How long an accident will stay on record typically depends on the insurance company and the state, so there is no definitive timeframe that applies to all drivers. However, the Insurance Information Institute (III) states that car accidents generally stay on a driver’s record and insurance premium for three years after the incident.
Even when drivers are not at fault for causing an accident, the incident will still go onto their driving record. This can impact a driver’s car insurance rates, depending on the company that covers them. The III also states that some insurance companies may not renew a driver’s policy if their driving history and record includes consistent traffic violations or accidents.
You Can Obtain Your Driving Record to Check Your History
No matter what state you live in, you may review your personal driving record with your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), as each state’s department is listed with USA.gov. When you reach out to your local DMV, you must request an official copy of your driving record. Depending on your state, you may obtain a copy in person, by mail, or online.
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) allows drivers to request both their points summary and a copy of their driving record. The points summary simply informs drivers of the number of points that are currently on their driving record.
You may also purchase either a three-year or 10-year driving record copy for $6 from the SCDMV. To receive a full driving record report, drivers must complete and submit an SCDMV Form MV-70.
According to the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS), drivers have four ways to request their Motor Vehicle Report (MVR). These four options include:
- Using the DDS 2 GO mobile app
- Using the DDS online portal
- Applying in person by completing the Motor Vehicle Request Form (Form DDS-18)
- Applying by mail
For a three-year driving record report, the DDS charges a fee of $6. Both a seven-year report and a lifetime report are each $8.
How South Carolina and Georgia Determine Fault for an Accident
Though states may vary on how long an accident will stay on record, as mentioned, your driving record will be impacted by a motor vehicle accident, regardless if you are found not at fault for the accident. Additionally, your insurance premium may rise even when you are not at fault in the accident.
When looking to determine fault, states have their own insurance laws governing the matter. For instance, South Carolina is a tort liability state, as explained by the South Carolina Department of Insurance (SCDOI). If you suffered bodily injuries or property damages from an auto accident, you may pursue compensation from the at-fault party in South Carolina.
In Georgia, fault is evaluated under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33. When a plaintiff in Georgia files a legal action against a defendant for personal injury, the court will determine if the plaintiff is partially responsible. If the plaintiff does share a percentage of fault in causing the accident, the court will reduce the plaintiff’s settlement award in proportion to their percentage of fault.
Fault can be evaluated and determined in several ways. For instance, the police may establish fault from their investigation at the scene of an accident. This information will be released from a police report, which insurance companies will refer to when making their own determination of fault. Insurance companies may send out an adjuster to review the accident and the evidence surrounding it. Upon completing their investigation, an insurance adjuster will also consider which party is at fault.
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Can Help You Pursue Compensation
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, you may be experiencing damages from the incident. These damages may include out-of-pocket costs, such as medical expenses and property damages. Your family may also experience damages that do not have a monetary value attached to them, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.
At our law firm, our car accident lawyers can protect your rights and fight for compensation after an auto accident. Our team also offers free case reviews to first learn about your legal matters. From here, we can determine your legal recourse options and begin investigating your accident.
Beyond pursuing compensation for your damages, our firm can handle all communications with insurance companies, obtain evidence to support your case, file an insurance claim on your behalf, and perform other legal services to build your case.
To start your free case review with George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, call us today or fill out our online contact form. We serve clients in South Carolina and Georgia.