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DWF successfully deployed telematics evidence in remote trial

15 October 2020
DWF successfully deployed telematics evidence for the first time in a remote Trial, resolving a liability dispute following a high speed motorway accident.  Read the case study to find out more.

DWF were instructed by Admiral to deal with a claim for vehicle damage and other losses arising out of a road traffic accident on 3 September 2019. The accident took place on the M1 Northbound on the approach the junction 45. Admiral's policyholder, Miss Hussenat Kazeem was travelling at approximately 70mph in the middle lane, with a vehicle owned by N K Chemicals Limited, to her right. A collision occurred causing Miss Kazeem's vehicle to flip over several times and resting in a ditch. The dispute simply came down to who changed lanes, a dispute seen all too often in road traffic accidents. 

Miss Kazeem had a telematics device fitted by Admiral, which records the current GPS position and in the event of a collision, 'crash data' is collected, including data from an accelerometer which senses forces acted upon the car. 

It is common place for GPS data from telematics devices to not have the requisite 'pin point' accuracy in order to determine conclusively if a vehicle has changed lanes, or not. Here however, DWF's case was that the accelerometer readings showed Miss Kazeem's car moved to the left in moments before the impact between the two cars, demonstrating that she could not have moved into the right lane as the Claimant alleged: why would the defendant move right, having only just before moved left?

The Trial took place remotely, using the Court's Cloud Video Platform. DWF deployed the telematics evidence at Trial, and Deputy District Judge Bowskill, sitting at the County Court at Wakefield, was happy to hear the technical evidence of the telematics remotely alongside the witness evidence. She found that the accelerometer data fully supported Miss Kazeem's version of how the accident happened, and not consistent with her losing control as the Claimant first alleged when commencing the claim, or at all. 

The Claimant's claim was dismissed in its entirety, with DDJ Bowskill finding that the Claimant was fully responsible for the accident happening. Miss Kazeem, who was hospitalised after the accident along with her mother sat in the passenger seat, will now be able to bring her own claim having one Court already find that she was not in any way responsible for her injuries.

Benedict Harper, Specialist Manager at DWF who had conduct of the case, "This result shows once again the importance of deploying telematics data correctly, and not only looking for what it proves, but also what is disproves. In a case where a Court may struggle to decide whose evidence it prefers, telematics data can and has been the defining piece of evidence.

Lorna Connelly, Head of Claims at Admiral "Historically, in the absence of other evidence, liability cases are argued on the strength of witness statements and their performance at trial. This case clearly demonstrates the value of telematics data in providing impartial evidence. We were delighted that the true circumstances of this incident were clarified by the data and how it was deployed by our experts, both in house at Admiral and at DWF securing a great outcome for our customer."

Contact Benedict Harper for more information.

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