Author: gbbuk

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.

 

 

Field-based

  • Excellent incentive-based salary package
  • Flexible locations
  • Company vehicle and equipment provided

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.

You must be educated to at least 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 licence and be confident with working autonomously.

Office-based

Based at our Burnley head office and supported by a senior forensic expert, you will be part of our evidence appraisal team, providing timely, cost-effective advice to our instructors. With the appropriate level of technical support, you will be expected to consider supplied documentation from the relevant instructor in order to provide suitable pre-instruction advice. Though accident investigation is not essential, an understanding of motor vehicles and road traffic accidents is desirable. This role would be ideal for a retired police vehicle examiner, who is efficient, motivated and well-organised.

If you wish to apply for a position within this growing company, please forward your CV to Vikkie Furminger by email to[email protected]

Mike Hall, Head of Research, is to be one of the judges at this year’s Nuffield Celebration Event, held in Manchester today.

Mike was asked to be a judge following on from his success in the Nuffield Research Placement Scheme, which has so far seen two students undertake projects at GBB.

Held at the University of Manchester, the event gives an opportunity to the students to display what they have achieved during their Nuffield placements, involving 4-6 week projects in universities and companies around the region.

Mike, along with the other judges, will visit up to five projects (individual students or groups working on the same project) where the students will give a short presentation on their involvement.

All of the projects will be of sufficient standard to achieve the Gold CREST Award, and all of the students have entered the British Science Association CREST Award. CREST is a national award scheme – endorsed by UCAS – recognising success, building skills and demonstrating personal achievement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).

Last year alone, over 30,000 CREST Awards were undertaken, giving 11-19yr olds opportunities to explore real-world projects in an exciting way.

This year’s event will be officially opened by Professor Steve Watts of Physics and Astronomy.

Basic CMYK

GBB was congratulated today by Premex for the ‘wonderful presentation and contribution’ made to the Premex Group Annual Conference in Birmingham on Tuesday.

Technical Director, Phil Hoyes and Large Loss Director,  Paul Fidler presented to over 125 medico-legal experts who had attended the conference from across the country, which was the biggest yet following on from the recent changes in the industry and the reforms in the low value personal injury claims process.

Providing an overview from an engineering perspective, Phil and Paul’s topical presentation demonstrated how different accident scenarios can influence mechanisms of injuries and the levels of trauma sustained.

As the information regarding accident circumstances (as presented by the injured party, instructing solicitors or third party insurers) remains subjective and subject to potential bias, the only real solution is to arm the medical expert with factual, objective information from an independent source.

Dr Scot Darling, Chief Medical Officer and Clinical Lead at Premex Group, said: “Feedback has been excellent and the delegates have expressed how much they enjoyed listening to you speak.”

Dr Darling added that it would be great to work with GBB again next year and that Premex was “truly lucky having GBB as such a valuable resource”.

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It is hoped that the medical expert will be able to use the information and research provided by GBB when examining their patient and giving their diagnosis.

GBB contributed to the conference alongside barristers and solicitors, advising on fraud detection and good reporting, and a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, discussing the determination of prognosis.

The seminar was held to give valuable insight into the recent reforms and allow the audience to engage with all the delegates.

Premex Services is the UK’s leading provider of independent medico-legal reports, used to assist in the resolution of personal injury claims. Established in 1996, Premex Services is supported by a team of over 300 employees and operates from its headquarters in Bolton.

It serves over 800 individual customers from across the legal profession and insurance industry, and is a forward thinking company with a track record of providing customer focused solutions that deliver convenience, speed, innovation and quality.

premexpresentation

GBB has been thanked this month for helping to convict four fraudsters involved in a large fraud scam.

The four Defendants were imprisoned for the charge of ‘Conspiracy To Commit Fraud By False Representation’ (for seven years, three years, 20 months and 15 months respectively), due to the evidence given by a GBB expert. Two of the four convicted were also ordered to pay in excess of £8000 each.

Of the expert’s evidence, Mel Elliott, Witness Care Officer for the CJS Durham Witness Care Unit, said: “Your evidence was very important in bringing this case to justice and your contribution is greatly appreciated.”

The case, dating back to 2009, involved an Audi emerging from a side road and allegedly colliding with the nearside of a correctly proceeding BMW, causing the latter vehicle to be pushed down an embankment and roll over three times before coming to rest.

The engineer provided a report in regards to the collision damage after having examined photographs of the vehicles involved. In June 2012, he was asked to attend Newcastle Crown Court to give oral evidence based on his findings.

He found that the force direction to cause the damage seen to the Audi’s chassis leg and nearside inner wing was incompatible with the direction of approach for the BMW. The damage suggested the force applied was from the front nearside to the offside, rather than a vehicle passing the front of the Audi.

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There was damage to various panels on the BMW. The damage to the nearside of the vehicle – reportedly the side that the Audi struck – was higher than any of the components on the Audi. The offside also displayed damage. This was again higher than the Audi’s components. The marks and the profile of the damage indicated that the BMW was stationary.

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If the BMW had rolled over as alleged, it would display damage to all of its panels. The engineer determined that only some of the panels on the BMW were damaged. Others remained unmarked. There was also no grass or soil in the wheels as would be expected had the vehicle gone down an embankment and rolled over, and the air bags had not deployed.

The GBB expert concluded that whilst the BMW had numerous damaged panels, its nearside damage was inconsistent with being struck by the Audi and the rest of the damage was inconsistent with it being caused by the vehicle rolling over. The evidence did not comply with the given circumstances.

Evidence given by GBB experts is regularly acknowledged and has led to many cases being dismissed or withdrawn, or guilty parties being convicted.

Our expert has been named as an ‘impressive expert witness’ after his evidence was accepted in its entirety this week.

The expert gave evidence in court in relation to a case that has been ongoing for two years and the case was won and all claims dismissed with the help of his findings.

Following on from an individual engineering report and a Joint Report between our engineer and the Claimant’s engineer, the judge favoured the evidence of our engineer, accepting it fully and rejecting the latter engineer’s account.

In 2012, a Lexus reportedly entered a mini roundabout and collided with a Mercedes that was already established on the roundabout. The Claimant raised personal injury and other losses claims.

Our engineer examined both vehicles and produced a report; the Claimant’s engineer examined the Mercedes and only took photographs of the Lexus.

Whilst the other engineer thought that there had been one continuous collision and it was consistent with both vehicles moving (as suggested), our engineer determined that the damage seen was the result of two impacts.

lexus

mercedes1

Furthermore, the evidence suggested that the Mercedes was actually stationary for the first collision and so the engineering evidence did not correlate with the given circumstances.

The engineer calculated the repair costs to be almost half of that claimed by the Claimant’s engineer. The judge accepted our expert’s evidence that the damage was ‘minor and cosmetic’.

Of our expert, the judge said: “[The expert] was an impressive expert witness and in all material aspects where his expert evidence differed from that of [the other engineer], I preferred the evidence of [the expert].”

It is thought that a minor collision took place and then a ‘plan was hatched at the scene to bring a claim and to make the damage worse’.

Yesterday, GBB Technical Director, Philip Hoyes, presented GBB’s ‘Ride Height’ research to fifty of the top bodies of the industry at The Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators Annual General Meeting in Solihull, West Midlands.

Philip presented the ‘Measurement of Vehicle Height Changes Under Maximum Braking’ research paper, which was recently published in the Impact journal.

The presentation was well received. One member of the ITAI commented afterwards that he would be interested in doing some dual-research with GBB.

Richard Lambourn (TRL) held a presentation on ‘Pedestrian – Car Collisions’, which led nicely onto GBB’s topic of research, and Dr David Yeo (an A&E Consultant at University Hospital Birmingham) held a presentation on ‘Collision-related Injuries’.

GBB has researched and developed an informative report after investigations into the changes in height that can occur during braking, as it is an important consideration for all experts in the industry when checking for damage consistency between two vehicles that have collided.

In reconstructing a collision between two vehicles, it is often necessary to attempt to match up areas of damage between vehicles. Differences in heights and damage can sometimes be explained if one or both of the vehicles are braking at the moment of impact. This requires knowledge of the change in heights at the front and rear of similar vehicles under conditions of maximum braking.

Two fraudsters were recently found guilty at The Old Bailey after trying to falsely claim for vehicle hire charges from a leading motor insurance company.

Engineering evidence provided by GBB (UK) Ltd on behalf of the Metropolitan Police IFED Unit helped in the conviction of the two Defendants.

In April 2011, a Mercedes and a Maserati were involved in a collision when the Mercedes collided into the nearside of the correctly proceeding Maserati. This led to the Maserati being claimed as unroadworthy, accruing over £400 a day in hire and storage charges.

The insurance company instructed GBB to examine the Maserati and consider the consistency of the vehicle damage.

GBB forensic engineer, Phil Watchorn inspected the vehicle in May 2011. The damaged nearside door, panel and sill had been removed by the owner and a scrap merchant, preventing the damage sustained to them from being determined.

An engineer employed by the insurance company had previously examined the vehicle and photographed the nearside damage before the panels had been removed. These photographs showed the panels to have vertical marks on them.

Despite the missing evidence, GBB was still able to establish by the profile of the damage that the vehicle was stationary when it was struck. This opinion was supported by the use of GBB’s crash test research, which has established the given damage profiles for a variety of collisions over a range of speeds.

GBB also discovered that the steering arm linking two track rod end ball joints had purposefully been adjusted to make it longer. This had the effect of causing the nearside rear wheel to ‘toe in’ (point inwards) and deem the vehicle unroadworthy.

Phil advised that since the link could be moved to its original position, realigning the suspension to its pre-collision condition, it appeared that it had been adjusted to fraudulently exaggerate any misalignment caused to the wheel by the Mercedes’ impact.

There was damage to the underside of the vehicle but GBB revealed that it had been caused by jacking the vehicle on the unsupported rear section of the floor pan and was not a result of the collision.

GBB established that the given circumstances were incorrect, as the vehicle was stationary rather than moving, and that the vehicle had been deliberately tampered with to make it unroadworthy and allow the owner to deceitfully claim for hire costs.

The Defendants had pleaded not guilty in the first instance for the counts of ‘fraud by false reputation’, but the pleas were changed to guilty based on the evidence provided by GBB, which the Metropolitan Police ‘relied upon’.

As a result, the Defendants were each given 200 hours’ unpaid work, 12 months’ suspended prison sentences for 24 months and were ordered to repay the insurance company £2550.

 

A judge has recently dismissed all claims in a recent case in Coventry County Court thanks to the report and evidence given by a GBB engineer.

The evidence, given by Russell Danton, was accepted completely and was said to be ‘reliable, accurate and common sense when looking at both of the vehicles’.

Russell Danton attended court earlier this month regarding a vehicle collision in July 2012. Russell had written a report, an Addendum report and a Joint Statement in relation to a claim earlier this year.

A Fiat and an Audi were said to have come into a collision after the Fiat pulled out of a side road into the correctly proceeding Audi. The total claim amounted to £23,000 with £6,000 claimed for the Audi’s repair, £13,000 of hire car charges and £4,000 storage charges. This does not take into account the solicitor’s costs.

After examining the Audi and considering engineering evidence in relation to the Fiat, Russell concluded that even though the damage to the Audi could be reflective of the collision scenario, the magnitudes of damage between the two vehicles were inconsistent.

The low level of damage to the Fiat was not reflective of the extent of the damage sustained to the Audi, suggesting that the Audi exhibited unrelated damage.

An alternative consultant, instructed by the Claimant’s Solicitors, suggested in a Joint Statement with Russell that the damage to the Fiat had been repaired and so did not represent the full extent of the damage sustained.

Russell determined that the repair invoice provided for the Fiat was undertaken after the vehicle had been first examined and the photographs used in the documentary evidence showed the pre-repaired condition of the Fiat.

A representative of our instructors was also present at the trial and they were very happy with the outcome and the work done by GBB.

Using its innovative approach and enthusiastic drive for results, the GBB Research Department has once again demonstrated its ability to adapt and implement its research to provide ground-breaking scientific and engineering evidence to assist in unconventional cases.

The latest illustration of GBB’s flexibility in expertise was assisting in the case of an unusual serious injury claim after being first approached in January 2013 by a major national law firm acting on behalf of the Claimant.

A pillion passenger had fallen from a powerful, sports motorcycle and suffered serious personal injuries. The cause of the fall was in dispute. Put simply, the passenger claimed that the rider had accelerated suddenly and without warning, causing her to fall from the back of the machine. Alternatively, the rider reported no unusual driving and insisted that his passenger merely failed to hold on properly.

With no internal or external research to rely upon, GBB’s investigation started at grass-root level with the purchase of a motorcycle of the same make, model and year with which to conduct tests. A series of innovative tests was performed to measure and compare the forces produced by the motorcycle against those that secure the pillion to the motorcycle and rider.

Using that unique research, GBB was able to demonstrate to the court:

  • That the injuries sustained by the pillion provided guidance on the cause of the detachment;
  • The differences between the simple mechanisms which secure the pillion and the more substantial ones which secure the rider to the motorcycle;
  • The manner in which the motorcycle must be driven in order to overcome those mechanisms.

Chartered Engineer and Technical Director at GBB, Philip Hoyes, provided oral evidence at the hearing in Canterbury in November 2013 where the Honourable Judge described how two experts had approached their task quite differently: the Defendant’s expert basing his report solely on his great experience, and Mr Hoyes approaching his rather more scientifically.

In his summary the Judge stated: “I find Mr Hoyes’ approach more scientific as one would expect given his qualifications…On balance, and where they vary, I much prefer the evidence of Mr Hoyes as it is more concrete, more supported by tests of a scientific nature and more accurate on the facts of the case”, before finding 100% in favour of the Claimant.