How Long Does An Accident Stay On Your Driving Record?

By Pyle Law, Reviewed by E. THomas Pyle May 15 2023 7:29 pm

How Long Does An Accident Stay On Your Driving Record?

By Pyle Law, Reviewed by E. THomas Pyle May 15 2023 7:29 pm
How Long Does An Accident Stay On Your Driving Record?

Updated march 2024

Getting into a car crash can be a difficult experience that leaves a person financially, physically, and emotionally damaged. One must deal with experiencing the ordeal and its possible impact on the body and bank account. 

And as if this alone was not enough, a person in a crash must also deal with having the collision on their record, which can, in some cases, lead to an increase in their insurance premium. 

So how long does a crash stay on your record? Different factors come into play. You should discuss your rights following a crash with a car accident lawyer in Kansas today. 


A Crash Stays On Your Record For Life But Affects Premiums For Up To Seven Years 

A collision will stay on your Motor Vehicle Record for life. This might sound daunting. However, while the collision stays on your record, an insurance company may use this information to increase rates for the next three to seven years. 

Insurance companies can access this information going back seven years. So if your crash happened more than seven years ago, this information will be on your record but cannot be used to establish a new premium. In sum, the cost of insurance will only be impacted for up to seven years.


Accident Forgiveness and Insurance Rates

Accident forgiveness is an option with some insurance companies that protects policyholders from a premium hike after an accident. The option is primarily available on an insurance policy after the driver’s first at-fault accident.

If you pay extra for accident forgiveness, your premium won’t increase because of a crash, so it will not matter how long an accident stays on your record. Some insurance companies offer accident forgiveness as a free loyalty perk for long-term customers with clean driving records.


How Car Accident Forgiveness Works

Insurers often require drivers to have a clean driving record for three to five years for an opportunity to have an accident forgiveness add-on. If a driver qualifies, the accident forgiveness add-on will raise premiums slightly, but it could provide benefits when involved in an at-fault accident. Visit our blog “How accident forgiveness works? Insurance Rates After An Accident” to get more details if is your case. 

If a policyholder with an accident forgiveness causes a car crash, the insurer won’t increase the rates automatically. However, the driver may not avoid additional consequences of a car crash.

The accident may still show up on the driver’s record, making them lose safe driving points they were previously eligible for, which may ultimately lead to an increase in premiums. 

More importantly, accident forgiveness only applies to the current policy. Anytime drivers renew their auto insurance policy, they may face a premium increase because of a negative driving record.

Here are important details to note about accident forgiveness:

  • Not all insurance companies offer accident forgiveness and it may be unavailable in some states.
  • The benefit of accident forgiveness applies to one at-fault accident. It means a second at-fault accident could lead to a premium hike.
  • If you switch insurance providers a few years after the crash, the at-fault accident remains in your driving record and may lead to a higher premium.


How A Car Accident Attorney Can Help

An insurance company will send an adjuster to investigate and decide the at-fault party for the accident. Unfortunately, an insurer may shift more blame to you than others. If you want compensation, establishing the liable party enhances your chances of obtaining a fair settlement for your losses.

Sharing fault in a car crash will also substantially affect your financial recovery. Under comparative negligence laws, two drivers can share liability for the same accident, and both might face increased insurance rates. An attorney can ensure you are not wrongfully blamed for a crash. 

Similarly, insurance providers apportion blame proportionately. If you’re partially liable for a crash, the insurer will reduce your compensation by a percentage of the fault shared. For instance, if you’re 20 percent responsible for the crash, you can only recover up to 80 percent of your injury-related losses.

If an insurance company or the other driver accuses you of being at fault for the accident, you should hire a Kansas car accident attorney

Here’s how an attorney can prove liability for a crash:


Familiarity With Traffic Laws

Many car accidents occur because drivers fail to follow traffic laws and road safety regulations. An attorney can use various sources of information, including police reports or surveillance cameras, to demonstrate fault of the other driver.

For instance, the police report contains important details like contact details of the witness, parties involved, time and date of the accident, and road and weather conditions. Alternatively, an attorney can work with an expert during investigations and apportion blame to the other driver.

After an attorney has proved you were not liable for the car accident, you can maintain your clean driving record and affordable insurance premiums.


Demonstrate the Extent of Injury

After proving the liable party in a car accident, you must also prove your injuries to recover compensation. An attorney will use their skills and knowledge to prove your injury, which occurred due to the responsible party’s actions.

An attorney can compile the following information to build your case:

  • Medical Records: An attorney can find crucial records like doctors’ notes, prescriptions, medical bills, and results of diagnostic tests. Consequently, an attorney can create a relationship between the severity of the injury and the liable party.
  • Change in Lifestyle: A severe injury like a spinal cord injury can cause a significant change in your lifestyle. For instance, the injury may affect your mobility, which could stop your ability to play with your kids or relate with your partner. 

An attorney can demonstrate that the other driver’s fault caused the severe injury and they should be liable for your injury-related losses.


These 4 Factors Impact Post-Crash Insurance Premiums

Factors that determine the cost of an insurance premium following a car accident include the following:


If you are found to be at fault in an accident, your insurance will likely increase. It can also increase if no parties are at fault for an accident. However, your premiums should not increase if your accident was no fault of your own. 

If you get no-fault insurance, an insurance provider will cover certain damages no matter which party is at fault for the accident.


Accident Severity

A minor accident with a bump, here, scratch, there, or fender bender might not impact your rates too heavily. If you cover necessary payments out of pocket, this can also help keep your insurance premium at bay, and you might seek compensation from an at-fault party.

However, a bad accident that requires payment for damages or injuries from your insurer will likely lead to an increase in your insurance rate. 

How Long Does An Accident Stay On Your Driving Record?


Driving Record

Have you had multiple accidents or speeding tickets? If so, you can be considered a risky driver and will likely experience an increase in your insurance rate. 

If you have a serious offense like drunk driving, an insurance provider might also consider not renewing an insurance policy once it expires.  



Age can be a determining factor in setting an insurance rate. Why? Teenagers are new drivers who are more prone to getting into an accident. 

And an older driver might also be a risk of certain health issues that prevent safe driving. Thus, an insurance premium may be higher for a younger or older driver since they are at higher risk of accidents.


What Are The Specific Rules for Kansas?

Minor offenses (like speeding) will stay on your driving record for three years. Major offenses (like DUI) will remain on your record for five years. If someone else was to blame for a crash, any offenses should go on their record, not yours.

If you have been in an accident, it is important to establish fault and minimize damages to be able to negotiate adequately with an insurance company. 


Contact A Kansas Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you have been in an accident, you may be eligible to secure damages if you file a claim. Protect your legal rights today and contact Pyle Law today at 620-241-9000, by email, or through our online contact form. 


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Pyle Law was founded in 1999 with a commitment to fewer clients and better service. We believe that each and every client is important and everyone is entitled to justice and equal protection under our laws. We make every case a priority and are committed to keeping each client informed about the status of their case. We do not guarantee results, but we do guarantee effort.


This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney E. Thomas Pyle who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a practicing personal injury trial attorney.