Uninsured Motorist Oregon Overview
Oregon uninsured motorist laws, specifically Oregon Revised Statute 742.502 (ORS), require each driver to have at least $25,000 in uninsured motorist Oregon coverage. When somebody is in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, their own auto insurance will “fill-in” for the at-fault driver’s insurance. Typically the amount of your UM coverage is the same as your own liability limits. Because you were not at fault in causing the accident, making a UM claim will not affect your insurance rates.
When UM coverage disputes are not settled with your insurance company, the case will be subject to binding arbitration, rather than a jury trial. Many times these cases yield even better results and resolve in a much quicker fashion than cases tried to a jury. Ryan Hilts is a personal injury lawyer in Lake Oswego and Portland area. For more information, contact Ryan today.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Under Oregon uninsured motorist law: Uninsured motorist insurance protects you in case you get hit by someone who does not have insurance and cannot pay for the damages caused.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Insurance Cover?
- Property Damage: Pays for property damage caused by someone without insurance
- Bodily Injuries: Pays for medical treatment where you were not at fault
- Personal Injury Protection: Pays for medical bills and income loss regardless of who is at fault
Is uninsured motorist coverage necessary in Oregon?
Many wonder, “Does Oregon uninsured motorist law require me to have uninsured motorist coverage?” and the simple answer is “yes”.
The ORS 742.502¹ (Uninsured motorist coverage) states that “motor vehicle bodily injury liability policy shall have the same limits for uninsured motorist coverage as for bodily injury liability coverage unless a named insured in writing elects lower limits. The insured may not elect limits lower than the amounts prescribed to meet the requirements of ORS 806.070 (Minimum payment schedule)“
The ORS 806.070 Minimum payment schedule is: “$25,000 because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident;“
In addition to the law it is imperative to get uninsured motorist Oregon coverage as the latest study shows over 25% of drivers do not have insurance. If you get seriously injured and are confined to the hospital you will likely lose both income and have to pay very large medical bills. This type of accident can be devastating to a person’s physical and financial health.
What Legal Actions Can I take if an Uninsured Motorist Hits Me?
Since it is illegal for a motorist to drive without insurance your local police will file a criminal case against that driver. This case will likely include arrest, fines, court fees, suspended license and possible impounding of the car. This will all happen without your involvement as this is not a civil offense but rather a criminal charge; however, you are able to pursue legal justifications as well.
Due to the lack of coverage you are able to sue the driver in a personal injury law suit. In this suit you can seek to recoup property and bodily damage settlements. For a successful case you will need to prove that the other driver was at fault. In the event that your injuries could be lingering and impact the quality of your life moving forward it is imperative you seek your best options to account for this unjust injury. In this process it is highly advised to seek legal counsel as most insurance companies are primarily concerned with selling you uninsured motorist coverage rather then defending your case.