Light Bulbs

As a rule, the analysis of light bulbs is part of an investigation following a traffic accident. It serves to establish whether the lights were switched on and whether brake lights or indicators had been fully operational.

Under no circumstances should any lights be switched on or off to check whether they are still in working order after an incident, as this would destroy the basis for any investigation. For analysis, the entire headlight unit should be supplied with the light bulb still inside, especially when the glass around the filament is shattered. If a light bulb is supplied undamaged and without the headlight, the front-facing side must be identified either by marker pen or sticker.

When preparing a headlight or light bulb for transport, care must be taken to ensure that no packing material or adhesive foil can come into contact with the light bulb filament.

The preferred mode of transport is by courier. This is because the filament is easily damaged, altered or broken by incorrect or careless handling, for example, on a conveyor belt, or if the package is dropped or thrown

Light bulb detail

Light bulb detail

Break in filament

Paint Comparison

The search for potential traces of foreign paint on the damaged vehicle is vital, especially when the other driver involved in a collision leaves the scene of an accident.

Samples are taken at the scene of the accident, taking into consideration the specific circumstances surrounding the incident. Any paint samples should, wherever possible, include the topcoat as well as any layers of undercoat. Samples should also be taken from the vehicle that potentially caused the accident. Again, these should include the topcoat plus any undercoat. If possible, samples should include the substrate material.

Photographic records of the accident greatly assist in the preparation of the expert report.

Paint comparison is also employed when investigating burglaries, for example, as the painted surfaces of tools may be transferred to window or doorframes. Should paint samples be supplied without the relevant substrate material, a neutral substrate sample must be supplied.

Evidence of red paint

Evidence of red tool

Animal Hair

Animal hair analysis features in connection with traffic accidents, where the driver states that the accident was caused by collision with wildlife.

Insurers are only liable if the collision was caused by game. Animals classified as game are defined within the “Bundesjagdgesetz”, the Federal Law on Hunting. The Police or other relevant experts will assess at the scene whether or not an accident can be attributed to collision with wildlife. Collision points must be inspected, possibly using magnifying equipment.

Any evidence found should either be secured complete with surface material (this may require cutting part of the vehicle bodywork) or, if this is not possible, by removing and storing the evidence in a suitable container (careful: do not use an airtight container). Sample materials should be accompanied by photographs showing the scene of the collision.

An analysis of animal hair will generally clarify if the animal was alive, which type of animal it came from and whether the hair can be reconciled with the accident in question.

Bristle (wild boar)

Rabbit hair, cross-section

Human hair, cross-section