The weird and wonderful state of Oregon has cosmopolitan cities and amazing natural sights that make driving the Beaver State a real pleasure. Accidents happen though, and whether you are in a fender bender out by Crater Lake or a pileup in Portland, you'll wonder what to do in Oregon after a car accident. The following article provides an overview of the Oregon car accident settlement process and timeline.
Do I Need to Report a Car Accident in Oregon?
Drivers involved in an accident in Oregon are subject to reporting requirements laid out by Oregon Revised Statutes, Section 811.725, which requires that they file a report with the Department of Transportation within 72 hours of the incident. Evidence of insurance or other compliance with the state's financial responsibility requirements must be submitted along with the form and there may be additional forms that must be filed with city authorities, depending on where the accident occurred.
Oregon Car Insurance Laws
Motorists are required to carry car insurance that meets the minimum requirements set out in Oregon's Revised Statutes, Section 806.070, which requires a policy that covers:
- $25,000 bodily injury or death to one person in a single accident;
- $50,000 bodily injury or death to two or more persons in a single accident;
- $20,000 injury or destruction of property to others in a single accident.
Failure to secure an insurance policy that meets these requirements or those of the self-insurance section of the Code may result in criminal charges and fines.
How Do Car Accident Settlements Work in Oregon?
Settlement processes may differ depending on the parties involved, but most settlements have some common features. You start by filing a claim with the responsible party's insurance company. The company will review the claim and seek additional evidence in order to verify the claim and determine the damages. Based on their findings, the company may offer a settlement.
If you disagree with the settlement amount you can submit additional information, or provide arguments supporting your claim for a higher amount. There may be several rounds of offers and counteroffers before a figure is reached that both parties can accept. If this happens you will sign a form releasing the company for further liability and receive your settlement. If you can't reach an agreement you will need to proceed to civil court.
What Is the Average Car Accident Settlement in Oregon?
Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to provide a figure that will reflect the amount you can expect to recover following a car accident. The circumstances surrounding an accident, the injuries and damages suffered by the people involved, the amount of insurance policies held, and a number of other factors can significantly impact the amount of a settlement.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Oregon?
States require that lawsuits be filed within a particular time frame. This is often referred to as the "statute of limitations" for a lawsuit. Oregon has a statute of limitations relating to personal injury. A lawsuit relating to injury must be commenced within two years of the accident, pursuant to Oregon Revised Statutes, Section 12.110. Even if you have been negotiating with an insurer, failure to file a lawsuit within these two years results in the loss of the ability to sue, which leaves little incentive for an insurer to settle.
Questions About the Car Accident Settlement Process in Oregon? Ask a Lawyer
All the reporting requirements, deadlines, and negotiations can be difficult to handle. Fortunately, an experienced attorney can handle many of the tasks that follow a car accident in Oregon and help secure fair compensation for your damages. Contact an experienced car accident attorney in Oregon to to discuss your case and find out how they can help.