Have you been involved in a car accident in Texas? Following the crash, you might be concerned that the accident will appear on your driving record and potentially have financial consequences, such as increased insurance costs. If you were not at fault, then the crash shouldn’t adversely affect your driving record.
A San Antonio car accident lawyer with the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover can answer your questions and help you understand your legal options. Attorney Troy A. Brookover has advocated for car accident victims throughout the Lone Star State for more than 30 years. He has helped thousands of clients seek just compensation after car crashes and secured many six- and seven-figure settlements and jury awards.
We understand that you need full and fair compensation as soon as possible to help with your medical bills, lost income, vehicle repairs, and other expenses. Attorney Troy Brookover is certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, recognizing his extensive experience representing injury victims inside and outside the courtroom.
Contact the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover to speak to a San Antonio auto accident lawyer about your legal rights during a free initial case review. We can help you evaluate the effects of a car crash on your driving record in Texas.
Do Permanent Driving Records Exist in Texas?
Yes, Texas authorities maintain permanent driving records for motorists in the state. The Texas Transportation Code §550.062 requires any law enforcement officer investigating a motor vehicle accident to submit a crash report to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) within ten days of the accident. TxDOT keeps copies of crash reports. While this may be considered a permanent crash record, under §550.065, only certain designated parties may gain access to crash reports. These include:
- Any motorist or person involved in the accident
- Any authorized representative of a motorist or person involved in the accident such as an attorney
- Any employer, parent, or legal guardian of a motorist involved in the accident
- The owner of any vehicle or property damaged by the accident
- Any person with financial responsibility for a vehicle involved in the accident, such as the policyholder for an auto insurance policy covering the vehicle
- Any insurance company that issued a policy for any vehicle or person involved in the accident
- Any underwriter for an insurer
- Newspaper, radio, or television stations that publish news or legal notices
- Any person who may bring a wrongful death claim arising from an auto accident
In addition to crash reports, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) maintains permanent driving records for all Texas-licensed motorists. These driving records include information about auto accidents a motorist has been involved in or citations or arrests for driving-related offenses. You can order a copy of your driving record online.
How Does Your Driving Record Negatively Affect You in Texas?
Having citations or arrests for traffic violations on your driving record or being found at fault repeatedly can negatively affect your finances and employment opportunities. A poor driving record may affect your ability to obtain employment in any occupation that involves driving. Employers often conduct background checks on applicants, including a review of the applicant’s driving record. An employer will almost certainly refuse to hire someone for a job that requires driving if the applicant has numerous crashes on their driving record.
Even if the position does not involve driving on the job, some employers may decline to hire any applicant with serious offenses on their record, such as driving under the influence (DUI) or reckless driving convictions. You may have to explain yourself to a prospective employer if you have multiple accidents on your record.
Convictions of driving while impaired can make obtaining professional licenses more difficult. For example, state boards that oversee licensed professions such as law or medicine may deny an application for licensure if an applicant has a poor driving history, including numerous citations or arrests.
A poor driving record can also increase your auto insurance costs. Insurance premiums are based partly on a driver’s calculated risk of causing an accident. A driver with multiple traffic citations or arrests or who has been found at fault for numerous car accidents will typically face higher premiums. Insurers may increase premiums for certain insurance coverages that you file claims against, even if you were not at fault, such as personal injury protection coverage or collision coverage.
The Role of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Car Accidents
In Texas, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for titling and registering motor vehicles and overseeing consumer protection in the purchase of motor vehicles. Following a car accident, the DMV can issue salvage titles to vehicles deemed totaled by the insurance company.
Texas’s public safety department is responsible for issuing driver’s licenses to residents and maintaining their driving records. As part of its duties, the department also keeps track of drivers’ traffic citations, arrests, crashes, and license suspensions. A driver who is cited or arrested for a car crash will have their citation or arrest noted in their driving record by DPS.
A person injured in a collision caused by another motorist may have a right to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance and demand compensation for medical expenses and vehicle repairs.
Schedule a Free Case Review with Our Experienced San Antonio Car Accident Attorneys
If you have questions about whether you can pursue compensation from the person who caused the crash, contact the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our seasoned San Antonio car accident attorneys can review your case, discuss your options, and explain how our firm can assist you after a car crash.