Understanding Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report Codes
The Cargo Body Type section on the Georgia motor vehicle crash report refers to what kind of cargo a vehicle is set up to carry. This is different from the vehicle configuration, also listed on the report, which refers more to the size or capacity of the vehicle.
Vehicles, especially commercial vehicles, sometimes have larger portions that can have an effect on the severity of the accident. For example, large semi-trucks that have heavy trailers will generally cause more damage compared to a passenger car. The type of cargo will also determine the kind of property damage involved as well. As you can imagine, a truck carrying new vehicles will likely have more damage than a garbage truck.
Noting that a vehicle had a specific cargo type can also change who is involved in your lawsuit after a car accident. If, for example, a cargo trailer is involved, you may need to include the party that owned the container or the cargo inside in your truck accident claim as well. Having this information will be helpful to ensure that you have involved all of the parties that may be legally responsible for your damages and injuries.
Cargo Body Types Listed on the Crash Report
Although flatbed trailers and enclosed boxes are perhaps the most common cargo vehicle on the road, you may be surprised to learn of the wide variety of choices included on the Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report. They include:
- Van (Enclosed Box). A van that has an enclosed box is one of the most common cargo vehicles on the road. Although it includes the term “van,” this type of vehicle isn’t your traditional “van.” Instead, it is a large container that has wheels attached to it.
- Auto Carrier or Tow Truck. An auto carrier can range from large vehicle carrier that can carry several cars, or it can include a single-vehicle tow truck. Any vehicle that is designed to carry other vehicles is considered an “auto carrier.”
- Bus. Although some people may not consider buses “cargo” vehicles, they really are—their cargo includes passengers. Bus accidents become much more complex than the average passenger vehicle collision.
- Dump. Dump trucks include any vehicle that carries cargo that is designed to be dumped, whether it’s from the back or side of the vehicle.
- Garbage/Refuse. Garbage, recycling, and other refuse vehicles have their own classification. These vehicles may be privately owned, but they’re sometimes owned by local governments as well.
- Flatbed. A flatbed truck is similar to an enclosed box, but it has space on which to set cargo boxes. The cargo box doesn’t have its own separate wheels like an enclosed box would, however.
- Cargo Tanker. Tankers are generally used to transport liquids. This is relevant because sometimes liquids are hazardous and difficult to clean up if spilled. Drivers that transport liquids also must usually carry a special license for this type of cargo as well.
- Concrete Mixer. Concrete mixers are easier to classify, but it’s important to note that this designation includes all sizes of mixers, from very small to those that do huge concrete projects.
- Other. If a cargo vehicle doesn’t fall into one of the designated categories, an officer will usually include it in the “other” designation and note what type of cargo it was carrying in the notes section.
- Hopper. This entry is new for 2018. A hopper is used to transport products like grain or other bulk commodity products. They often have a roll tarp on the top of the trailer to quickly load and unload the product.
- Intermodal Container Chassis. This entry was also added in 2018. These vehicles are similar to flatbed trailers, but they are narrower. They are often used to move containers that are used on marine travel.
- Pole Trailer. These trailers are generally used to transport large or irregular loads. They often have beams that connect them between the vehicle towing the load and the trailer. These long vehicles can be tough to maneuver and control, which increases the risk of collision. This notation was added in 2018 as well.
The various types of cargo container notation will sometimes give you an indication of what was in the vehicle. For example, a hopper is more likely to carry small product compared to a cargo tanker, which used for liquids.
Using Cargo Body Type Data in Your Car Accident Case
Cargo body type will tell you more than you may have thought about the parties that could be included in an accident and the kind of damages involved. Let John Foy & Associates help you use this information to your advantage. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.