How Long Does an Accident Stay on Your Record

Vehicle accidents can substantially impact your insurance rates and show up as points on your driving record.

This can be important for many reasons, including if you want to try to obtain employment in the transportation industry.

Vehicle accidents are never fun, and the implications can last for several years beyond the completed settlement.

You might be wondering, How long does an accident stay on your record? 

Each state has a different protocol for handling how accidents appear on your driving record.

A Missouri accident record will continue to show for three years following the crash, but some other infractions might stay on your record for longer. 

Factors Impacting Your Missouri Accident Record

How long does an accident stay on your record in Missouri?

The specific circumstances of your accident and your existing record before the accident will impact this answer.

Some factors include the following:

  • The insurance company you are using,
  • How long you have been with that insurance provider,
  • Your age at the time of the accident,
  • Where you live,
  • The severity of the accident you were in, and 
  • The cost of your losses. 

Your vehicle insurance provider can give you more information that is specific to your circumstances. 

What Is Accident Forgiveness?

Some insurance companies offer accident forgiveness programs within certain policies that allow you to avoid higher premiums after a crash.

This is most likely applicable if you have no other accident on your record within a certain number of years.

You will need to contact your insurance company to ask about accident forgiveness.

The Point System in Missouri

Each driving infraction in Missouri is worth a certain number of points on your record, and accumulating points is a bad thing.

Think along the lines of golf, where the lower your number of points, the better. Points remain on your record for a certain amount of time and can have serious consequences if they accumulate quickly. 

The number of points you receive for a violation can depend on the nature of the violation and who issued the citation.

For example, a speeding ticket in the city might cost you two points. However, if the highway patrol issued the citation, it might be three points.

If speeding caused an accident, you could have two additional points added. Too many points at once could result in the suspension of your license.

Here is a rundown of the suspension limits in Missouri:

  • If you accumulate 8 points in 18 months, your license is suspended for 30 days;
  • If you accumulate 8 points in 18 months twice, you get a 60-day license suspension;
  • If you accumulate 8 points in 18 months 3 times, you get a 90-day license suspension;
  • If you get 12 points in 12 months, your license will be suspended for 365 days;
  • If you accumulate 18 points in 24 months, you’ll get a 365-day license suspension; and
  • If you get 24 points in 36 months, you’ll get a 365-day license suspension.

Once you reach or exceed 12 points in 12 months, you will also be required to obtain high-risk insurance once your license is reinstated. 

How Long Do Points Stay on Your Record in Missouri?

The points on your driving record typically remain there for three years, but there are rewards for good behavior.

If you go one full year without any new points on your record, the existing points drop by one-third.

After two years without new points, the existing points will drop by one-half. After three years, your record could be cleared. 

Depending on your situation, there are ways to avoid accruing points on your driving record.

An experienced attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to keep the violation off your record or have it reduced to a non-moving violation. 

What If The Accident Was Not Your Fault?

Missouri is an “at-fault” state, which means that whoever caused the accident is responsible for the damages.

Similarly, if you did not cause the accident, you should not have the accident on your record or receive points on your driver’s license.

It is important to check with your insurance company to ensure that they are not treating it as a chargeable accident if you were not at fault.

But you might need to submit evidence to prove the other driver’s liability.

Evidence may include the following:

  • The accident police report,
  • Eyewitness statements about the accident,
  • Testimony from crash experts,
  • Photographs of the accident scene, or 
  • The other driver’s admission of guilt.

So be sure to obtain as much evidence as possible to prove your claim.

Call the Cottrell Law Office

The team at the Cottrell Law Office can help you gather evidence and prove fault. We can also help you negotiate with the insurance company for fair compensation.

We have 32 years of experience navigating the Missouri legal system, and we are happy to help.

Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you.

Author Photo

Wesley Cottrell

Wes Cottrell earned his B.A. from Pittsburg State University in 1981 and his J.D. from the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas in 1985. He was admitted to practice law in Kansas in 1986, in Missouri in 1987, in Arkansas in 1989, and Oklahoma in 1993. He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.

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