Posted on Saturday, April 1st, 2023 at 9:00 am
Ever thought about how your driving record may affect your injury case? A poor driving record can affect more than your insurance premiums and driver’s license standing. Additionally, it can also harm the injury claim you file after getting hurt in a car crash, even if it is someone else’s fault.
Insurance carriers don’t want to pay claims. They look for evidence they can use against accident victims to reduce the value of losses or disprove the extent of the injury. For instance, if the insurer discovers a valid reason to provide a lowball settlement offer or deny your claim, they will.
A driving record is one of those reasons. For example, they might see your driving history as proof that you’re not a safe driver. They could blame you for the collision or argue that your injury occurred in a past accident.
How Long Does a Car Accident Stay on Your Record?
A car crash doesn’t affect someone’s driving record unless it results in a traffic conviction. The Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) will assess points on a person’s driver’s license based on the traffic infraction. Subsequently, the conviction falls off the license after two years. However, it remains on the driving record indefinitely.
According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the type of violation determines the number of points added to a driver’s license.
Two-point infractions include:
- Exceeding the speed limit by 1 to 25 miles per hour
- Improper lane
- Drinking alcohol while operating a car
- Improper operation of a motorcycle
- Fail to signal or use the incorrect turn signal
- Making improper turn
- Inability to control vehicle
- Unsafe operation
- Emergency vehicles
- All other moving violations
Three-point violations include:
- Following too closely
- Fail to obey maintenance zone markers, flagman, construction, police officer, restricted lane
- Disregarding a traffic control device
Four-point infractions include:
- Wrong side of the road/illegal passing
Five-point violations include:
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Speeding at least 26 miles over the speed limit
- Failure to yield the right of way
Six-point violations include:
- Reckless driving or reckless endangerment involving the operation of a motor vehicle
- Any conviction resulting from a criminal charge involving drinking alcoholic beverages and driving a vehicle but not requiring mandatory driver’s license revocation
A traffic violation can lead to a suspended driver’s license. The suspension goes into effect ten days after the MVD issues a notice of the infraction. However, if the driver requests an administrative hearing, it can delay the suspension.
Regarding the duration of a suspension, it will depend on the number of points assessed on a person’s driver’s license in two years:
- 12 to 14 points – 60 days
- 15 to 17 points – 90 days
- 18 to 20 points – 120 days
- 21 to 23 points – 180 days
- 24 points or more – 365 days
What Indicates a Clean Driving Record?
In Alabama, a clean driving record doesn’t have moving violations, accidents, or points. A record free of recent infractions is beneficial.
The characteristics of a clean driving record include:
- Three to five years without car crashes
- At least ten years without major infractions, such as a hit and run or DUI
- Two years without traffic tickets or moving violations
- Seven years without filing an insurance claim
- Three to five years without points assigned to a driver’s license
You can request a copy of your driving record by:
- Calling the Driver License Records Unit;
- Mailing a completed request form to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency; or
- Visiting a local Alabama Reinstatement office.
Can I Get an Accident Removed from My Driving Record?
No. You can’t remove a car accident from your record. However, the Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS) might remove points assessed on your license. Point removal only applies to less severe traffic violations.
To clarify, you must complete a driving safety course approved by the DPS to get points removed from your license. After you finish the course, pay any fines for the license suspension and reinstatement and submit the completion certificate. Then, the DPS should remove the points from your license.
Get Aggressive Representation for Your Injury Case
At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, our team of experienced Birmingham car accident lawyers has represented injured clients in Alabama for over 20 years. We have extensive knowledge of how your driving record may affect your injury case, and we know the struggles of recovering after a crash while pursuing legal action against the at-fault party. Above all, you don’t have to deal with the complex process of obtaining compensation alone, our team is here for you.
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP is ready to help you fight for the money and justice you deserve. Call us for a free consultation at (205) 407-1795 if you sustained injuries in a collision because of another driver’s negligence. We’re available 24/7 to speak with you.