Under most circumstances, an accident will stay on your record for up to three years. This is important because it could impact your insurance rates—even if you were not responsible. In addition, some factors could cause an accident to remain on your record for far longer than three years. While it won’t remain forever, the impact could be significant. Dealing with insurance complications is only one aspect of a car accident that will require your attention. If you were injured, a Rockland County car accident lawyer could help you pursue compensation for your injuries.
Understanding how long accidents remain on your record
Often, the length of time that your accident will stay on your record will depend on the nature of the crash. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles classifies all accidents as either minor or serious, and this designation will determine how long it will remain on your record.
If you were involved in a minor accident, it would remain for the rest of the current year as well as the three years after that. It is then removed on January 1st of the following year.
However, serious accidents will follow you for much longer– up to 10 years. State law does not provide a direct definition of a serious accident. In practice, this designation is reserved for accidents that result in severe injuries or death. Collisions involving drug or alcohol use could also qualify.
What an accident means for your insurance rates
Unfortunately, having an accident on your record will likely have a negative impact on your insurance rates. In some cases, it could raise your rates by as much as 30 percent. This is true no matter who was at fault. The police often ticket the driver responsible with a moving violation. If that happens to you, your rates could go up even more.
Lowering rates after an accident
Rate increases after an accident might be unavoidable, but there are steps you could take to bring them down. The easiest way to lower the cost of insurance is by taking a defensive driving course. Another option is to seek out additional discounts from the insurance company. There are many ways you could secure a discount, including switching to paperless billing or setting up your payments on auto-draft. Every insurance company has different options.
Contact us for a free consultation
If you were injured in a car accident, you have more to deal with than just insurance coverage issues. If it occurred through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to recover a monetary award from the negligent driver.
Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident can be physically and emotionally draining. However, by putting your case in the hands of a car accident lawyer, you can focus on healing. At Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman P.C. we are proud of our track record of success in representing injury victims. If you are ready to move forward with your injury lawsuit, contact us right away for a free consultation.