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What Happens After a Car Accident

Being involved in a car accident can feel frightening and overwhelming. First and foremost, in the event of an emergency, always call paramedics if you’re able, or take yourself or others involved in an accident to be treated for any injuries sustained in the accident. Even with accidents being commonplace on the road, many are still wondering, what happens after a car accident? While the situation may vary depending on the circumstances of the accidents, it’s important to know what to avoid soon after an accident.

car accident avoid these mistakes

People often make a number of mistakes, when it comes to dealing with car accidents. These are simple, but common mistakes that lead to lost time, energy, and money. Being aware of these mistakes, and how they affect the outcome of both car accidents and the legal actions taken after, will ensure that you don’t make them. Read on to learn more about what happens after a car accident and the mistakes to avoid.

If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident in Oregon, contact Ryan Hilts for personal injury representation. We offer guidance on how to address the following mistakes. For a free case review, send us a request here

Failing To Document The Car Accident

When you are involved in a car accident, it’s very important that you document the details of that accident. If you intend to file a claim or go to court, then you’re going to need documents that showcase the accident, and what took place. However, knowing what happens after a car accident is important, as many often forget about taking notes. Of course, if you’ve been injured, first seek medical attention first, but try to enlist a witness to help you document for a later date.

Make sure that you or someone who witnessed the accident can:

  1. Take pictures of your vehicle, and any damage that is sustained
  2. Then, take pictures of the other person’s vehicle, and any damage that their vehicle sustained.
  3. If you were injured, or if there was any other property damage, you must also take photos of those things.

When you’ve finished taking those photos, you then need to record a few other pieces of information. This information will provide the basis for both a DMV Report and any kind of claim or lawsuit. Other items that you should always make note of after a car accident:

  • Record the date and time of the accident
  • Log the road you were driving on and the address where the accident took place
  • Note the direction you were driving and the direction of the other vehicle involved
  • Pieces of information and details of how the accident took place

What happens after a car accident is that most people are temporarily distracted either by the shock of the accident or from minor injuries. Things tend to happen very quickly and it’s easy to forget minor, but still very important, details of the accident. For this reason, it’s always best to utilize your phone to take proper documentation.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is simply not documenting the accident. If you fail to take any pictures or to record when and where the accident took place, a claim or lawsuit won’t get very far.

mistakes to avoid after a car accident

Driving Away

In the state of Oregon, it’s illegal for you to leave the scene of a car accident investing or taking some other form of action. Even if you weren’t responsible for the damages that took place, you’re still breaking the law, and as such, you can be charged with a crime.

If you leave the scene of a car accident where someone was injured – again, it doesn’t matter if you were responsible for the injury or not – you can be charged with a felony.

Driving away from the scene of a car accident is a big mistake, and it will cost you. Plus, if you intend to file a claim for the car accident, you’ll need to be there so that you can speak to the authorities, talk to the other driver, and document what happened.

Forgetting To Call 911

what happens after a car accident

What happens after a car accident? You always call 911. Even if the car accident resulted in no injuries and very little property damage, it’s a good idea to call 911.

When you do that, the police will come and make a police report. Make sure to ask the officer who’s making the report what the police report number is. Using that police report, you’ll have access to some very important documentation regarding the accident, which will make it easier to file a successful claim and to receive the settlement you desire.

Waiting Too Long To File A Report

In the state of Oregon, if you were involved in a car accident where more than $2,500 worth of property was damaged, then you must file an Oregon Traffic Accident And Insurance Report within 72-hours. 

Waiting too long to file this report could result in your license being suspended. Plus, if you intend to file a claim, the insurance company may find it a little odd that you waited so long to file the accident report. And this is doubly true if you intend to file a lawsuit.

Not Seeing A Doctor

Unfortunately, injuries are a very common byproduct of car accidents. If you have been injured, no matter how severe it appears to be,  you must see a doctor.

While you’re seeing the doctor, a medical report will be created. If you have been injured, and you would like to file a claim, then you can use that medical report to aid in filing the claim. If an insurance company sees that medical report, and sees that your injuries are, in fact, serious, then they are far more likely to give you the compensation that you deserve.

Saying The Accident Was “Your Fault”

When speaking to a police officer or an insurance provider, one of the biggest mistakes that you can make is saying that you were at fault for the car accident that transpired. It doesn’t matter if you were, in fact, responsible, or if you weren’t. Simply saying that you were responsible can lead to those statements being used against you.

If you tell an insurance agent that you were responsible for the accident, but would like to receive compensation for the injuries you’ve sustained, they may refuse to do so. And, if a police report has you, on record, saying that you were responsible, that could lead to legal troubles.

oregon car accident lawyer

Throwing Away Items That Could Be Potential Evidence

Just as it’s very important for you to document and take photos of the car accident, it’s also important that you keep anything that could be used as evidence for a claim or lawsuit.

Perhaps, this is a shirt that has a little bit of blood on it or a side-mirror that fell off of the mirror; anything that was affected by the car accident can be used as evidence.

Throwing away those items is a big mistake because, without those items, you have less proof of the damages that took place. Pictures, records, and reports are all very important, but having physical proof will make it easier for you to receive compensation for the damages that took place.

Failing To Organize Your Documentation

If you are filing a claim, it is extremely important that you organize all of the documentation you have. Make sure you have all of the basic facts written down and recorded, pictures that are labeled and organized, all of the pertinent insurance information, as well as any records from the doctor, your place of employment, your insurance provider, and the police station.

Without this information being properly organized, it will make the process of filing a claim a lot more challenging. Plus, if you hire an attorney, they will need all of that information organized, so that they can pore through it quickly, and determine the best course of action.

Filing A Claim Without An Attorney

Filing a claim – such as a personal injury claim – without an attorney can be very risky and time-consuming. More often than not, it really doesn’t pay off, due to the complexities and nuances of most car accidents and the intricacies of the legal system.

Instead of filing a claim without an attorney, you should contact a good attorney, who will walk you through the process of organizing all of your documentation, filing the claim, and then taking the claim to court and receiving the compensation that you deserve.

Instead, what you must do, is to contact a good lawyer that will walk you through the process of filing a lawsuit that leads to the settlement you are looking for. This is especially important if you – or someone else – was seriously injured in the accident, or if there was significant property damage.

what to do after an accident

Accepting A Poor Settlement

More often than not, insurance companies attempt to pay as little money as they can get away with. But, you don’t need to accept a poor settlement. Instead, you can work to reach a settlement that is ideal for you.

To do that, it’s best to work with an attorney. Working with an attorney will make it easier to receive the settlement that you desire, because the attorney will work directly with you and help you navigate the entire process. In fact, on average, individuals who file a claim while working with an attorney receive $60,000 more.

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Pedestrian Accidents FAQs

If you have been a victim of an accident or knows someone that has, it’s important that you understand your situation and seek legal advice when necessary. There are many reasons individuals who have been involved in a pedestrian accident might seek representation from a personal injury lawyer in Oregon. For one, it’s important that you take steps in holding at-fault parties responsible for the negligence that resulted in a said pedestrian accident. Pedestrians that have been injured are also deserving of compensation for their injuries.

With the rising popularity of smartphones and larger cars, pedestrian accidents have become all too frequent. Still, many find that navigating the legal system can be complex and even overwhelming. Here are some helpful pedestrian accidents FAQs that may help to point you in the right direction.

getting hit in a crosswalk

What Qualifies As A Pedestrian Accident?

Both drivers and pedestrians have a duty to follow the rules of the road and exercise reasonable care. A pedestrian accident is an accident involving a pedestrian and a motor vehicle, bicycle, or even a horse. For example, if you are hit by a car while on foot, that would certainly qualify as a pedestrian accident. However, qualifying as a pedestrian accident doesn’t necessarily guarantee that a plaintiff (pedestrian) is automatically awarded compensation by the operator of the vehicle (defendant). In fact, during a pedestrian accident, the person on foot must prove that the defendant was at fault for negligence in some way, such as:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted Driving
  • Failing to Yield to Pedestrians at a Crosswalk
  • Disobeying traffic signs or signals
  • Failing to signal while turning
  • Disregard for traffic conditions
  • Driving under the influence

What Are The Most Common Pedestrian Accidents?

The most common pedestrian accidents occur during three events:

  1. A driver is distracted while operating their vehicle
  2. Driving while intoxicated
  3. Pedestrian is walking along a crosswalk before the signal

There are other pedestrian accidents that are known to happen, but those are the three most common accidents. Each one of these has a different outcome, as the person at-fault may change depending on circumstances.

avoiding pedestrian accidents

How Can A Pedestrian Prevent An Accident From Happening?

To prevent accidents from happening, there are two things that you must do. You must be aware of the current traffic conditions, and you must obey every traffic law. When you do those two things, you greatly reduce the risk of an accident.

What Are The Pedestrian Traffic Laws For The State Of Oregon?

As a pedestrian, there are several traffic laws that you must obey. If there is a car approaching the road that you are about to walk across, they have the right-of-way and you need to let them pass. When you are using a crosswalk, you must obey the traffic control signs, and the same goes for any other road signs or signals. If there is an emergency vehicle, it has the right-of-way, and you must let them pass.

When you are walking near a road, you must use the sidewalk/pedestrian path.

What Should You Do Right After You’re Injured In A Pedestrian Accident?

One of the most common pedestrian accidents FAQs is what to do. If you’re injured in an accident, there are important steps you should take if capable. For example, you should follow a step-by-step process to ensure proper documentation:

  • take pictures of the accident
  • document your injuries
  • take pictures of the vehicle that hit you
  • get the license plate of the vehicle.
  • document eyewitnesses

If your injury is serious and you’re unable to take notes on your accident, it’s important to ask for assistance. Police can help aid in your case, or other witnesses that may have seen the accident occur and that can testify on your behalf. You’ll want to file a report both with the police and DMV as soon as possible.

pedestrian accidents faqs

If I’m Injured, Should I Wait To Seek Medical Attention?

Do not wait to seek medical attention. Instead, you should do what you can to document the situation. Then you should visit your primary care doctor, urgent care, or hospital as soon as you can and depending on the severity of your injuries. If you’ve been badly injured, you should go to an emergency room.

When it comes to your personal health, this is the right choice, and it will ensure that you remain in good health. But, when it comes to filing an injury claim, it’s important to receive medical documentation of your injuries as soon as possible, since that will make it easier for you to prove to the court, and your insurance company, the sheer extent of your injuries.

If You Are Injured In A Pedestrian Accident How Can You File A Claim?

This is an important pedestrian accident FAQ. Please ensure that you know how and where to file a claim for your injuries. In the state of Oregon, to file an injury claim you must go to your local DMV and file an Oregon Accident and Insurance Report. In this report, you’ll describe the accident that took place and the injuries that you’ve sustained.

When you’ve done that, you need to write down what you remember about the accident, and you also need to gather up any documents that you have. Ideally, these documents will be pictures, so that the courts – and your attorney – understand what happened.

When you’ve done all of those things, you need to hire a good attorney who will help you with your case and direct you on what your next steps are.

Why Is It Important To Hire An Attorney For A Pedestrian Accident Case?

Cases involving pedestrian accidents are often difficult, due to the myriad of factors that must be considered. Factors such as establishing who was at fault for the accident, whether negligence took place, the damages that have been created, the compensation that you should be receiving, as well as various other factors.

With an attorney, your entire case is looked through, and they will guide you on the proper course of action. When it comes to dealing with the case itself, and the factors it presents, they’ll work with you to take care of it in the best manner possible. This makes the entire process far less stressful, while also making it far more likely that you’ll win your case and receive the compensation that you deserve.

getting hit as a pedestrian

What Is The “Statute Of Limitations” For Filing A Personal Injury Claim?

Statute of Limitations is probably the most common and important of pedestrian accidents FAQs. Please take note. In the state of Oregon, you have two-years, from the day you were injured, to file a personal injury claim. However, it’s best to contact an attorney as soon as you can, rather than waiting until the last minute. You’ll have a stronger case the sooner you report it, especially considering you’ll want to speak with the eyewitnesses and anyone else that can testify on your behalf.

What Damages Are You Able To Receive Compensation For In A Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit?

In a pedestrian accident lawsuit, you are able to receive compensation for:

  • medical bills
  • lost wages as a result of the accident
  • compensation for pain and suffering

The compensation that you will receive depends on the claim that you are making, as well as the damages that took place.

Who Is Ryan Hilts?

Ryan Hilts is an experienced and well-regarded attorney who specializes in personal injury law for the state of Oregon. If you, or anyone you know, have been injured in a pedestrian accident, then Ryan Hilts can help you take your claim to court, so that you are able to receive the compensation that you deserve.

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Eugene Bicycle Accident Attorney

With a population of just over 170,000, Eugene is situated on the Willamette River. Home to the University of Oregon, this northwest Oregon city naturally attracts bicycle enthusiasts. Perhaps, due to the large student population. Or, maybe because there are so much green space and extensive, well-developed trails. Whatever the reason, Eugene has been certified as a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community. Still, work to protect your rights and seek a Eugene bicycle accident attorney if you’re facing injuries.

eugene bicycle rights and laws

Initiated by the League of American Bicyclists, this designation recognizes bicycle-friendly cities. It is their way to highlight which American communities are supporting and promoting bicycling as a healthy, economically, environmentally transportation alternative.

There are five levels of the BFC award: diamond, platinum, gold, silver, and bronze. To be awarded gold, Eugene demonstrated that it caters to all types of bicyclists from the daily commuter to recreational cyclists to competitive roadie of all ages.

Recently, Eugene has built three new bike bridges with plans for three more. They are also experimenting with bike-specific signaling at intersections so that cyclists are safe as they move across lanes.

Eugene has also started to add more protected and buffered bike lanes. A two-way protected bikeway is expected to connect the University of Oregon to downtown Eugene.

Safe Biking Events

Eugene Bicycle Accident Attorney

Most cities have safe routes to school. Eugene treats the recruitment of kid cyclists as critical. The city employs three full-time safe routes school coordinators. 

Throughout the year, regular ongoing and single event activities provide opportunities for cyclists to get together.

On the last Friday of the month, Breakfast at the Bridges celebrates the camaraderie of path users, commuters, and new riders. They are encouraged to grab a quick bite, have a coffee, meet City staff, and find out more about cycling in Eugene.

The Smart Cycling Social Ride provides an introductory cycling safety class.

The Knickerbocker Bridge event welcomes walkers and cyclists. Hosted partly by the University of Oregon Outdoor Program, this initiative strives to keep the river trails. The event ends with a Volunteer thank you party at Mat Island Park.

Eugene Bike Routes

Eugene offers a temperate climate and a plethora of beautifully manicured bike paths. Along the many scenic routes are bicycle repair shops, bike retail stores, and rental establishments.

There are so many Eugene bike paths that you will have trouble choosing. Pick up a bike route map available from the city of Eugene.

The Covered Bridges scenic bikeway is a favorite of locals and tourists.

eugene cycling injury attorney

If you want a more ambitious bike route, why not try a multi-day trip through Willamette’s farmland? Mountain biking on week-ends with a group is popular. Try the Mackenzie Trail or the O’Leary Bridge Trail. For more information, go here.

Bike Safety

Cyclists in Eugene take bike safety seriously. They warn cyclists: 

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Wear reflective clothing. 
  • Use lights at night.
  • Make sure your bike is in top working order.
  • Whenever possible, cycle in a group. 
  • Always carry a cell phone.
  • Practice bike safety, obeying traffic rules.

The Oregon Department of Transportation runs a Bicyclist Safety Program. Its aim is to promote safe riding, thus reducing the number of cycling deaths and injuries.

GEARS, The Greater Eugen Area Riders offer Confident Cycling classes all year round. The cost is very low cost. Confident Cycling classes teach the laws of safe cycling. They also discuss the skills and techniques for confident riding. Ride safely is stresses. The course also deals with state laws and bike riders. Bicycle safety checks are done. First-aid for bikes covers how to fix a flat tire, safe bike riding skills, and techniques for avoiding crashes. The nine-hour course is recommended for cyclists fourteen and up.

Cycling Accidents

The number one Eugene residents give for not continuing to cycle to work or for recreation is a danger.

Eugene Bicycle Accident lawyer

In San Francisco, the biggest danger to cyclists is being “doored”. Note that this doesn’t occur in all biking communities. Car owners open doors into a cyclist everywhere. But, in San Francisco, it is the biggest cause of cyclist death and injury.

How about in Eugene? Compared to the average American city, there is a higher percentage of cyclist deaths in Eugene. But that isn’t because Eugene cyclists are more careless or Eugene drivers are more dangerous. It is because per capita, Eugene has more people on bikes. If you look at a national average, Eugene is a safer place to cycle than the national average—by a significant margin.

Eugene residents who have chosen not to bike see accident rates as increasing. Actually the rate has remained pretty constant. But residents have a perception of danger. There is no research to back their fears. It’s media coverage. It’s anecdotes about friends or family members who have had accidents.

Your Cycling Rights

Just because other vehicles are bigger, faster, or more powerful, it doesn’t mean they can ignore cyclists’ rights.

bicycle injury lawyer

As a cyclist, you are expected to follow the rules of the road. You are also expected to take safety precautions like a helmet, reflective gear, a well-maintained bicycle, and lights.

While you are not allowed on freeways, you have a right to share the road with other vehicles. Cyclists have the legal right to ride in the center of the lane when that is the safest spot. 

If you are cycling past a parked vehicle, you have the right to expect that passengers will look before they open the vehicle door. Failure to do so may result in their being fined for being careless.

Bicycle lanes are only intended for cyclists. Motorists can be fined for driving or parking in bicycle lanes.

When riding on shared paths and through parks, you are expected to give pedestrians the right of way.

What to Do if You are Injured

Bicycle accidents can result in serious injuries to the head, neck, and spine. They can cause broken bones, internal injuries. Bikers have even lost limbs, or been paralyzed in bike-automobile accidents.

bike lawyer eugene oregon

Bicycle accidents in Eugene cases may be very complicated. That’s why you need an attorney who specializes in representing the unique needs of cyclists.

If you have been injured in a cycling accident, it’s time to think about hiring a Eugene bicycle accident attorney. You need a lawyer like Ryan Hilts who specializes in protecting the rights of cyclists. If you have been injured in a cycling accident, your first call should be to Ryan Hilts.


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Oregon Auto Insurance Laws

Oregon is a state famous for its rapidly changing weather. This is not often good news for its drivers. Unpredictable weather conditions can spell white-knuckle drives. 

Unfortunately, Oregon drivers have become so accustomed to precarious driving conditions that they have become complacent about the need to exercise caution. The most common cause of Oregon vehicle accidents, according to Oregon auto insurance data, is drivers moving too quickly for road conditions.

It is vital that, as an Oregon driver, you have sufficient auto insurance coverage. Failure to do so could result in license suspension, hefty fines and/or vehicle confiscation.

oregon auto insurance laws

Motor Vehicle Insurance in the State of Oregon

It is important that you have a minimum of coverage specified by the state. According to Oregon law, you must carry no less than

  • Uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000/person and $50,000 per accident.
  • Personal injury protection of $15,000 a person.
  • $25,000/person and $50,000 per accident bodily harm Injury coverage.
  • Property damage coverage of $20,000 per accident.

Personal Injury Claims in Oregon

Personal injury protection insurance in Oregon is a minimum of $15,000. This covers the costs of reasonable and necessary medical, dental, and related expenses as a result of a vehicle accident. Personal injury claims must be made no more than a year after the car accident occurred.

insurance laws in oregon

Who is at Fault for an Accident in Oregon?

Oregon Auto Insurance Laws outline that the state is a fault plus personal injury protection jurisdiction. The insurance is kind of a no-fault/fault combination. This will determine whose insurance pays for which claims.

The auto insurance laws in Oregon mostly follow a “fault” system. The driver considered legally at fault for causing the accident by the investigating law enforcement officers is legally responsible for paying for all damages caused by the accident. 

It is important to know that the at-fault driver’s insurance is not a bottomless pit. It will pay only up to the amount for which the driver is insured. Oregon sets a minimum coverage. Drivers are encouraged to insure for amounts greater than the minimum. Should damages exceed the driver’s insurance coverage, then the driver who was deemed at-fault in the accident is personally responsible for the balance of the damages.

Now, let’s look at the “no-fault” part of Oregon’s automobile insurance. Drivers must carry a minimum amount of personal injuries. This covers your injuries during the first year after the accident. Oregon insurance law will allow you to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. You can do this before your personal injury limits have been reached.

personal injury protection oregon

Does this sound complicated? Let’s look at an example:

A Portland driver was on 205N. Traffic forced this woman to come to an abrupt stop to avoid ramming vehicles in front of her. Unfortunately, the driver following her was not as quick to react. He braked hard and swerved. His car rear-ended hers.

The woman underwent treatment for her injuries but was not making a quick or full recovery.

An MRI revealed that she had herniated disks and needed back surgery.  Faced with these costs, the woman contacted an Oregon law firm that specialized in personal injury cases.

The attorneys got her the full amount allowed by the other driver’s filed a claim against her insurance company for the limit on her personal injury. Eventually, she was able to claim expenses totaling $150,000 from the fault and no-fault part of her and their insurance.

Insurance claims can be complicated. In order to ensure you get the compensation you need and deserve, it’s important to make sure you have a good attorney who specializes in personal injury insurance claims.

Not all Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial

If you are concerned that your personal injury case might be held up in the courts for months or even years, you should know that not all cases go to trial. There are three other ways you might receive compensation in an Oregon personal injury accident case.

That’s why it is vital to hire an Oregon personal injury lawyer. He/she will help you understand your options and guide you through the personal injury claims process. 

In Oregon, it is common for cases to be settled by negotiation, mediation, or arbitration, thus avoiding the time, labor, and cost of a trial.
Before the arbitration begins, both sides either agree to abide by the arbitrator’s decision or not. In some cases, the arbitration is just a way to get the arbitrator’s view before the trial, to let the lawyers get a sense of how the trial would progress. In most cases, however, the two parties will agree that the arbitrator’s decision is binding.

Why is it wise for all parties to consider other alternatives before going to trial?

Trials take a long time. That means the claimant may wait for months or years for the compensation he/she needs. Not only that, trials are very costly for all parties. Therefore, most cases are settled before a trial is the only alternative. 

If a case goes to trial usually personal injury attorneys receive a higher percentage of claims that are awarded. They must be compensated for their increased time spent on the case if it goes to trial. 

While there is often a bigger settlement if a case goes to trial, the time and expense thus incurred is often not worth it. There is also the possibility that as a claimant you could lose or receive lower settlement than was offered in negotiations, mediation, or arbitration. This is just another reason it is critical to hire a competent and experienced personal injury claims attorney.

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims have a deadline for submission. This is called a statute of limitations. In the state of Oregon, personal injury claims must be submitted no later than two years from the date the injury was sustained. In the case of a wrongful death suit, this must be submitted no later than three years after the date of the accident.

oregon insurance claim

Damage Caps in Oregon

Damage caps set a limit on the amount of compensation that a victim can receive in a civil court suit from a personal injury claim. Many states have damage caps. Oregon is one of them. Oregon has a $500,000 limit on personal injury claims. This does not include loss of work and other economic damages which may result from a personal injury.

Seek an Oregon Personal Injury Attorney

Before you file a personal injury claim as a result of an automobile accident where you were not at fault, be sure to consult an Oregon attorney who specializes in personal injury claims. If your lawyer feels you have a legitimate claim he/she will file your case with the Oregon court system.

When dealing with personal injury claims it is crucial to have the services of a law firm that specializes in personal injury claims. Your lawyer will work with you to establish fault and what damages can be claimed. When it comes to making sure you get fair treatment in Oregon Auto Insurance Laws, contact Ryan Hilts Law. For a free consultation or to set up an appointment.

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Driving Uninsured ORS

Driving Uninsured in Oregon

There is no reason to risk driving uninsured in this day and age. Getting insurance for your vehicle should be an utmost priority. The consequences of failing to get insurance for your car can be very costly in the long run, especially in states like Oregon.

Oregon is one of the 22 states that electronically monitors vehicles in order to verify their registration and insurance status. Each state has varied penalties for driving uninsured, but Oregon’s penalties are among the highest.

Oregon Car Insurance Law

In accordance with Oregon’s Department of Transportation, all drivers within the state are required to present proof of liability insurance when they register their vehicle. Oregon goes further than just requiring drivers to have insurance, like most states, they require vehicle owners and drivers to maintain certain types and amounts of insurance coverage. Every state insurance standard is different, but Oregon’s are among the strictest.

Oregon State’s Car Insurance Standards:

Oregon law requires these minimums in insurance coverage:

  • Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage: $20,000 per accident
  • Personal Injury Protection: $15,000 per person
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

What Instances Require Proof of Insurance in Oregon?

License Suspension ORS

Apart from accidents such as a collision, there are many other times in which Oregon requires drivers to show proof of insurance. Any time you are stopped by police in Oregon you are required to provide your registration and proof of insurance. This would be for any police checkpoint or any other minor infraction you may be pulled for.

Types of items that prove you have insurance can change from person to person, but these are some of the things that you may show in order to prove insurance ownership:

  • A current insurance ID card
  • A current insurance binder or policy
  • A signed letter from your insurance provider or agent, on company letterhead
  • A certificate of self-insurance from the Oregon Department of Transportation

What Happens if You Fail to Provide Proof of Car Insurance?

Oregon has some severe penalties if you are unable or do not have proof of insurance. The law says failure to provide coverage is equal with a class B driving violation. These violations are the same as if someone had exceeded the speed limit over 21 to 20 mph or fails to obey a traffic signal. The penalties associated with this are hefty fines which can be up to $1000 and even can lead to a suspension in your license. Just like getting a ticket these violations can add up to even bigger fines and longer suspensions in the future.

Fines for Driving Uninsured ORS

The fine for driving uninsured ranges from a massive $1000 to a $130 slap on the wrist. Like most tickets the fine changes based on the situation in which you were caught without coverage. A minor speeding infraction would show a lower penalty than if you were caught without insures after running a red light or caused a traffic accident. These fines are always situational and can vary depending on how many time you have been pulled over as well.

Note: If you are required to go to court, the court may decide to impose heavier fines.

Oregon’s Presumptive Fine Option

Oregon insurance

In most cases, people take the presumptive fine option in order to resolve the violation. This option shows you have decided to enter a Plea of No Contest meaning you acknowledge you were at fault and will not need to go to court to plead your case. The fine when you take this option requires two things:

  1. You will send a written explanation to the court
  2. Pay a flat fee of $260

Note: In some cases, the court may that the presumptive fine option is not enough, often because of the seriousness of the accident or insurance violation, This may require you to show your presence in the court and pay a higher fine. Going up to $1000.

Suspensions for Driving Uninsured in Oregon

Fines are not the only form of punishment Oregon has for driving without insurance. Like many other states, call B driving violations can lead to suspension of your license, and Oregon is no different. The time of the suspension can vary from situation to situation. The max suspension can be up to a year and can be applied even if you didn’t directly cause the accident.

Depending on the severity of the situation you could be facing a $1000 fine, suspension of your license up to a year, and the impounding of your vehicle.

How to Reinstate Driving Privileges in Oregon After Being Suspended

Insurance Oregon Driving

After you have served your suspension time in Oregon you can start the process of applying for your license again. Before you do anything else your insurance company will need to file an SR-22 which will be proof of you having insurance and be considered evidence that you can provide financial responsibility in the future. The SR-22 has to be maintained for the 3 years without defaulting of any kind. If at any point during these 3 years it defaults your license will be suspended again and you will need to start this process all over again.

With the SR-22 that is filed with your insurance company, you will have to pay a $75 fee to Oregon. This fee is a reinstatement fee and its used to file all the proper paperwork and get you a new license.

If your car was impounded the next step would be to recover your vehicle. The first step will require notice from the police officer that ordered the impoundment of the vehicle. By law, they must send within 48 hours a release notice to both you and the impound lot. This will add additional fines such as a storage fee, for the time your car was heald, and a towing fee, of course, to pay for your car being towed. There also may be some impoundment administration fees. The grand total will be found on that notice sent by the officer.

Monthly Verification

To help prevent drivers from continuing to not having insurance in Oregon, their Department of Transportation has implemented an insurance verification program. This program is for those who have already had a suspension and have filed the SR-22. This monthly verification is part of that 3 year period which you are not allowed to have your insurance lapse. If it does your license will be suspended again.

This monthly verification works by requiring you to submit proof of compliance (a receipt that shows you are paying and maintaining coverage since recovering your car and license).

Note: if you fail to make premium payment quickly, there is a likelihood that your insurance company could end up canceling your policy and SR-22. In the end, your license will end up being re-suspended, until it’s done right.

Conclusion

Although Oregon is restricted on its insurance policies it is not the only state which views drivers insurance as a necessity. Driving uninsured in Oregon can be time-consuming and costly. With all the fines and potential of suspension, one would think it would be easier just to have insurance. It pays to have coverage, and if you follow the insurance coverage Oregon requires, and that was laid out above you can stay on the open road with peace of mind.

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Car Accident with No Insurance in Oregon

Every once in a while, a bad situation takes a turn for the once. In this case, we’re referring to being in a car accident where you or the other driver doesn’t have car insurance! Here’s what you need to know if you’re involved in an accident and either you or the other driver don’t have insurance coverage.

Oregon No Insurance Car Accident

Oregon is a “Fault” Car Accident State

Like most states, Oregon is a “fault” car accident state.

This means that whoever is found to have caused the accident is responsible for any harm that results, including medically or replacement or repair of the vehicle.

Oftentimes this is why drivers are required to carry insurance. The insurance policy that the driver carries will carry most of these losses up to the policy limit.

As you can imagine, not having insurance makes the financial responsibility scary and oftentimes life-altering for both parties. Oftentimes, your wages can be garnished and other options to collect money from you that you simply may not have.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

If you get caught without insurance in Oregon, you’ll be in quite a bit of trouble.

Common penalties are fines that can range to thousands of dollars, having your license suspended or even having your vehicle towed. All of these depend on the circumstances of the accident.

Convictions result in having to file proof of insurance with the DMV for three years.  In addition, you can lose drive privileges for a year if you’re found to have caused an accident while not having auto insurance!

No Pay, No Play Rule

Oregon is also a state with a “no pay, no play” rule.

This rule means that if you do not have auto insurance at the time of an accident if you’re struck by another motorist, you are limited in what you can recover.

This is because if you don’t yourself have auto insurance that could compensate another person in case of an accident, then why should you be able to claim full benefits? In other words, you must pay into the system to play. This rule means that you cant collect “non-economic” damages like pain and suffering. However, the basics like medical bills will be covered.

This is why it’s important to always have auto insurance coverage, even if you’re the safest driver in the world! You can never be too careful in this instance.

In addition, many insurance coverage plans allow you to attach Uninsured Motorist coverage. This means if you are struck by someone who is uninsured, you have additional insurance coverage to see to all your damages up to the limit.

Oregon Accident Automobile

What Happens if You Cause an Accident Driving Without  Insurance

If you cause an accident driving without insurance, it’s important to retain a lawyer as quickly as possible.

This is because the person who was struck can sue you for all damages they suffered- including medical bills, lost wages, damage to their car, and physical and mental pain and suffering.

You will be personally responsible for this amount if the other driver obtains a judgment against you.

On the other hand, if you’ve been struck by an uninsured driver, you’ll want to retain a personal injury lawyer.

The personal injury lawyer can review the facts of the case, collect information and support for the damages you’ve suffered and build a case against the other driver.

Because suing may be the only way to claim damages from an uninsured driver, it’s important to get a quality personal injury lawyer on your side who can help you get the damages you are entitled to.

No Car Insurance Oregon Accident

What to Do if You’ve Been Struck By an Uninsured Motorist in Oregon

If you’ve been involved in an accident, the first step is to call the police and exchange insurance information with the other driver.

As with any accident, but especially when dealing with an uninsured driver, you’ll want to collect hard copies of as many facts of the accident and subsequent damages as possible. Medical bills, visits with therapists, counselors, physical therapists, and other service providers, lost wages from work and any evidentiary support that can be used to collect damages.

Finally, you’ll want to retain a personal injury lawyer to review the case and assess what you’re entitled to. If the other driver does not seek a settlement out of court, chances are the case could go to trial. If this happens, you’ll want an attorney on your side to fight for justice in the court of law.

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List of Torts

A tort is a commonly used term in personal injury law. There are a number of different types of torts for the various situations that might occur. Before we explain the different types of common torts, let’s first understand exactly what is a tort? The dictionary definition of a tort states:

“A wrongful act or an infringement of a right (other than under contract) leading to legal liability.”

One of the primary things to understand about torts is how they differ to criminal law. In tort law, there is no government persecution of the wrongdoer. Tort cases are handled in civil court where a plaintiff is seeking compensation for the harm that was done to them. The compensation is most commonly in the form of money which would be paid by the defendant as a result of the harm that they caused. Below we will better understand the list of torts and elements that they are composed of.

Common Torts

Elements of Tort Law

There are four elements to tort law which include:

  • Duty: a legal obligation
  • Breach of Duty: Failing to live up to the standard of a duty
  • Causation: Defendant’s conduct (or lack thereof) caused harm or damage
  • Injury: The harm or damage that occurred.

If damages are to be claimed by a plaintiff they must be able to prove all 4 elements of tort law, meaning a defendant was in a breach of duty which caused an injury to them.

Common Torts

There are three primary categories of torts, negligence, strict liability, and intentional torts. There are a number of different situations that can occur which fall under each of these different areas. Let’s take a look at some common torts in each of the categories.

Negligence

Negligence

The most common personal injury cases involve negligence. This is where a person or group of people act irresponsible and in a way that causes hard to someone else. There are many different situations that fall under the category of negligence. Car accidents that are caused by drunk or inattentive drivers is a very common example of negligence that’s often brought to civil court (as well as criminal court). There are also many causes of negligence that involve parents and small children. Parents have a duty to care for their children and negligence can be found if a parent leaves a small child alone in a car or at home, or in any number of other precarious circumstances. Another example could be carelessness on behalf of a doctor which causes medical problems for a patient.

List of Torts

Strict Liability

This category is often also referred to as Product Liability and deals primarily with products that are defective and cause harm. A manufacturer or vendor has a duty to provide safe products that do to cause injury to those who use them (during normal use). There’s a wide variety of product liability examples within the consumer goods sector, from toys to appliances any defect that causes harm falls under this category. Another common example is within the food and prescription drug industries. Whether it’s medication or a frozen dinner, products that are consumed are subject to strict regulation and if they aren’t doing things correctly can often find themselves as a defendant in a personal injury case.

Intentional Torts

If a defendant purposefully causes harm or injury to someone else, this falls under the category of an intentional tort. What separates this from the other classes of torts is the idea of intent. The harm done was not the results of the lack of action, but rather the complete opposite. There are many different common intentional tort examples. Assault and battery to another person are one of the most common forms, however, these are not limited to physical abuse on someone else. Emotional distress can also be considered an intentional tort. Other examples could be theft, trespassing or false imprisonment.

Personal Injury Attorney

Have you or a loved one suffered as a result of negligence, product liability, or intentional harm? Ryan Hilts specializes in personal injury law and torts within the state of Oregon. Please contact us today if you are in need of legal representation.

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Oregon Auto Insurance Claim Laws

Are you trying to find out more about Oregon state laws around auto insurance claims? Some of the legal texts can be difficult to read and decipher. To help you learn some fast facts about Oregon auto insurance laws, here are some common laws. These are handy to know in the event of an accident or auto injury. However, before you take any steps following an auto accident we recommend you consult with a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney will be able to review the facts with you. Furthermore, they’ll pursue the maximum amount in damages you require before reaching a settlement. A personal injury attorney will also help you navigate a lawsuit against the other driver and/or their insurance if necessary.

Oregon is a “Fault” State

Depending on the state you reside in, you may live in a “fault” or a “no-fault” state. Oregon is the former, which is the more traditional legal system for handling auto accidents.

In this case, “Fault” refers to who shoulders the financial responsibility for losses that come from an accident. This can cover injuries, loss of wages, vehicular damage, counseling and more. In this case, the person at fault for causing the car accident is also responsible for any resulting harm that comes from the accident.

You Must Report An Accident Within 72 Hours

The first step you must take after being involved in an accident is to report it. You’ll need to notify the Department of Transportation within 72 hours of the accident. This is found in the Oregon Revised Statutes, Section 811.725. At that time, you’ll also provide evidence of insurance and other necessary forms as required.

A Statue of Limitations Applies to Accident Cases

If you plan to file a lawsuit because of a car accident, you’ll have to do it sooner rather than later.

A statute of limitations relating to personal injury in Oregon applies here. If you’re filing a lawsuit relating to personal injury from an accident, you must do it within two years. If you don’t meet this deadline, you’ll lose the ability to sue. That’s not all though! When you lose this ability, insurance companies don’t have much reason to pursue a settlement with you.

The Insurance Company Does Not Choose Where You Get Your Vehicle Repaired

During negotiations and proceedings with the car insurance company, they may strongly imply that you must get your car repaired at a shop in their network. Please note that this is not true, and while you can work with a preferred shop of theirs if you are so inclined, you ultimately have a say in where your car is repaired.

What Minimum Coverage Policies Mean For You

In Oregon, you must carry minimum coverage of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per claim with your insurance.

This ensures that if you get into an accident, your insurance company will pay out up to $25,000 per person injured in the other car, with a maximum of $50,000 paid out to any occupants for the accident. However, if you’ve ever been in a serious accident you know that $25,000 doesn’t usually cover a car repair or replacement, medical bills and loss of wages.

So what does that mean if you’re in an accident and your losses total to over $25,000? Well, you’ll probably have to sue the other driver for the remainder or consider carrying a policy that has higher limits yourself. The reason to invest in insurance coverage with a larger payout is that oftentimes the more expedient way to deal with insurance is filing a claim with your provider. Your insurance company can pay out upfront and then sue the other driver’s insurance company for payment. If you have higher limits on your own policy you have a much greater chance of coverage for the things you need while leaving your insurance company to duke it out with the other driver and their insurance.

Oregon Statute Of Limitations Personal Injury

Have you been thinking of filing a lawsuit against a third party over a personal injury case but it has been awhile since the incident occurred and you are not sure whether or not you are still able to pursue the suit? There are a number of factors which must be taken into consideration in order to judge the eligibility of a lawsuit and whether or not it falls within the local statute of limitations. We have compiled a handy FAQ which can help aid in determining whether or not your outstanding case is still eligible.

What is a statute of limitations?

A statute of limitations determines the deadline by which one has to file a lawsuit within civil court. For instance, let us imagine you hit someone with your car on accident. Instead of taking things to court, you and the victim end up settling privately. The statute of limitations would prevent that person from turning around and suing you years later once the proof of your personal agreement has become either lost or obscured with time. Likewise, this means that it is incredibly important to take legal action as quickly as possible if one finds themselves in the role of the plaintiff.

In Oregon, the statute of limitations on personal injury claims is two years, meaning that any formal lawsuits should be filed before the end of this period.  While it is still possible to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has passed, however the defendant gains the ability to use the statute of limitations as a valid reason to have the case dismissed.

Oregon Statute Of Limitations Personal Injury

When does a statute of limitations start?

The clock begins running down on the statute of limitations starting from the time that the associated incident occurs, as per the plaintiff’s claim. In the case of personal injury though, this can get a little bit more complicated. Sometimes it is not always immediately apparent that damage has been caused or an injury has occurred at the time of an incident, such as in cases involving lung or nerve damage. In these situations, the statute of limitations would begin from the time of discovering the damage, assuming the plaintiff is able to successfully link the damage to the cause in their claim.

The reasoning for this is that a basis for a lawsuit is required for a statute of limitation to begin. Assuming that no fault or injury is immediately found at the time of incident, then the cause for a lawsuit has yet to be established. This works towards the benefit of the injured, helping ensure that their lawsuit doesn’t become void off of technicality.

delay the statute of limitations

Is there anything that can delay the statute of limitations?

In order to avoid individuals or entities attempting to create situations which might stall the filing of a lawsuit past the statute of limitations, there are indeed exceptions and situations in which the countdown on the statute of limitations may be temporarily frozen. These circumstances are incredibly often specific and sometimes are left to the judge’s discretion.

Consult with a lawyer

Unfortunately, even if your case falls within all of the parameters outlined, there’s still a chance that some of the basic rules regarding the statute of limitations may be superseded by a more relevant statute. The only way to completely know the standing of your claim and any of the deadlines or circumstances which surround it is to consult with a lawyer who will be able to get to the bottom of your specific situation.

How to Sue Someone In Oregon

Sometimes, things don’t work out as planned. Misunderstandings, miscommunication, or sometimes outright malicious intent can get in the way of even the best laid plans. Once all efforts have been exhausted to resolve a dispute in a peaceful and fair way outside of the courtroom, then it comes time when legal action must be taken.

Yet, sometimes people will falter once things reach this point and decide that it’s either too much trouble or become intimidated by the prospect of legal action. Contrary to what many think however, filing a suit isn’t as complicated as it may seem. Once one is aware of the proper process, it simply comes down to a simple matter of filling out the paperwork and going through with the court hearing. In order to help those looking to file a lawsuit, we’ve gone ahead and compiled a handy guide which should get you on your way.

How To Sue Someone In Oregon

Small Claims, Civil Court, and Beyond

When it comes to beginning your suit, first you must decide which court it will be filed in. Depending on the nature and value of the dispute there may be a couple of options open to the plaintiff.

Any dispute worth less than $750 must be filed in Small Claims.

Disputes worth more than $750 but less than $10,000 may be filed in either Small Claims or in general civil court.

One of the main differences between Small Claims and general civil court is whether or not a lawyer can be involved. A lawyer is able to represent you in a general civil court case, but special permissions must be required in order for a lawyer to represent an individual in a small claims case. Additionally, a general civil court suit for under an amount of $750 is technically possible, but again only under special considerations.

When deciding which route to go, it’s important to keep in mind whether or the amount of the dispute is worth getting a lawyer involved. Since lawyers fees must be accounted for, sometimes it makes more sense to pursue Small Claims.

How To File A Case in Oregon

How To File

Once you have decided which kind of claim you would like to make, it is up to you to pick up and fill out the proper form. In the case of Small Claims, this form should include your filing fee, an itemized list of damages, and the names of the defendants.

Great care should be taken when filling this form out, especially when it comes to the itemization of damages. Make sure that any and all claims are reasonable and can be backed up with some sort of proof or professional estimate. If the amount you are seeking restitution for is not backed up by supporting information, there may be doubt as to the fairness of your claim. In these cases, the full amount may not be awarded.

Defendant names likewise must also be correctly documented. The names to be used and listed must be the names of the defendants when the issue occurred.

Full formal names must be used in the case of individuals.

An individual doing business as a legal entity must have both their legal entity’s name and the individual’s name listed.

A corporation must have its registered agent listed.

Where To File

The claim must be filed in one of the following places:

  • The county in which the damage or claim occurred.
  • The county where the defendant was supposed to complete an agreement as per a contract.
  • The county which one of the defendants currently lives.

For more complicated claims or claims involving much larger amounts of money, it will be necessary to seek the assistance of a lawyer. In these cases, your lawyer will work with you in order to make the process as simple and straightforward for you as possible.