Author: gbbuk

GBB are looking for field-based collision investigators to join our growing team.

  • Excellent incentive-based salary package
  • Flexible locations
  • Company vehicle and equipment provided
  • Health Cash Plan & Death In Service Benefits

As a Forensic Collision Investigator and Court expert you will be expected to consider documentation and instructions from the relevant Principal, in order to undertake forensic examination of vehicles or carry out a paper/desktop analysis. You will take images/photographs to illustrate relevant issues and to produce scientifically accurate, logical, concise reports.

Part of your responsibilities will include management of files, joint statements and CPR Part 35 questions in accordance with company policy; liaise with external agencies; and to attend court or conference with counsel when required. A full list of your key responsibilities can be made available upon request.

Ideally, you will be either from a Police Collision Investigation background or educated to BEng or BSc level in an engineering or physics based subject, have outstanding communication skills, and be self-motivated and well-disciplined. You must hold a valid driving licence and be confident with working autonomously.

If you wish to apply for a position within this growing company, please forward your CV by email to Matthew Stansfield  – matthew@gbbuk.com

GBB evidence has been described as “instrumental” in securing multiple convictions following a lengthy investigation by Derbyshire Constabulary.

Between 2011 and 2013 Crash for Cash gang members made personal injury and vehicle damage claims costing more than £250,000.

On 12 April 2018, five people  pleaded guilty and a further five were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud, following two trials at Derby Crown Court.

Following the convictions, GBB were contacted by DC Andrew Small who said “Your help and assistance was invaluable. Your staff, past and present, were consummate professionals and I have no doubts the reports produced by your company were instrumental in the Jury making their decision.”

Read the full release from Derbyshire Constabulary

Working with the manufacturer to secure exclusive access to state of the art technology, GBB Experts can now capture freeze frame data from accident damaged vehicles’ electronic control modules anywhere in Mainland UK!

How Does It Work

  • A portable device images stored on-board-diagnostic (OBD) fault codes and freeze frame data from a vehicle’s electronic control modules.
  • GBB are able to image all electronic control modules on a vehicle’s controller area network (CAN bus)
  • The digital data stored can be useful for the investigation of road traffic accidents and vehicle crime.
  • The device will not modify electronic control module parameters and recovered data is stored in an encrypted file.
  • The majority of UK vehicle models are supported.

What Could It Tell You

Using the fault codes generated by component failure occurring in an accident, the download can provide information relating to the following areas:-

  • Vehicle Speed at the time the component failed
  • Engine temperature at the time the component failed
  • The time of the component failure
  • Pre-existing fault codes present prior to the collision taking place
  • ABS Activity
  • Airbag Deployment
  • Seat-belt pre-tensioner deployment
  • Steering direction
  • Automatic gear box settings
  • Confirmation of the vehicle identity

Primary Applications

  • Crash data retrieval for large and catastrophic collision investigation and reconstruction
  • Staged collision investigation
  • Collision severity
  • Stolen vehicle or component identification

For more information, please contact us.

In a recent case at Wandsworth County Court, the Claimant claimed that a Range Rover reversed into his stationary Piaggio scooter and caused extensive damage.
 
The claim was disputed by the driver of the Range Rover who said that it was the scooter that had driven into the rear of his stationary vehicle.
 
The insurers of the Range Rover, faced with a claim of over £86,000, instructed solicitors who, in turn, instructed GBB.
 
GBB’s Ronnie Trivett, inspected the Range Rover and considered images of the Piaggo and, though he noted a number of concerns with the scooter, he could not discern between the two events: the damage could have occurred from either driver’s account.
 
An alternative expert, instructed by the representatives of the Claimant, disagreed. The expert believed variously that the damage showed the Claimant was correct and the Range Rover must have reversed into the Piaggio. A lengthy joint statement was produced: The Claiamnt’s expert being certain that the scooter was stationary and on its stand, Ronnie Trivett maintaining that either event could be correct.
 
(Interestingly, The Claimant’s expert offered an explanation that a disparity in mileages for the scooter could have been caused by a broken speedometer, a postulation he came to distance himself from when Ronnie pointed out that a broken speedometer would have rendered the scooter unfit for use!)
 
On 5th December 2017 the matter- including the forensic engineering evidence- was put before District Judge Parker sitting at Wandsworth CC. Judge Parker held that the claim was fraudulent, the claimant’s evidence having included a high degree of inconsistency and embellishment, and that the entire claim was “fundamentally dishonest”.
 
The claims were dismissed and a cost order made in favour of the Defendant. Via a non-party costs application the accident management company behind the hire claim paid the entirety of the assessed costs of the proceedings which resulted in “a very substantial recovery by the Defendant’s insurers.”

A rider was seriously injured when his motorcycle ploughed into the side of a Kia motorcar that turned across his path – and GBB were asked to investigate.

The Defendant told police that she believed the road was clear when she turned right into a showground entrance. However, before the turn was complete her vehicle was struck in the nearside by the Claimant and his Yamaha who had been travelling in the opposite direction.
 
As a result of the smash The Claiamnt, who sustained broken ribs, broken limbs and a ruptured spleen, subsequently launched a claim against The Defendant and her insurers.
 
The insurers instructed GBB and our Dr Rick Ellwood conducted the investigation. He laser scanned the site but was unable to examine the vehicles.
 
Analysing police scene evidence and his site survey Dr Rick’s concluded that:
  • 1. The motorcycle was not in view when The Defendant commenced her turn;
  • 2. The Claimant was travelling at a speed of between 89 and 106 mph.
  • 3. Had The Claimant been travelling at the speed limit of 60 mph then he could have stopped or slowed down sufficiently for the collision to be avoided.
GBB were recently told that the Claimant’s claim – described by the insurer as ‘significant’ in value – had been dropped entirely.

A report by a GBB forensic expert has “swayed” a judge in a recent court case and was “essential to the Defence”.

The GBB evidence provided led the judge to find in favour of the Defendant and throw out the Claimant’s injury claims.

Our expert wrote a forensic examination report back in March 2012 after it was claimed that a Mercedes Benz was being driven along a road when the wheel subsequently became loose, causing the driver to lose control and crash into a hedge, leading him to sustain injury.

If the wheel had come off as reported, upon examination, the expert would expect to see distinctive damage to the lower suspension components as they contacted the road surface.

Although there was damage to the nearside of the vehicle that was consistent with passing a hedge, “the nearside lower suspension unit did not exhibit any damage consistent with having ground along the road surface” in a manner as suggested.

77783rg1

There would also be an expectation of grinding and gouge marks to the road surface and soft grass verge as the suspension dug in. However, the photographs provided to GBB did not show any gouge or furrow marks and the police report did not identify damage to the road surface.

77783rg
The expert concluded that there was no evidence (both vehicular and scene) to indicate that the vehicle’s front nearside wheel had come off the vehicle whilst it was travelling down the road as was reported.

Mark Cox, of Weightmans, said: “The lack of physical evidence of any damage to the road or to the vehicle formed the framework for the defence of the claim.”

The claim was heard before His Honour Judge Godsmark and he ruled in favour of the Defendant, his judgement “confirming that he was swayed by the physical evidence”.

GBB findings have led to a £70,000 claim being struck out after one of our forensic experts provided evidence that was preferred by the Judge in a recent court case.

The case was a three-car shunt collision and involved a VW, a Land Rover and a Ford, whereby the VW driver was claiming £54k in hire and £16k in storage.

The circumstances of the collision were disputed. The Defendant (Land Rover) stated that they braked behind the VW before being impacted by the Ford, which pushed them into the rear of the VW.

The Claimant (VW) reported that the rear of their vehicle was struck twice by the Land Rover.

Our forensic expert, after inspecting two of the involved vehicles and examining photographic evidence of the third, determined that the Defendant’s version was correct.

He concluded that a collision had occurred between the front of the Land Rover and the rear of the VW. Despite the low quality colour photograph of the Ford, the damage to the front of the Ford and the rear of the Land Rover was consistent between them.

82850Ford

It was also found that the VW had unrelated damage to its rear.

Following our report, an assessing company was commissioned to prepare a report. This report concluded that a collision had occurred between the VW and the Land Rover but claimed that the photograph of the Ford was too low a quality to form an opinion as to the consistency of such damage with the rear of the Land Rover.

A Joint Statement was then prepared between the GBB forensic expert and the vehicle damage assessor. Despite agreeing on certain points, the assessor would not accept that damage could be seen to the front of the Ford.

In the recent court case, under cross-examination, the assessor eventually conceded that the Ford did exhibit damage and that it could have resulted from a contact with the rear of the Land Rover.

The Judge preferred the GBB evidence and that of the Defendant over the Claimant and their assessor. The claim was struck out and costs were awarded.

A GBB forensic expert has recently epitomised the importance of our work here at GBB in the insurance industry by undisputedly proving a Claimant’s version of the accident circumstances to be false.

Using expert engineering evidence and a little bit of detective work, our expert has provided a report that brought the veracity of the claims in this case into question.

The expert was asked to ascertain if the account offered by the driver was plausible and to conduct a mechanical examination of the vehicle.

According to the Claimant, he swerved to avoid an animal in the road, causing his Vauxhall to pass between two rows of conifer trees, passed a further area of hedgerows, and across some gravel and a driveway before braking to a stop on a grass verge. The vehicle then slid down the verge into a large pond. As a result, the vehicle was extensively flood damaged.

Though unusual for GBB, the expert interviewed the Claimant when he went to inspect the vehicle, and got him to sign a written account of the circumstances and confirm it to be true. This account also included the information that the main road was closed due to a fatal accident; something that the Claimant said happened on a regular basis. He also stated that he was not familiar with the alternative route (incident site), despite having lived there for three years, and that it was raining heavily at the time of the accident.

Our expert then inspected the Vauxhall and discovered some interesting points of note that threw doubt on the Claimant’s explanation of the incident. These included:

  • Three of the vehicle’s windows were open – despite the adverse weather conditions and the short journey the Claimant said he was making;
  • The automatic gearbox was found to be in ‘neutral’ and the gear selector couldn’t be moved to any other position (Note: the only gear in which a vehicle will roll freely is ‘neutral’);
  • An engine examination revealed no engine oil in the sump – indicating it had been drained or run dry prior to entering the water;
  • The engine side of the air filter box was dry, with no evidence of having been filled with water as would be the case had the engine been running when it entered the water –    indicating that the engine was switched off;
  • The vehicle was fitted with ABS so should not have been able to skid as had been suggested.

   

The expert also found that the vehicle’s keys had no house key or personalised fob attached as may be expected, but did have two plastic tabs attached similar to those used by the motor trade.

The Claimant stated that an animal, possibly a fox or a dog, ran into the vehicle’s path from the left and that he swerved to the left. Our expert found this to be at odds with what the natural reaction of a driver would be – to swerve away from the hazard; in this case, to the offside.

In conclusion, the GBB expert determined that “the engine was not running when it entered the water and it would appear that the vehicle was incapable of running due to a lack of engine lubricant”. The gearbox was also in ‘neutral’, despite the driver stating that it was in ‘drive’ at the time that it entered into the pond.

In an interesting case this month, a GBB expert provided a report that proved five months of hire and storage claims to be false.

The case was in regards to a BMW that was held in storage, with the owner hiring another car, for five months due to it being unroadworthy following a collision.

The incident involved a Honda colliding with the rear of the Claimant’s BMW. The Defendant averred that it was a low speed collision, causing minimal damage to either vehicle.

According to the recovery agent, the BMW was unroadworthy due to exhaust fumes entering into the vehicle because of damage sustained in the collision.

When our expert examined the vehicle, he discovered light impact damage to the centre and offside aspects of the rear bumper cover and moulding; a localised area of vertical distortion and gouging to the offside of centre of the rear bumper cover; and the bumper return to be slightly misaligned.

There was no damage or deformation to the inner structures and the “minimal and limited damage to the BMW was reflective of a low speed, linear collision”.

There was no forensic evidence or correlating contact marks to the vehicles in order to reconcile them, though the Defendant admitted that there was a low speed collision between the vehicles

When inspected, our expert found that there were exhaust gasses entering the vehicle and thus the BMW was indeed unroadworthy.

 

However, the gasses were entering from the engine compartment and not the rear exhaust system – contrary to the expectations given that the BMW was in a rear-end collision.

The expert also determined that the vehicle had four fault codes but none of them related to the light impact to the rear.

In conclusion, the GBB expert stated that the extent and nature of the damage to the BMW were not sufficient to render it unroadworthy post-collision, and that the vehicle had a pre-existing fault.

Therefore, the vehicle was unroadworthy prior to the index collision with the Honda, and the hire and storage charges were not in any way related to it.

The latest paper written by GBB (UK) Ltd staff after ground-breaking research conducted by the company has been published this month.

The paper, entitled ‘A study into the propensity for exhaust gas ingress into a vehicle as a result of collision damage’, was published in The International Journal for Vehicle Safety (IJVS), through Inderscience Publishers.

Written by Brian Henderson, Mike Hall and Philip Hoyes, the report describes an investigation into the ingress of carbon monoxide and, by implication, other exhaust gas components into the interior of a vehicle through areas of simulated damage at the rear, and the results of that investigation.

In a low-speed collision when a vehicle is struck in the rear, certain types of damage may occur that cause a breach between the interior of the vehicle and the outside atmosphere. In the presence of these types of damage it is often thought that the vehicle’s own exhaust gases may be able to enter the interior of the vehicle. As a consequence that vehicle may be deemed unsafe for continued use.

This report disproves this theory, through rigorous testing and revolutionary findings.

The IJVS provides an authoritative source of information in the field of vehicle safety design, research and development. It serves applied scientists, engineers, policy makers and safety advocates with a platform to develop, promote and coordinate the science, technology and practice of vehicle safety.