How Long Do Accidents Stay on Your Record?

Car accident

When you are in a car accident, you are likely not thinking beyond the immediate effects of the crash. Instead, you are worried about your injuries, the injuries of any passengers, getting medical attention, and the damage to your vehicle.

You need to be aware, however, of the long-term effects of accidents on your driving record and car insurance after taking care of your immediate needs. When the accident was not your fault, you should contact a car accident injury lawyer to find your legal options. 

Do you have to report a car accident in Florida?

In Florida, you must report car accidents to the FLHSMV (Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles). According to Section 316.005 of the Florida Statutes, you must report the accident to local law enforcement when property damage is at least $500 or more or when injuries or death occur. 

For accidents where property damage is less than $500, the accident victims can exchange insurance information and self-report the crash to FLHSMV by completing the crash report form and mailing it to the required address. 

How long do accidents stay on your record in Florida?

If you are found at fault for a car accident, you will be assigned a set number of points. These points can remain on your driving record for three to five years. 

The length of time is based on the type of driving infractions resulting from the accident. However, more dangerous infractions, like reckless driving, could remain on your record for as long as ten years. 

How much does your insurance go up after an accident?

One common question people have after an accident is, “How much will my insurance go up after an accident?” It depends on whether this was your first accident or if you have already had previous accidents. 

Many insurance companies will apply accident forgiveness to your first car accident, so your rates will not increase due to the accident. Other insurance companies may not offer accident forgiveness.

However, you should plan on rates increasing an average of 49% based on research from WalletHub when you are at fault. If you are not at fault for the accident, your rates will still increase but only by about 4%.   

How long does an accident stay on your insurance?

Most insurance companies in Florida will review your driving record from the previous three to five years. So, an accident can stay on your insurance for up to five years. Although, if you get into future accidents, it will extend the time it remains on your insurance. 

How long does it take to get car insurance with an accident on your driving record?

How long the process takes depends on the number of car accidents and other driving infractions on your driving record. For example, if you are considered a high-risk driver, your current insurance company could decide to cancel your coverage at the next renewal period. 

High-risk drivers also find it difficult to obtain traditional coverage through insurance providers like State Farm, Geico, and Travelers. Instead, they have to get high-risk insurance through the Florida Automobile Joint Underwriting Association (FAJUA) and one of the member insurance providers. 

How does Florida’s no-fault law affect my insurance rates?

While fault is determined in car accidents, Florida’s no-fault law requires drivers to file claims against their own insurance coverage first. Since you file against your own insurance, your rates will increase by about 4% if you are not at fault or 49% if you are at fault. 

In addition, if the extent of your personal injuries and property damage exceeds your insurance coverage, you can file a claim against the other driver’s insurance with help from a personal injury attorney. 

What if this was my third crash within three years? 

Florida law requires drivers who have been in three crashes within three years to complete an FLHSMV-approved 12-hour advanced driver improvement course and at least four hours of defensive driver training with a state-approved driving school. 

Drivers must also take a road test and pass it. All of these things must be completed within 90 days of the third accident to avoid the cancellation of one’s driver’s license.  

When should I contact a car accident injury attorney?

When you are injured in a car accident in Florida and are not at fault, you are entitled to seek monetary damages from the responsible party for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Therefore, it is highly recommended you contact a car accident injury attorney at Bernstein & Maryanoff as soon as possible. 

Our personal injury lawyers will review your case and provide sound legal advice. If you have grounds to file a claim, we will navigate all the complexities of dealing with the insurance companies on your behalf. 


FLA. STAT. § 316.065. (2022).

Report a Crash. (2022). 

Girardin, M, (2022). How Much Does INsurance Go Up After an Accident?

High RIsk Automobile Insurance Providers. (2020).

FLA. STAT. §627.7407. (2022).

FLA. STAT. §322.0261 (1c). (2022).

About the Author

attorney Jack Bernstein standing in front of a blurred background

Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.

Jack Bernstein is a hard working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you've been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.

The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.