Does a no-fault car accident go on your driving record in Florida? No, if you are not at fault for an accident in Florida, the car accident will not go on your permanent driving record. This news relieves many drivers who get into an accident in the Sunshine State.
It is well-known that your driving record can come back to haunt you at some of the most inopportune times over the years. This is not a worry for Florida drivers who have never received a ticket or traffic violation. For others with more “colorful” records, such as evidence of a DUI, driving records can hinder opportunities such as education and employment.
It is 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 get reported on your driving record in Florida in circumstances when you were not at fault.
Complete Florida Driving Record
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ 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 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 been purged
- D-6 suspensions unless retention is met and entry has been purged
- Department approved correspondence
- Entries indicating adjudication withheld-clerk of court
Florida drivers 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 auto accident will stay on an at-fault Florida driver’s record for 3-5 years.
In more serious cases, the time an auto accident stays on someone’s record will vary. Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles 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.
Do I Have to Report a Car Accident in Florida If I Wasn’t At Fault?
In Florida, Section 316.065 of the Florida Statutes states that any driver of a vehicle involved in a crash involving injury or death to a persona, or at least $500 of property damage, must immediately contact local law enforcement. This is the law. Failure to report an accident may result in a fine or your driver’s license suspension.
Will My Insurance Rates Go Up After a Car Accident in Florida?
Another question Florida 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 Florida driver 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 the insurance company to add an additional premium is if the insurer 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 benefits 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 no one is liable for injuries sustained in an accident. This is far from the truth. If a driver’s injuries are serious and medical expenses exceed PIP’s coverage, that person can 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 must 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.
At Fault or Not, Collecting Money Isn’t Always Easy
It should seem easy in a no-fault state to collect compensation after a car accident. If you are not at fault, you might think getting the money you need is even easier. This is not true. Insurance companies make a lot of money annually by paying accident victims only a fraction of what they deserve. They purposefully reduce claims and lowball accident victims.
Even when you try to collect on your PIP insurance policy after a crash, your insurance company can make things challenging. That’s why it is vital to hire an experienced Miami car accident lawyer to represent you after an accident.
Florida follows a comparative negligence rule. This means that you can collect damages proportional to your percentage of fault. Insurance companies know this. That’s why they try to pin some or most of the blame and liability on you. They may say you were speeding before the crash or driving distracted.
Here is a real-world example of how comparative negligence works in Florida after a car accident.
If your injuries are severe and your PIP won’t cover all your damages, you can file a car accident claim or personal injury lawsuit against the driver responsible for the crash. However, what if you are also partly to blame for the accident?
Let’s say, for instance, that the courts find you 20 percent to blame for the accident and your injuries. You would be able to receive 80 percent of the total damage amount. So if you’re awarded $100,000 for your injuries and suffering, you would only receive $80,000 of that award because you were 20 percent to blame.
To prevent this from happening, you must contact an experienced Miami personal injury lawyer with experience representing injured car accident victims. Your attorney will know how to fight insurance companies in Florida and will be able to get you compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and income
- Loss of future earnings
- Long-term disability
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
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 with experience handling Florida car accident cases can answer all your questions and help you pursue a claim for damages. It is important for injured victims to consult with a personal injury attorney to place themselves in an optimal position for financial recovery.
If you or someone you love were injured in a car accident, you might be eligible for compensation. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA provides high-quality legal services to car accident victims in throughout Florida. Call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676 and schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Miami car accident lawyer.