How Long Does a Car Accident Stay on Your Record in Canada?

Car accidents are frightening events. Unfortunately, the aftermath of a car accident can be just as nerve-wracking as the accident itself. In Canada, the time that a car accident stays on your insurance record varies by province, meaning long after you have settled your claim, there may still be repercussions. You may have questions about your record, such as “For how long does an accident stay on your record?” and “Does an accident show on driving record?”

At Wagners, our personal injury lawyer Halifax wants to help you understand the implications of a car accident and how long it may stay on your driving record.

Do Car Insurance Companies Check Your Driving Record for Accidents?

The short answer is yes. Canadian car insurance companies typically check your driving record to help them determine your insurance premium. Your driving record contains vital information about accidents and traffic violations. They use this information to determine how risky it is to insure you. With this information, they can calculate your premium.

If you have a history of accidents and traffic violations, you may be considered a high-risk driver, and your insurance premium may be higher. You may be eligible for lower insurance rates with a clean driving record.

However, it is essential to note that car insurance companies also consider other factors when calculating your premiums, such as age, gender, type of car, and location.

How Long Do Accidents Stay on Your Record in Canada?

Canada has no set standard for how long a car accident stays on your record. The time that a car accident stays on your driving record depends on the province or territory in which you reside.

In most provinces, such as Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia, a car accident will stay on your driving record for six years from the accident date. In Quebec, an accident can remain on your insurance record for up to three years.

The time that an accident stays on your driving record may also depend on the accident’s severity and whether you were at fault. How long does an at-fault accident stay on your record? If you were at fault for causing the collision, the accident could remain on your record for longer than an accident in which you had no fault. In Nova Scotia, that means the accident could remain on your record longer than six years.

It’s also worth noting that while an accident may no longer appear on your driving record after a certain period, it may still affect your car insurance rates for several years. How far back do insurance companies look at your driving record? Most insurance companies will only look back three years into your record. However, different insurance companies may have different standards and could go back as many as ten years to look at your driving history to assess potential risk, even if the accident is no longer on your driving record.

How Does a Car Accident Impact My Insurance Rates?

A car accident can impact your insurance rates in serval significant ways depending on who is liable for the collision. The most immediate and prominent consequence of a car accident is an increase in monthly premiums. In Canada, the more accidents you have on your record, the higher your insurance premium will be. The insurance company assesses its risk when extending insurance coverage to you. An accident, especially where you are at fault, makes you more of a liability.

Many Canadian provinces also institute a demerit point policy. For example, you gain demerit points on your driver’s license in Ontario when convicted of breaking traffic laws. These demerit points can stay on your driving record for two years from the violation date. While collecting enough points means losing your driver’s license, demerit points on your license can also result in higher car insurance rates. Nova Scotia has a similar demerit point system.

Suppose you are liable for causing an accident. In that case, you may also find that your insurance company raises your deductible. You must pay higher out-of-pocket costs before insurance kicks in to cover your remaining expenses. Your insurance company may also penalize you with a loss of discounts or safe driver benefits.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Canada

Statistics from Transport Canada and the Canadian government indicate that in a recent year, the number of motorists killed in car accidents hit 1,745. At least 101,572 people were injured, and of those, 7,868 reported severe injuries.

Car accidents occur daily. Not only do these traumatic events impact you immediately, but they can affect your life in the foreseeable future. Some of the most common causes of car accidents on Canadian roadways include the following:

  • Distracting driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Speeding
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Tailgating or following too closely
  • Traffic violations
  • Failure to yield

Inclement weather conditions and mechanical defects can also lead to significant accidents.

Does It Matter Who Is At Fault?

Yes, fault can play a role in determining insurance rates. An at-fault accident where you are responsible for causing the collision can significantly increase your rates and impact your driving record. Your insurance company evaluates evidence like the police report, photographs, and witness statements to determine fault. Sometimes, two or more drivers may be found partially at fault for causing a collision. Increasing the percentage of fault you bear for causing an accident means your insurer can attempt to offer you less money than what your claim may be worth. It may also allow them to increase your rates and premiums, costing you more money in the future.

Working with a lawyer following a car accident is smart, especially when you aren’t to blame. A lawyer can help you build a compelling insurance claim based on evidence. By establishing that the other driver is to blame and not you, your lawyer may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve and lessen the impact of future rate hikes. Remember, at-fault drivers tend to face steeper price increases for coverage.

Contact an Experienced Canadian Personal Injury Lawyer

Have you been involved in a car accident? Do you have questions about how long the accident may remain on your record? Discuss your situation with a skilled personal injury lawyer at Wagners. Our legal team can help you pursue the money you deserve and prepare you for what to expect regarding any effects on your driving record.

Contact our office today to arrange a confidential consultation with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer.

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