Frequently Asked Questions
In order to appoint us, we first need to review the evidence you have available. If we see the evidence and we believe we can assist, we will issue a quotation. If this quotation is accepted, we will issue an invoice. As soon as the invoice is paid, we will commence with our work. We might request more information, visit your scene, examine vehicles, interview witnesses, etc., all depending on the quotation you accepted.
Many people are not aware that they need experts until they are almost at the court stage. Unfortunately, evidence will typically not wait around, and the absence of evidence can impact on the accuracy or completeness of our work and reports. For this reason, you should at least reach out to us immediately after your collision, or as soon as possible, to ensure that we can gather all the required evidence in your matter – in anticipation of you having to go to court.
We do not rely on per-hour, per-mile, or per-page billing, but we use those to calculate a starting point, based on the complexity of your case, the number of vehicles involved, the anticipated travel and the tasks we may need to complete. We typically offer steep discounts for regular clients, early payments, and for member organizations. Please make use of the first free consultation, to allow us to provide you with an estimate.
No. Pro Bono cases involve the suggestion that we only get paid if we “win.” Since we are expected to conduct ourselves as objective experts, for the benefit of the court, any suggestion that we get paid only if we “win” raises serious concerns about bias. We simply cannot be seen to be working for the money, while we risk earning nothing if we lose. We are not lawyers, so our engagement is not to “argue your case,” but rather to interpret and analyze the evidence and to present our findings to a court.
No. A contingency arrangement means that we get a percentage of whatever the client “wins.” Review the answer above, on Pro Bono Work. We do not work on a contingency basis for the same reasons.
In the past, we have been engaged in cases in South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, the Middle East, and in the USA. Our services are varied, so we would probably be in a position to provide at least some of our services – perhaps on a remote appointment basis – practically anywhere in the world, as long as a serious language barrier is not present.
In any case we get appointed on, we require all the merits evidence. While we will discuss the specifics of every case during our first consultation or as part of our engagement, we would typically require all reports, photographs, videos, measurements, sketches, drawings, plans, etc. We always prefer unaltered, original, digital copies of any electronic evidence, photographs, videos, etc.
No. We are not a legal service. This being said, we do provide consultation to lawyers and advocates, prosecutors and clients that dovetail with the legal dynamics in most cases. Our extensive experience with both civil and criminal matters, we might provide insight into the dynamics that could prevail, provide suggestions on your options, and consult with your legal representative before-, during and after trial.
Not art present. Private Investigation Services normally involve the investigation of people – typically without their knowledge. Our services involve the investigation of collision dynamics and the interaction with people with their full knowledge and understanding. For Private Investigation Services, we suggest that you visit our partners page.
From the moment of our engagement to the time our final report is submitted could be as quickly as a day or two, or as long as a trial runs, in criminal matters. We typically go through several stages of interaction before we compile a report, and sometimes the stages are delayed as clients locate and secure evidence, photographs or information. Once we have everything we need, all evidence in a matter, and consider it adequate to proceed, our report can be available within hours, but typically within less than 3-5 days.
Yes – as long as adequate evidence is available. Some of our cases are as much as ten years old, and we still produce highly effective reports, where adequate evidence is available. That being said, a case that happened only two days ago, but where no evidence is available, cannot be completed at all.
If we consider the evidence in your case and we find that it is overwhelmingly against your interests for us to be engaged, we will inform you. Unlike lawyers, we do not work to “win” cases, since our analysis and testimony can only be based on the evidence in any matter. But you may simply think that all the evidence is “against you,” so we would prefer to review your case and to decide for ourselves. We have received many appointments where things look “bleak,” but become much clearer once the evidence has been interpreted properly.
Yes. We do all the time. Although we were in the South African Police Service as Reservists, we pride ourselves on our objectivity. We cannot consider our position in terms of who is on the “opposite side,” since we provide services to both the prosecution, and the defense, from time to time. We consider each case on its own merits, and apply our knowledge, skills, and experience appropriately.
Yes. Although we have done cases for insurance service providers, we have found that they often prefer to use service providers who charge less than we do. In our experience, insurance service providers prefer to pay less, even if the reports they receive contain less. Because we prefer to complete all the necessary work to compile a detailed report, we have always declined to accept lower fees for “less work.” We believe that insurance claim repudiations are often based on improperly prepared reports, and we are not motivated to be associated with reports of lesser quality, for lower fees.
No. Not at all. While many people assume, in error, that “speed” is the silver bullet of proof in every case they are engaged in, we only calculate speed if this dynamic is considered primary vital or specifically important. As an example, a person may be traveling at 100 Km/h on a 120 Km/h highway and strike a cow. Then “speed” is going to result in serious damages, but “speeding” is not relevant. We prefer to interpret and analyze the dynamics of each collision case individually, and to let the physical evidence and dynamics dictate our area of focus.
Internationally, there are expert witnesses that are willing to say and do whatever it takes to win cases – as if they are lawyers. There are also experts that always work for only one service provider – perhaps an insurance company. If you are engaged by one client too often, you would obviously be obliged to appease that client to ensure that you retain that status. This results in your objectivity being impacted negatively. This could make an expert a “hired gun.”
No. Firstly, we are not a “Service” that operates from a base, or in a certain area. Most of our work is administrative, and our assignments are confidential. Our clients rely on our discretion and “carting along people” to scenes, would be considered inappropriate.
No. We consider our methods, processes, and procedures proprietary, and we respect the confidentiality of our clients. If we provide “sample reports,” they will most likely not be of exactly the same kind or merits as future cases, in any event.
This will be determined at the first consultation, most of the time. If we receive all the evidence you have and we still cannot assist you, we will typically not even furnish you with an estimate. Since our time is in demand, we prefer not to be engaged in matters that have no merits, rather than abandon clients we can help/
No. Our reports are not pieces of expensive paper. No matter how short, or involved our reports are, you are charged for the effort we put into compiling it – not for the value it adds to your case or matter. Refer to the questions about contingency and pro bono work. The same sentiments apply.