Lawyer Monthly - February 2023

their transport was, the response was “See it as a learning curve, we will know better for next time”. And the client is stuck with a very expensive vehicle that is not fit for purpose. As a company we do not manufacture or sell anything, so when it comes to finding the right adaptions, driving controls and transport, we have built relationships with a select choice of adaptors and specialist engineers. This enables Personal Mobility Solutions to offer a fully bespoke modified vehicle that has been tailored to the client’s specific driver or passenger requirements. What are the challenges of being able to prove that your opinion is correct and that it can stand up to scrutiny? What sort of value can an expert witness bring to a case? There are so many variations of what is essentially the same wheelchairaccessible vehicle or driving adaptions, so when I produce a driving assessment report I make sure that I have taken the time to really research all the options available to the client. It is my duty as a transport expert witness to ensure that I have shown due diligence in my findings and not just recommended a vehicle because that is the one the client likes or it is the most expensive and therefore will be the right one. Every vehicle adaptor has their own conversion that they offer, and it will not be appropriate for all clients. My role is to have a good understanding and excellent knowledge of the modifications available by different adapters and to be able to recommend a specific vehicle adaption because I know that the conversion will offer the correct headroom for someone seated in a powered wheelchair, or that the base vehicle is compatible and can be adapted with specialised driving controls such as Paravan Space Drive. Adapting a vehicle for someone with disabilities is not a one-sizefits-all. There are so many aspects of the client’s daily life that must be considered. When I write my report, this is what I am trying to put across to the reader. I have to justify the reasons why I am making my recommendations for a particular vehicle or vehicles and I have to make it clear that I am recommending that vehicle with those specific adaptations because they offer the right solution for the client. EXPERTWITNESS 65 There can be quite a difference in price between various vehicle adaptions, but this does not influence my decision. The wrong vehicle is the most expensive vehicle.

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