2021 Georgia Code
Title 40 - Motor Vehicles and Traffic
Chapter 6 - Uniform Rules of the Road
Article 12 - Accidents
§ 40-6-273. Duty to Report Accident Resulting in Injury, Death, or Property Damage

Universal Citation: GA Code § 40-6-273 (2021)

The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or property damage to an apparent extent of $500.00 or more shall immediately, by the quickest means of communication, give notice of such accident to the local police department if such accident occurs within a municipality. If such accident occurs outside a municipality, such notice shall be given to the office of the county sheriff or to the nearest office of the state patrol.

(Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 556, § 45; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1494, § 1; Code 1981, §40-6-274; Code 1981, §40-6-273, as redesignated by Ga. L. 1990, p. 2048, § 5; Ga. L. 1994, p. 97, § 40; Ga. L. 1994, p. 363, § 1.)

Law reviews.

- For annual survey of insurance law, see 58 Mercer L. Rev. 181 (2006).


Time to report accident.

- As neither an individual injured in a car accident nor the car's owner provided notice of such accident to police until four or five days after the accident, the injured passenger was not entitled to recover under the driver's uninsured motorist policy. Navarro v. Atlanta Cas. Co., 250 Ga. App. 550, 552 S.E.2d 508 (2001).

When other driver unknown.

- To recover uninsured motorist insurance benefits in a "John Doe" action, an insured, or a person acting on the insured's behalf, must give immediate notice of the accident to the local police department under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-273. Dawkins v. Doe, 263 Ga. App. 737, 589 S.E.2d 303 (2003).

Trial court properly granted summary judgment to an insurer because after a motorcyclist was injured in a collision with a pickup truck, whose driver left the scene, and did not report the incident to the police for 29 days; the motorcyclist violated O.C.G.A. § 40-6-273, which was a condition precedent to uninsured motorist coverage under O.C.G.A. § 33-7-11(c). Pender v. Doe, 276 Ga. App. 178, 622 S.E.2d 888 (2005).

Charge not required.

- Trial court's refusal to give the defendant's oral request to charge the jury on the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-273 was not error as the defendant was not charged with violating the duty to report accidents as set out in that section and the defendant failed to submit a written request to charge on that section. Grady v. State, 212 Ga. App. 118, 441 S.E.2d 253 (1994).

Severity of the injury.

- Evidence that the defendant was driving some people home in a truck from a bar, that the decedent fell off the truck bed, that the decedent was lying unconscious on the pavement, that the defendant and other people in the truck put the decedent in the truck, that the defendant and the others did not take the decedent to a hospital when the decedent regained consciousness in the truck because the decedent did not want to go to a hospital, and that the defendant did not report the accident, was sufficient to support the defendant's conviction for failing to report the accident. Steele v. State, 275 Ga. App. 651, 621 S.E.2d 606 (2005).

Evidence insufficient to support conviction.

- Evidence was insufficient to support a conviction of leaving the scene of the accident since there was no collision with another car, no one was injured, and the defendant claimed that any damage was worth far less than $500; the defendant intended to leave the car in a ditch for only a short time and return for the car later. Harvey v. State, 277 Ga. App. 435, 626 S.E.2d 623 (2006).

Factors for determining negligence of hit and run driver.

- In a wrongful death action filed against a county sheriff's deputy and the county, the administrator's claim that the deputy failed to report an accident and failed to render aid, in violation of both O.C.G.A. §§ 40-6-270(a)(3) and40-6-273, were rejected, and the deputy and the county were erroneously denied summary judgment as the evidence showed that: (1) the deputy radioed for officer assistance; (2) the two officers looked for a second vehicle that might have been involved in the accident, to no avail; and (3) based on these factors, no evidence existed that the deputy breached the duty imposed by § 40-6-273. Purvis v. Steve, 284 Ga. App. 116, 643 S.E.2d 380, cert. denied, No. S07C1063, 2007 Ga. LEXIS 517 (Ga. 2007).

Cited in Collins v. Porterfield, 102 Ga. App. 294, 116 S.E.2d 105 (1960); Thomas v. State, 133 Ga. App. 893, 212 S.E.2d 648 (1975); Hall v. State, 200 Ga. App. 585, 409 S.E.2d 221 (1991).


Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions under former Code 1933, T. 68 are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Accident on private property.

- No specific statutory mandate requires a county sheriff to investigate an accident occurring on private property. 1968 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 68-206 (decided under former Code 1933, T. 68).

Accidents on private property.

- All accidents must be reported, even though the accident may occur on private property. 1972 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U72-34.


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 7A Am. Jur. 2d, Automobiles and Highway Traffic, §§ 184, 210.


- 60 C.J.S., Motor Vehicles, § 46. 61A C.J.S., Motor Vehicles, § 1692 et seq.


- Liability for injuries due to collision between street car and automobile at street intersection, 28 A.L.R. 217; 46 A.L.R. 1000.

Constitutionality, construction, and effect of statute in relation to conduct of driver of automobile after happening of an accident, 66 A.L.R. 1228; 101 A.L.R. 911.

Necessity and sufficiency of showing in a criminal prosecution under a "hit-and-run" statute accused's knowledge of accident, injury, or damage, 23 A.L.R.3d 497; 26 A.L.R.5th 1.

Sufficiency of compliance with requirement of criminal "hit and run" statute that motorist identify himself, 48 A.L.R.3d 685.

Admissibility of police officer's testimony at state trial relating to motorist's admissions made in or for automobile accident report required by law, 46 A.L.R.4th 291.

Necessity and sufficiency of showing, in criminal prosecution under "hit-and-run" statute, accused's knowledge of accident, injury, or damage, 26 A.L.R.5th 1.

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