentation (PPT) documentation can be compiled on behalf of a third party needing the assistance of such services. The users operate on state of the art computers and systems, and software, constantly maintained and upgraded.
Upon completion of any or all of the services required, a detailed and clearly presented report album is submitted, documenting all the evidence in both a technical and “lay mans” terms or as is required by the client
- Special requests such as reprints or colour copies of photographs and plans / diagrams or the entire album or CD will be met upon request.
- Please note, each case is assessed on its own merits, very often insufficient evidence or documentation is supplied to complete a full and accurate reconstruction and or cause analysis. As such an initial report, or follow up consultation, or conversation is held with the client, once the evidence / documentation has been perused to establish the extent of further work required.
It is often required that companies have fleet managers or staff that are required to attend at their fleet vehicle collisions and incidents. It may also be that a particular company has a large staff compliment and requires that they be aware of correct procedures and requirements when involved in a collision or that an individual does not know and understand these procedures and is seeking specific training there on. General training is therefore offered on the following basic subjects, however can be tailored to specific requirements:
- Collisions, understanding legal procedures and requirements from both a criminal and civil perspective
- My vehicle and I – Just what do I know
- Basic at scene management
- Understanding the evidence – collection of evidence
Where services are required in the investigation and reconstruction of an accident, It is kindly requested that all available documentary evidence be supplied so as to allow us to take into account all possible details. The following are the usual documents to be supplied where available:
- Police plan and keys (usually the at scene attending officer)
- Police photographs and keys (usually the at scene attending officer)
- Police vehicle examination / mechanical reports
(SAPS or appointed vehicle mechanical examiner)
- Police accident report
(AR or OAR – usually compiled by parties involved or at scene attending officer)
- Police statements from drivers or witnesses (usually taken by the case docket investigating officer where criminal cases are under investigation)
- Photographs depicting damages to vehicles (often obtained from the insurance company from their assessors report)
- Repair quotes for vehicles (often obtained from the insurance company or the assessors)
- Details of number of passengers, their approximate weights, their seated positions and what, if any, other luggage or goods were being transported in or on the vehicle.
- Any other photographs depicting the road where the collision occurred, if the road has been altered, aerial photograph from the local government survey offices (these may have been taken by client, the parties involved, witnesses or one of the services personal at the scene)
- Any photographs depicting and evidential road surface markings, such as brake marks, scrape marks, debris and oil marks etc. (these may have been taken by client, the parties involved, witnesses or one of the services personal at the scene)
- Any other scale plans or any diagrams that may have been compiled (these may have been compiled by
client, the parties involved, witnesses or one of the services personal at the scene)
- Copies of all witness statements or affidavits, insurance claim reports (in house claim forms where applicable) detailing how the event occurred. (such statements or affidavits may have been taken by client’s attorneys or insurance company)
- Tachograph and or report, or other tracking system reports or printouts.
- All medical records and reports of injuries and treatments, such as the “trip sheet” from the on scene medical staff and subsequent initial hospital medical records including X-rays of injuries where broken bones where incurred, especially for pedestrian / bicycle and motorcycle accidents.
- Any other documents or evidence deemed important or relevant.
Some clients that we have undertaken work for include:
- Mutual & Federal
- GAB Robins
- Avis rent a car
- State attorneys office
- Road Accident Fund
- Askew & ass. attorneys
- Askew Grindlay & Partners atorneys
- Dutoit Havemann & Llyod attorneys
- Friedman & ass. attorneys
- Berkowitz Cohen Wartski attorneys
- Audi Botha attorneys
- Jon Knight & ass. attorneys
- Shepstone & Wylie attorneys
- Larson Falconer attorneys
- Hassan Parsee & Poovalingam attorneys
- Livingstone Leandy attorneys
- Graham Wright & ass. attorneys
- P.A. Cartwright attorneys