When you appoint us in a matter, after the fact, there are a number of things you need to have in place. Information you need to provide to us. This information is not a random list of details designed to keep you busy and serving us, at all. In order for us to be effective and to save you time (and moneym of course) and to ensure that our reports are submitted promptly, we need to have everything ahead of time.
The following are the most important pieces of infromation we will typically require, in each appointment. Be very sure to provide as much of this as possible. Due to the nature of collisions and the management of evidence (infromation, trace evidence and vehicles), evidence can be lost quickly.
When it comes to litigation – which is what we assume will happen in every case we investigate, no matter how minor – information is one of the most powerful tools at your diposal. There is no easier way to be at an immediate disatvantage in court, than to arrive unprepared or when the other side has better information.
Please watch these videos or read the paragraphs. This will give you a very good understanding of the information we require, the ways in which you can get it and the reasons for why we request it. In the end – we are serving you, our customer. Let’s work together to ensure that our service is of benefit to you.
While we will make every effort to collect a copy of an Accident Report Form from the attending Police Unit or Station, we will not return to an area to do so, if the information and contact details of the station as well as the Accident Report or Case Number is not on record. Where Police Stations refuse to release the Accident Report, we will not pursue it any further and withdraw and ask the client to arrange for collection. In order to avoid delay, frustration and further costs, we would prefer for the client to make arrangements to collect an Accident Report.
Wherever a case is either so fresh or new that the Accident Report Form is not yet available or where it is not available at all, we would prefer to have the Date, Time, Location and Nature (short description) of the collision. In order for us to submit a proposal for an investigation or reconstruction to be submitted, we need to know at least when and where it occurred and what kinds of vehicles are involved. This helps us prepare a proposal, based on the kinds of vehicles involved. Keep in mind that all vehicles are not created equally. Motorcycles can take minutes to examine while commercial vehicles can take much longer to examine and even test, at times.
In order for us to proceed, we would prefer to receive the physical location (preferably in GPS Coordinates), for where the collision or incident occurred. In all serious, fatal or third-party liability matters, we need to visit the scene of the collision or incident. This places us in a position to consider everything from road design, speed limits, approach directions, driver views, available evidence or evidence still visible, etc.
In every matter involving vehicles, we prefer to personally examine each involved vehicle. While photographs and descriptions, quotations and assessments do offer value, our efforts include the mechanical examination and forensic photography of vehicle damages and condition. Our own examination and photography also eliminates the need for other witnesses to be called to court (where applicable) to verify photographs and eliminate the possibility of evidence being disallowed in court, due to them not being verified.
Where our request for information is handed over or managed by someone in the client’s employment, we would prefer to receive their contact details, to enable us to follow up on the information and to ensure that we receive it. We will, however, make only two attempts to secure information and then assume that it is no longer available or withheld by choice. In these cases, we will proceed with our final report and exclude the information not received.
We also require copies of all available evidence and, in matters heading for trial, all merits arguments, pieces and documents. Any additional information, reports, opinions, statements, recordings, photographs and/or other information – whether physical or digital – should ideally be supplied or at the very least listed in detail, to allow us to consider every possible aspect of the incident or collision.
Where possible and available, we prefer to receive Vehicle Telemetry (Tracking) Reports for at least the last 30 minutes of the trip, leading up to the collision event. We prefer tracking reports to contain the date, time, heading, speed and GPS Coordinates for each recorded point/node. Where In-vehicle Telemetry/Video Recording Devices are used, we prefer to receive a Video Clip from each view and/or the original (native) file (.dce in the case of DriveCam, for example) along with a link to any native player required to view the footage.
In order for our records to be complete, we prefer to have detailed contact information on all occupants of all vehicles if/as available. Where employees are concerned, the employer’s address and office number is all that is required but Cellular Numbers would be appreciated, for follow-up investigations. We also need the contact details for any other (third party) drivers, witnesses, passengers, victims and police detectives, if/as applicable. If we have access to all parties, we can gather intelligence more effectively and submit reports within a much shorter turn-around time.
While we may or might have collected this information already at-scene or during our follow-investigation, accuracy of records is vital. We would prefer to receive a colour copy (photograph or scan) of the above documents. We also require confirmation of passengers/assistants, etc. A copy of the Identity document or passport of each occupant of all Vehicles (if/as available) will be needed. Where occupants are passengers transported for reward, passenger manifests would suffice.
While we can certainly see or find license disks (on scenes or during follow-up investigation), we prefer to receive copies of Registration Documents. These often contain specific information (date of first registration, masses, etc) that we might need for analysis or further investigation/research. We require copies of Registration Documents for all vehicles involved – including trailers (if/as available).
Since many of our cases end up in trial or courts, we need to ensure that we are fully aware of any/all technical issues experienced with involved vehicles and/or trailers, as far as reasonably possible. For this reason, we prefer to receive copies of all maintenance records for at least six (6) months before the date of the collision. A summary of Date, Time, Mileage, Reported Issue and Work Completed will suffice.
In most collisions, there will be some evidence of some kind. In a perfect world, a trained, experienced, qualified or official investigator was present at the live collision scene where all relevant evidence was collected properly. Even where this is not the case, drivers, bystanders. victims, witnesses, media and many other parties take photographs, these days.
We would prefer that you supply us with copies of any and all photographs, sketches, reports, statements or video recordings you may have at your disposal. Remember to also approach sources like emergency personnel, tow truck operators, reporters and businesses where CCTV Cameras are installed.
If/when you supply us with any photographs, we prefer to receive them in ORIGINAL FORMAT. Wherever possible, do not rename, resize, process, print or scan images. We prefer to work with original, unaltered digital files.
In any criminal matter or any matter involving possible legal liabilities, it is desirable not to have a copy or record of the driver’s version until s/he has sought legal advice. For the purpose of expediting our investigation and our final report, we prefer to receive short and concise answers to the following list of question (effectively, for the compilation of a deposition-style statement). Where this is not possible, we would prefer to receive a version from the driver in third-party reference (The driver told me that…).
If you have any further queries or need further clarification, please feel free to contact us directly.
If you understand what we need and when you have collected everything we require, feel free to…