The Impact of a Car Accident on Your Record in Indiana

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Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers

June 25, 2024

The Impact of a Car Accident on Your Record in Indiana image

If you are involved in a car accident, you might wonder how it will impact your driving record. How long will an accident stay on my record? How will it affect my auto insurance rate? The effects of a car accident on your record vary by state, but Indiana uses a point system.

What is a Driver Record?

A driver’s record contains your driving history. Specifically, it shows any current and resolved suspensions, citations, and violations you have. It also includes identifying information about you, including your address, birth date, and gender, as well as your driver’s license number, license type, expiration date, and current points.

How Long Does an Accident Stay on Your Record?

In Indiana, the length of time an accident will stay on your record is determined by points. Indiana law assigns a point value for convictions of moving violations. (Moving violations can also help accident victims establish liability for their injuries.) The number of points (zero to 10) depends on the seriousness of the offense “in posing a risk to traffic safety.” For example, a headlight violation is two points, but at-fault accidents, such as reckless driving causing injury, leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death, and an OUI causing injury or death, is 10 points.

Although points remain active on an individual’s driving record for two years from the conviction date, you can seek a deferral program. If accepted, you may avoid accumulating too many points that may warrant an Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles penalty. For example, a driver with 14 points receives a letter from the Indiana BMV warning the driver of future penalties. If a driver has 20 points, they will receive a suspension notice.

How Can You Remove Points from Your Record?

Indiana has a Driver Safety Program that can remove points from your record. A BMV-approved Driver Safety Program is a defensive driving curriculum you can take in a classroom or online or watch DVDs. The course provides defensive driving techniques for which you can receive a four-point credit. If the BMV requires a driver to participate in a Driver Safety Program, they must complete it within 90 days of a mailed notification. Failure to complete a Driver Safety Program within 90 days from the date of the BMV’s mailed notice will result in the suspension of the individual’s driving privileges. Every Indiana driver is permitted one four-point credit during a three-year period.

How Much Does Insurance Increase after an Accident?

The Impact of a Car Accident on Your Record in Indiana image 2If you are involved in an accident, your car insurance company could increase your insurance rates. Whether rates increase largely depends on fault. If you are found to be at fault for an accident, your insurance may have to pay a claim, which impacts your claims history. Serious accidents can mean large claims. And, if you are found to be responsible for an accident, the police will often issue a citation which will appear on your driving record. Insurance companies have access to these records, which can impact car insurance rates.

If you were not at fault for the accident, your rates may not increase. Because another driver hits you, it doesn’t mean you are an unsafe driver (and thus, more of a risk for the insurance company); it means the other driver acted in an unsafe manner. If your rates do increase, even if you were not at fault, you may consider buying insurance from another provider.

What Can You Do to Decrease Your Rates?

To help your rates decrease after an accident, you should do your best to avoid getting into another accident. Many insurance companies have accident forgiveness policies that clear the accident from the insured’s record with the company after a certain length of time. You can also talk to your agent about other steps to take to lower your rates. Your agent may also suggest that you shop around for other insurance companies.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today

At [law-firm], we want to give you the personalized attention that our clients have come to expect. If you were involved in a car accident, you may need a personal injury attorney. We can assist in all aspects of your car accident case. Call us today at (219) 286-7361 for a free consultation.

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