Excludes Hong Kong

Road Traffic Collisions

Road traffic accidents are often traumatic incidents and litigation arising as a result is becoming more common as court awards increase and injured parties become more aware of the compensation that may be available to them.

Hawkins has wide experience in this field relating not only to accidents involving cars, but also buses, heavy goods vehicles, farm equipment, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. Our detailed engineering knowledge of how vehicles operate and behave is invaluable when understanding how an accident occurred.


It can be very difficult to determine the precise cause of road traffic accidents because:

  • Witness statements may conflict or be inaccurate
  • The parties involved may not wish to show themselves in a bad light
  • Accidents by their nature happen very quickly
  • Very often there is more than one contributory factor
  • There can be large amounts of compensation at stake
  • Witnesses can be influenced by the severity of the injuries

Road traffic accidents may be caused in many ways:

  • Excess speed
  • Lack of attention
  • Vehicle defect or inadequate maintenance
  • Poor visibility arising from weather conditions, obstructions, time of day or road layout
  • The influence of drink, drugs or fatigue

There may be more than one cause in which case contributory negligence might apply.


The Police attend most serious road traffic accidents and produce a report, which contains contemporaneous information such as plans and photographs. The Police Report, witness evidence and details established from a visit to the accident scene are used to reconstruct the most probable sequence of events leading to the accident. An examination of the vehicles involved is often carried out.

Consideration is also given to:

  • Visibility available to the driver
  • Road layout and design
  • Stopping distances
  • Weather conditions
  • Speeds of the vehicles involved
  • Vehicle stability (particularly where a vehicle has overturned)
  • The actions of those involved
  • Condition and service history of the vehicles involved, including tyres
  • Poor highway/pavement design and maintenance

Simulation of the accident is undertaken by calculations performed both manually and by computer. We use specialised computer software to analyse the pre and post impact trajectories of vehicles, to reconstruct the visibility available to the driver and witnesses, to prepare plans from photographs of the scene and other analyses that assist in understanding an accident.

Download our Road Traffic Collisions & Vehicle Fires Brochure

Our detailed engineering knowledge of how vehicles operate and behave is invaluable when understanding how an accident occurred

Contact Us

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