Car Accident Laws in Oregon Explained

Oregon auto accident laws

Car Accident Laws in Oregon Explained

Car accidents can be a very scary scenario for anyone involved; being prepared and learning more about Oregon state laws and regulations related to car crashes can be a great way to help you prepare for even the worst scenarios. Here, you can find some of the most common laws explained, and you will also learn more about the rules you should follow when reporting car accidents.


How to Report an Accident

Under Oregon state laws, motor vehicle drivers are obliged to file a report both to law enforcement officers and the insurance company within 72 hours after the time of the accident in cases that include any (or all) of the following:


⦿ Property damages amounting to more than $2,500 are sustained by any involved party. Note that single-vehicle accidents must be reported as well.


⦿ Any of the involved vehicles get towed from the place of the accident


⦿ Your car crash resulted in personal injuries or death


Comparative Negligence in Oregon

If you wish to take your case to court, you should familiarize yourself with Oregon’s comparative negligence laws. Like in any other state, a jury will determine whether only one of the drivers was negligent or both parties were at fault. With that in mind, Oregon follows the so-called “modified comparative negligence” rule, which entitles the plaintiff to recover damages even if they have shared negligence. Keep in mind that your total award will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. Also, parties who have 50%-plus negligent will not be able to recover their damages.


Oregon Statute of Limitations

Suppose you are involved in a car accident in Oregon and have sustained a lot of economic and non-economic injuries. Naturally, it is your right to take action to recover your damages. However, you should keep in mind that, under state laws, you have two years after the time of the accident to file your claim.

And do not forget to check out Legal Chiefs, the online platform where you can find experienced and knowledgeable attorneys. We can connect you with an individual who will gladly help you understand the Oregon state legislation related to car accidents.


Frequently Asked Questions

Your first and foremost action following an accident is to stay calm, check if you or anyone else involved has been injured, and call the police. Get the name and contact information of all parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses of the event. To document the damage, take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles, and your injuries. It’s important not to admit liability until you hire an attorney because they will conduct a thorough investigation to establish the driver at fault.
Right after a car accident, you may feel fine, but injuries can surface days, weeks, and even months later. That’s why it’s good to see a doctor even if you don’t believe you were injured in the accident. Your doctor can recognize issues or injuries that won’t immediately become apparent to you and alert you to warning signs of injuries that may arise due to the accident. If you fail to treat your injuries within a certain period of time, you may forfeit your right to get reimbursement for future medical costs. The general rule is not to settle auto accident claims without having been examined by a medical professional.
In most cases, you won’t have to go to court. The majority of auto accident claims are resolved outside of court after negotiating the terms with the insurer. Most insurance companies generally try to settle claims as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible, so it’s wise to have an attorney negotiate on your behalf.
In addition to taking pictures of the accident scene and taking the contact information of the involved parties and witnesses, your detailed explanation of how the accident happened is also necessary to file a claim. Law enforcement reports of the accident will also serve as crucial evidence in your claim.
Many factors determine the driver at fault in an auto accident case. Do not accept any part of the blame until the investigation has concluded. Even if the investigation finds that you are partially at fault, you may still be entitled to receive compensation. There are cases when the victim also shares part of the blame for an accident. If, for example, you were driving five to ten mph over the speed limit when the accident happened, this would have limited your reaction time, and you could likely be considered a negligent driver even if you weren’t the one to cause the crash. Different states have different ways of settling auto accident claims where more than one driver is at fault. So it’s best to check the specific laws in your state (or the state where the accident took place) or discuss the matter with your auto accident injury lawyer.
It happens surprisingly often that people get into an auto accident where the driver at fault doesn’t have insurance. In these situations, it’s wise to have an auto insurance policy that comes with Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. That way, if you get into an accident and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you will still be able to file your claim under the UM coverage you have with your own insurance company. Your insurer will then process the claim following the same process as it would for an opposing insurer. The only difference is that the claim will be against your UM coverage and not against another driver. Likewise, if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident where the responsible driver fled the scene before you could take their information, you can again seek compensation from your UM coverage.
Suppose you suffered injuries after an auto accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence. In that case, there are two main types of damages that you may seek compensation for: compensatory (a.k.a. monetary) and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are the most common type of damages in a personal injury claim, and they often include: ● Current and future medical bills ● Property damage ● Emotional duress ● Lost wages ● Loss of enjoyment of life ● Loss of future earnings potential On the other hand, punitive damages are much rarer, but they can occur in situations where the vehicle manufacturer is to blame.



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