Understanding Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report Codes
The Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report has a specific section for an officer to note whether an injury resulted from the car accident. Officers fill in a numeric code from 0 to 4 to explain what happened (see what all the codes mean below). This data is considered “CRITICAL” because it’s a vital factor for not only statistical purposes but also for insurance companies and any potential legal case as well.
Always tell the officer if you are even slightly injured!
Some insurance companies will argue that your injury wasn’t caused by the accident if it wasn’t mentioned on the police report. If you have any pain or are concerned about function at all, it’s better to err on the side of telling the officer you may have an injury and that you may need to get treatment.
Injury Codes on the Georgia Crash Report
The various injury codes use in crash reports were all modified in 2018 so that they have slightly different definitions from January 1, 2018, forward. These include:
- 0 – No Apparent Injury (O). This category will only be used if there are no injuries and no one complains of an injury. Even if an officer doesn’t see an injury, they should still note complaints if they occur.
- 1 – Fatal Injury (K). A fatal injury includes any physical damage that results in death within 30 days of the crash. That means that the death doesn’t have to occur at the scene—it can happen at the hospital or at home much later. The injury classification should be changed if the fatality happened after the report was initially completed. Note: if your loved one lost their life in a car accident, you need to speak to a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.
- 2 – Suspected Serious Injury (A). A serious injury includes things like severe cuts that expose bones, organs, or muscle and/or result in a significant loss of blood. These are not fatal generally, but you should get medical attention right away.
- 3 – Suspected Minor or Visible Injury (B). This type of injury is apparent at the scene of the crash, but it’s not considered fatal or serious. A bruise or cut on the skin’s surface (lacerations) are the most common examples of minor injuries.
- 4 – Possible Injury or Complaint (C). This injury is defined as any possible injury that is not serious or minor. Claims of injury, visible limping, or pain complaints would all fall under this category. They may be reported or expressed by behavior, but there are no obvious wounds.
The categories were reworded to indicate that injuries are “suspected.” An officer isn’t a doctor, and their opinion of what type of damage occurred isn’t conclusive. The 2018 changes reflect that type of understanding.
That also means that you can, if needed, potentially argue that you had a valid injury related to the accident even if it wasn’t in the officer’s crash report — and even if the insurance company is claiming otherwise. Your car accident lawyer can help you.
Using Injury Information in Your Car Accident Case
Having information about your injury on a police report will be very helpful for your personal injury case. If no injuries are indicated right away, you may have a harder time showing that the crash actually caused your need for medical care down the road. Let John Foy & Associates help you use this information effectively. To get your FREE consultation, fill out the contact form on the right or call us at 404-400-4000 today.