How Long Does a Car Accident Stay on Your Record?
Car accidents have many potential consequences, including property damage, personal injury, and emotional and physical pain and suffering. In addition to these damages, a car accident can impact your driving record and car insurance premiums.
Following a car accident, drivers often wonder how long a car accident stays on record. Car accident lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC answer that question here, and also discuss how a car accident may affect the cost of car insurance coverage for drivers in Bellevue, WA, and surrounding areas.
How Long Does Washington Keep Car Accidents on Record?
The amount of time that a car accident stays on a driver’s record varies for each state. According to the Washington State Department of Licensing, a non-commercial accident stays on a driver’s license for five years. If a person is driving a commercial vehicle at the time of a crash the accident stays on record longer in Washington - for 10 years.
The only exception to the abovementioned time frames is an accident involving a DUI conviction. In Washington, alcohol-related convictions remain on a person’s driver’s license record for life.
What if the Accident Wasn’t My Fault?
Oftentimes a person is involved in an accident by no fault of their own. If a car accident is caused by another driver, it will still go on the license record of all involved drivers, and remain on record according to state guidelines. However, all accidents are noted as either “involvement” or “fault,” so the record makes it clear when a driver was involved in an accident, but not at-fault for the collision.
Will an Accident on Record Affect My Insurance Premiums?
If a driver has a car accident on record and the crash is reported to be their fault, it will likely affect the cost of their insurance premiums. However, an accident that is on a driver’s record with an “involvement” notation should not increase insurance costs, since it doesn’t identify them as a high risk driver.
Can I Clear My Driving Record?
Marks on a driving record (including accidents, traffic violations, or unpaid tickets) can cause insurance premiums to go up. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways that Bellevue drivers can attempt to clear their driving record.
- Removing errors - If there are errors on a driving record, such as expired accidents or traffic violations that have not been removed, drivers can write to the DMV to report the errors and request that they be removed.
- Expungement request - If there are valid accidents or traffic violations on an individual’s record, they can request that they be expunged. This request will not necessarily be granted. If the request is granted, drivers will likely be required to attend traffic school or a driver improvement course to clear their record.
Contact Quick Law Group, PLLC
If you have been involved in a car accident and have questions about accident liability or compensation for accident damages, the lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC can help. To schedule a consultation with our legal team, send us a message online, or call our Bellevue law firm at (425) 576-8150.