Please be advised that the following topic is for informational purposes only and not a legal matter currently handled by our firm. If you need further assistance regarding this particular topic, you can contact your local Bar Association for a referral to an attorney who may be able to address your inquiry in more detail.
It’s common for people to ask, “how long does an accident stay on your record?”
We see this question and many other similar questions all the time after our clients have been in a car accident.
Most people who are involved in car accidents are not inherently bad people, and as such, it seems unfair to have the accident follow them around wherever they go by remaining on their record. Unfortunately, whether you are a good person or not doesn’t matter to the law.
However, while car accidents do go on your record, they do not stay there forever. Let’s take at how this works as well as how insurance rates are affected after an accident.
If you have further questions or need help with an accident claim, the San Francisco car accident lawyers at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers can assist you.
Will a Car Accident Be Permanently on My Record?
While an accident can stay with you for years, it is not permanent.
In California, accidents are legally required to be reported to the DMV. However, if the accident was not your fault, it might not show up on your record at all, and will instead be reported on the at-fault driver’s record.
But keep in mind that even if the accident is not your fault, it could still show up on your record. If you or the other party involved suffered more than $750 in damages or if someone is injured or dies, the DMV does require the accident to be reported and stored in the DMV’s records.
If you are at fault for the accident, it will not only be reported on your record, but you will also receive one point on your license, and too many points can result in license suspension.
How Long Does an Accident Stay on Your Record?
Points systems and how long accidents will stay on your record can vary by state.
In California, minor accidents typically only stay on your record for three years. If you were not at fault for the accident, however, you may be able to appeal to have the accident removed sooner, especially if you maintain a good driving record.
Accidents involving more serious accidents can stay on your record for longer, from five to ten years. A DUI conviction, for example, will stay on your driving record for ten years.
How Long Does An Accident Stay on Your Insurance?
Auto insurance companies use driving records when you apply for a policy, alter your policy, or renew your policy. They also keep a record of all claims you have made or that others have made against you for car accidents, even if the accident was not your fault.
The number of years insurance companies will look back into your driving history can vary by both the company and the state. But on average, most insurers keep these details on record and use them when determining your policy rates for around three to five years.
What Will My Insurance Rate Be After An Accident?
Your insurance rate after an accident may be higher when a new accident gets reported on your record, especially if the accident was your fault. If it wasn’t your fault, whether the accident counts against you and will raise your insurance premiums will depend on your individual insurance company.
Each company’s policy varies. This is because every insurance company uses its own method to calculate risk. So while one company might include any accident on your record as a risk, another company might only include accidents that are your fault.
Overall, the better a driver you are, the less likely you are to deal with things constantly affecting your insurance rates.
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus On Your Life
While California does have a set ruling on how long an accident will stay on your driving record, there is no set law for how long it will affect your insurance rates, as this can vary from one insurance company to the next. In most cases, it will more negatively affect you and your record if the accident was your fault.
This is why it is important to work with an attorney when you are involved in an accident. It’s important to ensure the right party is held accountable and that you are not incorrectly accused of fault.
At Sally Morin, we are dedicated to helping the people of California file their claims and get the results they need and deserve. If you have questions or concerns about a personal injury claim, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Call us at 877-380-8852 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.