A car accident can result in injuries, vehicular damage, and many other types of losses. It even ends up on your public record. You may be able to manage the direct losses of the crash by using your insurance. If another driver was at-fault, you can recover damages with the help of an Atlanta car accident lawyer.
Although it is easier to deal with the direct losses caused by a car accident, you also face other indirect losses due to an accident. This is particularly so when the accident is caused by your fault.
An important concern for most drivers is that accidents typically go on their public record. This can be detrimental for a number of reasons. Here’s a look at these reasons and the duration for which accidents become a part of your record.
Why Accidents on Your Record Matter?
When an accident becomes a part of your public or insurance record, it can have serious repercussions for you. A crash is included on your public record after it has been reported to the authorities. As per Georgia’s accident reporting requirements, you must record any accident you are involved in which results in property damage in excess of $500, or any injuries. If your crash meets these requirements, a police report will be filed for the crash and the accident will become a part of your public record.
Once on your public record, anyone can look up the crash by looking at your record. However, the good news is that any person or entity needs to submit a written statement of need in order to the details of your accident report. This is required under Georgia Law Enforcement and the Open Records Act. Even when someone can view these details, the fact you were involved in a crash would be still apparent to them.
This is particularly a concern when the crash was caused by your fault. In such a case, a potential employer or tenant may deem you as someone prone to erratic behavior. This can result in less social opportunities for you.
Similarly, when a crash becomes a part of your insurance record, it has a direct bearing on your insurance rates. Your insurer will typically deem you as a high-risk policy holder. This results in increased premium rates for your auto insurance policy. If you are involved in a second crash within the designated lookback period, you may experience even higher rates.
Duration of Accidents on Your Insurance Record
The duration for which a crash stays on your insurance record varies from one insurance company to another. On average, insurers have a lookback period of two years. This means that the crash will remain a part of your insurance record for a period of two years from the date of crash. Some insurers may have a longer lookback period. You will typically face a higher insurance premium for the duration of this lookback period.
Once the lookback period is over, the crash is removed from your insurance record and your insurance rates return to normal. It is important to note that a subsequent crash will be counted as a second or third crash if it occurs within the lookback period.
Duration of Accidents on Your Public Record
As noted above, for minor accidents which do not involve any injuries and the property damage is less than $500, an accident report is not typically filed. This means that the accident does not go on your rap sheet. At worst, you end up earning points for a moving violation or another traffic violation. You can meet certain requirements and then request to have these points removed after two years.
However, if an accident meets the reporting requirements and a police report is filed, the crash becomes a part of your public record for good. You may have some legal options to have it hidden or temporarily restricted from public view, but it stays on your record nonetheless. It is best to consult a reliable lawyer to explore your legal options in case you are involved in an Atlanta crash.
Why Hire an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer?
If you have suffered injuries and other losses due to the fault of another driver in an Atlanta crash, you are legally entitled to seek the full range of damages. Here at the Greene Legal Group, we help you file a claim for damages and recoup maximum compensation for your crash-related losses. Our lawyers also help you get non-economic damages for the pain and suffering caused by a crash. Call us today to schedule a free session with our lawyers.