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How Long Does a Car Accident Stay on Your Record?

If you have recently been in a car accident in California, you are probably asking yourself how long does a car accident stay on your record? This question could be really troubling if you do not know the answer. You can find out how long a car accident stays on your record by asking a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney. You should avoid getting a car accident from your record because it will certainly affect your insurance premium payments going forward. Insurance companies will use the surcharge to penalize you for the accident or traffic citation on your record.

The answer to this dreadful question is that insurance companies look at your driving record as far back as three to five years. Therefore, an insurance company can charge you higher premiums for a car accident that happened up to five years ago. Some fraudulent insurance companies may try to charge you for incidents that go farther than that.

Car Accidents and the California DMV

Each and every car accident that happens in California is reported to and recorded by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). On the contrary, if the report states that you were not the one at fault for the accident, it may not show up on your record at all. Instead, it will be on the record of the person responsible for the infraction.

However, the California DMV also states that if you or another party involved in your car accident has suffered over $750 in damages, or if someone is injured or dies in an accident, it is mandatory for the accident to be reported on a SR-1 accident report. The report must be recorded by the California DMV and stored.

You get one point on your license from the California DMV if you are at fault for the accident. The information about the accident and why you were awarded the point will then be included in your driving record and will remain on your record for the next three years.

Insurance Companies Use Your Driving Record

An auto insurance company will usually review your driving record when you apply for a policy, renew a policy or alter your policy in any way. They will request for your record from the California DMV, check your record and then calculate your liability insurance rates.

The insurance company will also keep a record of all claims against car accidents. They use the record to see your previous claims and rate you based on their evaluation. The company keeps the records even if you were not at fault for the accident as long as any claim was filed against you.

In conclusion, an accident can stay on your record for three to five years and will affect the insurance premium rates you pay. Some insurance firms will try and charge you more by going farther than that. If you are paying more in insurance payments than you think you deserve, you should call a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney immediately.