What to do After a Car Accident in Oregon

Actions to be taken immediately after the car accident:

Whether your injuries resulting from a car accident are relatively minor or very serious, you should seek immediate medical attention for you and anyone injured in the accident. You may not experience any immediate discomfort as the adrenaline masks the pain, but once you have had a chance to recover, you may start to notice symptoms.

Prioritize the immediate well-being of everyone impacted by the accident by providing first aid, calling the police and paramedics, and exchanging information. Whenever possible, you must give your contact information to the other driver, the other car’s occupants, and any wounded pedestrians or property owners. Names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance details must be shared  with the other party involved in the accident.  While this is the bare minimum that must be reported, you should always collect additional information, such as contact information for any witnesses, a detailed description of any damage, photographs of the scene of the accident, and a full account of the accident. 

If anybody is injured or killed due to the accident, or if your vehicle sustains damage in excess of $1,500, or if your vehicle is towed from the site of the accident, you must file an Oregon Accident and Insurance Report with the Oregon DMV within three days from the date of the accident. Police stations, sheriff’s offices, DMV field offices, and the DMV’s website have accident report forms and detailed instructions on reporting accidents.

Actions to be taken immediately after the car accident

Things you should NOT do after a car accident:

Do not give a statement to the other drivers. 

If you were in an accident, the only thing you need to provide to the other driver is your contact information and insurance information. The other drivers and/or their insurance company may try to pin the blame for the accident on you if you give them statements about what happened. They may also try to get you to admit to not being hurt directly following the accident.  They may try to avoid taking responsibility for their actions by telling the police and their insurance company that they were not at fault for the collision. 

Do not give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company.

Do not give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company about the accident or your medical care. 

File a Claim with your Own Insurance Company.

In order to file a claim following your vehicle accident in Oregon, you must first alert your insurance company.  You must help the insurance company investigate the claim in accordance with the terms of your policy. If you’ve been injured in Portland, Oregon, it’s in your best interest to hire a personal injury attorney to protect your interests and handle the legal aspects of pursuing financial compensation while you focus on getting well. Do not provide any insurance company (including your own) a written or recorded statement and do not sign any paperwork until you have spoken with your personal injury attorney. 

Tell the insurance company’s adjusters to contact your attorney instead. By getting an experienced attorney involved, you won’t have to talk to the insurance company alone. 

Keep in mind that insurance companies are multibillion dollar corporations that want to maximize profits at the expense of minimizing payouts on claims. If you don’t have an attorney defending your interests, the insurance company will try to convince you to settle for less than you deserve or try to get you to sign documents that don’t reflect the full extent of your injuries and losses. 

Reimbursement for property damage incurred as a result of the accident.

Collision insurance is the policy that pays to fix or replace your car if it is damaged in an accident in Oregon.  This protection is optional in Oregon, so make sure to add it to your policy.  Without collision insurance, you will have to pay for the repairs yourself. 

If you have collision coverage or are not considered at fault, most disputes about car repairs can be settled by contacting your own or the other driver’s insurance provider directly. The costs of fixing your car after an Oregon traffic collision will be covered entirely by your insurance provider (if the cost of repairs does not exceed the value of the vehicle). Your car should be restored to its pre-accident condition at no cost to you. It’s possible that the accident will lower your car’s resale value, even after repairs are made. In such cases, you can file a diminished value claim in Oregon to seek compensation for the difference in value from before and after the accident. 

If the cost of repairs exceeds the worth of the car, the insurance company will declare it a “total loss”, and you will be reimbursed for its fair market value plus any applicable taxes and title fees. What this means is that you should be compensated for the market value of your car.

Our experienced Oregon Car Accident Attorneys can help you establish your claim and determine who is responsible for compensating you for your injuries.  It is highly recommended that you seek the advice of our experienced Oregon Car Accident Attorney at Ryan Hilts Law. You may safeguard your right to fair compensation by hiring our experienced Oregon Car Accident Attorney at Ryan Hilts Law. Our experienced Oregon Car Accident Attorney at Ryan Hilts Law are practicing in Portland Oregon, Lake Oswego, and the surrounding areas.