How Long Does A Preventable Accident Stay On Your Record?

Picture of a car driving report representing the the amount of time an accident stays on your driving record

Accidents produce a significantly high number of injuries yearly in the United States. Unfortunately, numerous personal injury cases are the result of preventable accidents. While unforeseen circumstances cannot be truly avoided, there are certain steps that individuals can take to prevent it from happening.

When a person or entity fails to follow certain laws and regulations set to ensure safety, and it results in an accident, the aspect of “preventability” can help build a strong personal injury case.

For example, a driver did not follow the speed limit, and as a result, he crashed into another vehicle. The driver may be found liable for the damages because their failure to drive safely could be considered an act of negligence.

Understanding the impact of preventable accidents on one’s record is important so that individuals know what steps to take to help minimize its impact as well as avoid other future incidents.

Table of Contents

Definition of Preventable Accidents

As defined by the National Safety Council (NSC), a “preventable” accident is an accident in which the driver fails to do everything reasonable to prevent it. Drivers are responsible for ensuring vehicle safety not only for themselves but for the passengers as well.

Taking precautionary measures such as maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles on the road, following speed limits and paying attention to traffic conditions are essential factors. Failing to follow these set guidelines can result in an accident that may be identified as preventable by the court.

Generally, this type of accident also refers to an incident that only occurred as a result of someone choosing to do something or not do something. Other examples of preventable accidents include but are not limited to:

  • Rear-ending another driver after following too closely
  • Intersection collisions
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Work injuries caused by not having proper safety equipment
  • Medical malpractice

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created a Crash Preventability Determination Program (CPDP), which aims to evaluate the preventability of accidents through submissions of Request for Data Review to its national data correction, also known as DataQs.

If you are unsure whether your accident is preventable or non-preventable, you can submit a Request for Data Review (RDR) through DataQs.

Infographic explaining "what are preventable accidents?" divided into five categories: rear-end accidents, intersection accidents, slip and fall accidents, improper safety equipment, and medical malpractice, each with icons and brief tips.

Recording of Preventable Accidents

Documentation of preventable accidents in official records is important because it helps monitor safety and roadside behavior.

When reporting preventable accidents to relevant authorities, generally, you must provide accurate information on the incident report. Data included in the incident report include:

  • The type of incident
  • The location of the accident
  • The date and time the accident occurred
  • The people involved or injured
  • Details of the injured person
  • A list of witnesses to the incident
  • Detailed description of the severity of the injury
  • A description of what immediate measures were taken after the accident
  • Treatment done after the accident
  • Photographs or videos of the accident or its aftermath
  • Driver’s statement
  • Analysis of the incident

Impact of Preventable Accidents on Record

Being involved in a preventable accident can have long-term impacts on your driving record and costly consequences. When you apply for insurance coverage, your record can be used against you.

Typically, insurance companies rely on past records in determining the rates for customers, so being involved in a preventable accident, especially if you were the one at fault, can result in higher insurance premiums.

Moreover, having a preventable accident on your record can also have a negative impact on employment opportunities. Whether it was a minor or major accident, certain employers might view it as a red flag.

Most of the time, people think that when you’re involved in a preventable accident, you won’t be eligible to receive compensation. Contrary to what most people think, individuals who get injured as a result may still be able to recover compensation for the damages and losses. In some cases, the at-fault party will be held liable for the damages due to their failure to prevent the accident that caused the injury.

Duration of Record Retention

A records retention policy refers to the organized framework that dictates how long organizations should keep records before they get destroyed or archived.

Accidents generally remain on your record for around three (3) to five (5) years. However, that is not always the case. How long an accident stays on your record depends on the state you live in and the severity of the accident.

The retention policy may vary depending on the jurisdiction and industry – as a result, different types of documents are kept for various durations.

Factors Affecting Record Retention

While accidents can fall off your record after three (3) to five (5) years, it is important to understand the several factors affecting record retention. These include the severity of the preventable accident, its frequency, and mitigating circumstances surrounding the preventable accident.

The severity of the preventable accident

One of the factors that affects your record retention is the severity of the preventable accident. How severe was the accident? How many people were involved and injured? How big are the damages? Were there fatalities?

Frequency of preventable accidents

How many times have you been involved in a preventable accident? Is it your first time, or do you have several experiences? If you are found to be frequently involved in avoidable accidents, the length of time to which the accident stays on your record could be longer.

Type of violation

Another important factor affecting record retention is the type of violation that was charged. The retention period to when an accident stays on your file varies depending on the violation you were charged with.

Laws and regulations requirements

How long a preventable accident stays on your record also depends on the laws and regulations requirements of the state you live in. The retention policy is not fixed and may vary from state to state.

In some areas, a preventable accident could only stay on your record for three (3) years; in others, it could take five (5) years or even longer, depending on the law.

Strategies for Minimizing Record Impact

While you cannot turn back time to prevent the accident from happening, there are certain steps you can take after a preventable accident to mitigate its impact on record. So, what can you do to improve your driving record after an accident?

  • Adhere to the traffic laws and regulations carefully
  • Take defensive driver courses
  • Dispute errors on your driving record
  • Expunge your record
  • Fix minor issues as soon as possible
  • Consider purchasing accident forgiveness
  • Increase your deductibles
  • Ask your insurance company for any additional discounts you may qualify for

Moreover, you can also seek legal representation from a knowledgeable and well-experienced personal injury attorney in order to navigate other legal options for addressing inaccuracies or mitigating factors in record retention.

Importance of Legal Guidance

Navigating the aftermath of preventable accidents can get really complicated and overwhelming, especially if you lack the relevant legal knowledge. This is where the role of personal injury lawyers comes in.

Hiring an experienced lawyer can be beneficial in helping you deal with a personal injury case caused primarily by a preventable accident in several ways. So why should you hire one?

  • They have the right knowledge and expertise
  • They can investigate the accident
  • They can gather pieces of evidence
  • They can interview witnesses
  • They can help you prepare legal paperwork
  • They can negotiate on your behalf
  • They can guide you throughout the process as your case is in progress
  • They can help you understand your potential liabilities
  • They can assess the damages of the accident
  • They can help you find ways to minimize the long-term impact of preventable accidents on record.

The role of an attorney goes beyond providing legal advice and serving as legal representation. They also serve as advocates for clients who fight to ensure that their rights are being protected and that they receive proper treatment under the law.

Having legal representation is a good strategy to ensure your protection from unexpected challenges.

Contact Text Kevin Accident Attorneys Now

From higher insurance premiums to limited employment opportunities, getting involved in a preventable accident can have a huge impact on your record – especially if you are the one found to be at fault. Moreover, any other future violation could have heavier penalties due to prior offenses.

The length of time a preventable accident can stay on your record is typically three (3) to five (5) years. However, it is important to note that it may be different depending on the rules and regulations of the state that you reside in.

Navigating the legal process after getting involved in a preventable accident can be very complex. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. By seeking legal advice from a well-experienced attorney, you will be able to effectively address its consequences.

Text Kevin Accident Attorneys is a five-star rated personal injury law firm in Southern California focused on car accidents. Our team has helped hundreds of clients to get better settlements and maximum benefits. We’re ready to do the same for you.

If you have been involved in a car accident and are unsure of what to do, contact us now at (888) 965-3827 for your inquiries or send us a message through our secure and confidential online form. Our fast and reliable team is available to assist you 24/7.

Kevin Crockett

Kevin Crockett

Kevin Crockett is an award-winning personal injury lawyer who understands the impact an accident can have on someone’s life. That’s why he aggressively fights for each of his clients.

All Posts

More Legal Blogs

Getting Rear Ended While Stopped Settlement

Getting Rear Ended While Stopped Settlement

Being rear-ended while stopped can be a jarring experience, often leaving victims with injuries and financial burdens. Understanding the settlement process for these types of

Suggest a Correction