What is the KABCO Scale for Assessing Catastrophic Injuries?

Car accidents remain one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S., so government officials are constantly researching, assessing data, and reviewing statistics to determine ways to reduce them. One measurement that has proven useful for purposes of analysis is the so-called KABCO scale established by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), which evaluates the severity of auto collision injuries and expresses how they impact crash costs. 

There are several complicated formulas that FHWA uses to balance how much a manufacturer must expend to implement accident countermeasures against how well they succeed in reducing crashes. The resulting calculation is useful from the perspective of societal costs, but the KABCO scale may also be a factor if you suffered severe, debilitating trauma in a collision. Though you can trust your Miami catastrophic injuries attorney for help with the legal process, here is an overview of the KABCO scale. 

KABCO Injury Scale and Cost Assessment

There are financial implications attached to any motor vehicle accident, and the costs will be higher when a crash leads to casualties. The KABCO scale corresponds to the severity of the injuries as assessed by law enforcement responding to investigate the scene.

  • K = A victim was killed.
  • A = The victim suffered incapacitating injuries that require hospitalization and/or transport for medical care, such as broken bones, amputation.
  •  B = Injuries to victims were evident to officers at the scene, but they were non-disabling lacerations, scrapes, or minor bruises.
  • C = A victim suffered possible injuries.
  • O = There were no apparent injuries involved in the crash.

This information is used to evaluate calculable costs of a motor vehicle accident, including expenses for medical treatment, lost income, impacts upon productivity, and many others. For instance, in 2019 figures, an auto accident fatality was valued at $1,704,000; even a collision with no observed injuries (O) is worth $12,500. To reiterate, these are the societal costs to U.S. economy as a measurement of prioritizing prevention.

What KABCO Means for a Miami Car Accident Case

At the individual level, the KABCO scale could have an impact on your claim for compensation after an auto crash. The letters corresponding to the severity of injuries will be included in the police report that officers prepare at the scene, so the information can be powerful evidence of how badly you were hurt – which, in turn, impacts your monetary damages. Classification of your injuries on the KABCO scale may also be important for overcoming the injury threshold under Florida’s no-fault laws.

Contact a Miami Catastrophic Injuries Lawyer to Discuss Legal Remedies

The KABCO scale may be a factor in a car accident claim, but there are many other details you will need to prove fault when seeking compensation for your losses. To learn more about your legal options, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. We can set up a no-cost consultation with a catastrophic injuries attorney who can review your situation and advise you on the process.

Florida Justice Association
The National Center for Victims of Crime
outh Florida Legal Guide
Contact Information