Does a Car Accident Go on Your Record in Florida if it Wasn’t Your Fault?

It is a well-known fact that over the years your driving record can come back to haunt you at some of the most inopportune times. For people who have never received a ticket or traffic violation, this is obviously not a worry. For others with more “colorful” records, such as evidence of a DUI, driving records can hinder opportunities for things such as education and employment. It is pretty easy to presume that traffic violations such as speeding tickets, points, DUIs, and suspensions will be listed on a person’s complete driving record. Car accidents where a person received a ticket are obviously listed, but the question looms about whether or not car accidents will be reported on your driving record in circumstances when you were not at fault. A Miami personal injury lawyer from the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked discusses this issue.

Florida Complete Driving Record

According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle’s driving record FAQ page, evidence of car accidents will only go on your complete driving record if you were issued a citation, i.e. you were at fault. Evidence of the crash has the same retention as an associated guilty disposition. Other items that are listed on a complete driving record include:

  • Issuances of driver’s licenses and/or identification cards
  • Driver education and exams passed
  • All open or closed revocations, suspensions, disqualifications, and cancellations that are recorded on complete driver history unless retention is met and entry has purged
  • D-6 suspensions unless retention is met and entry has purged
  • Department approved correspondence
  • Entries indicating adjudication withheld-clerk of court

Parties who were issued traffic citations for accidents and subsequently were found to be at fault, can potentially have accidents listed on their driving records for years. Most of the time, evidence of an accident will stay on an at-fault driver’s record for 3-5 years. In more serious cases, the amount of time that an accident will stay on someone’s record will vary. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle provides that evidence of an accident can remain on an individual’s driving record for as long as 10-15 years depending on the severity of the violation.

Insurance Premium Rate After a Car Accident in Florida

Another question that drivers often consider is whether fault plays a role in the rise of insurance premiums after a car accident. Florida is a no-fault insurance state meaning that after a car accident, a motorist may receive immediate coverage from his or her own insurance company regardless of who was at fault in the collision. Florida law prevents insurance companies from requesting an additional premium for a policy of:

  • Personal injury protection;
  • Motor vehicle liability;
  • Medical expenses; or
  • Car insurance

The only circumstance that allows for an additional premium to be added is if the insurance company makes a good faith determination that the insured driver was substantially at fault in the accident.

Benefits of Being a No-Fault Insurance State

There has been an ongoing debate over which type of insurance policy is more beneficial to motorists: no-fault or at-fault? There are many misconceptions that people have about no-fault insurance. The first misconception is that no-fault means no one is recognized as “at-fault” and thus no one is liable for injuries sustained in an accident. This is far from the truth, and if a driver’s injuries are serious and medical expenses exceed PIP’s coverage, that person has the option to file a personal injury suit against the at-fault driver.

No-fault insurance policies speed up the process of receiving coverage for your injuries. Without no-fault coverage, the insurance companies of both parties to an accident would have to complete an investigation to determine who was at fault in the accident. Then, once one of the parties was labeled as “at-fault,” that person’s insurance company would be required to pay for appropriate repairs and damages. No-fault insurance saves both parties a lot of time and money that would be spent on litigation between insurance companies.

Miami Car Accident Attorney

Filing for financial recovery for injuries after a car accident can be a confusing and tedious process. The stress of medical bills, time spent away from work, and anxiety over changes to your driving record can be overwhelming. A personal injury attorney who has experience handling Florida car accident cases can answer all of your questions and help you pursue a claim for damages. It is important for injured victims to consult with a personal injury attorney so that they can place themselves in an optimal position to for financial recovery.

If you or someone you love were injured in a car accident, you may be eligible for compensation. The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked provide high quality legal services to car accident victims in the greater Miami and South Florida areas. Call the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today at (305) 690-0244 and schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Miami car accident lawyer.

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