What is Collision Investigation?

Lorry Collision Investigation

What a collision investigation aims to find

... and how/why it matters for Claimants and Defendants

In essence, Collision Investigation is analysing the science of a car crash. The role of the Expert is to assist the Court with matters outside of their own understanding.

Critically, an Expert must be truly independent and impartial. Their duty is exclusively to the Court and not to those that instruct them. It may well be the case that the Expert identifies a number of areas that are less than favourable to the case of those that are instructing them, however in such circumstances it is essential that such weaknesses are highlighted to allow the relevant party the opportunity to assess their position based on the facts.

There are a number of questions that a Collision Investigation will typically aim to answer. Some of these are as follows:

  • Approach speed of the parties involved
  • Impact Speed
  • Response times of driver’s involved
  • The mechanical condition of the vehicle(s)
  • Any environmental factor (road or otherwise) that could have caused or contributed to the collision
  • The approach speed that would have made the collision avoidable

It should not be the job of the Collision Investigator to test the veracity of witnesses to a collision, it may be the logical projection of the scientific analysis, but witness evidence is a matter for the Court and not the Expert.

It is important to note that it isn't the job of a Collision Investigator, or any Expert for that matter, to provide any kind of legal advice – it is their role solely to deal with the scientific facts of the collision.

It is essential to the function of legal system that decisions are made based on the facts and not assumptions. It is therefore of great benefit to both the Claimant and Defendants alike that that the facts are established via a Collision Investigation and these facts are clearly communicated.

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