If you are a driver in Oregon, it is wise to have a basic understanding of how Oregon car insurance laws work. In Oregon, every driver is required to carry minimum amounts of auto insurance for their vehicle. At DuBois Law Group, our experienced car accident lawyers have helped many car accident victims successfully navigate the claims process. We have created a guide to Oregon car insurance below to help you understand Oregon insurance laws and the process for obtaining compensation through an insurance claim.
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements in Oregon
Under Oregon law, drivers must purchase minimum amounts of auto insurance. For liability insurance, Oregon drivers must purchase at least:
- $25,000 of bodily injury protection for one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury protection for multiple people in a single car accident
- $20,000 for property damage in a single car accident
These liability minimums are often referred to as 25/50/25. Liability car insurance coverage pays for damage that you caused other people, whether it is injuries to their physical body or property damage. Property damage can include damage to a vehicle or a neighbor’s fence, a building, or any other property that becomes damaged in a car accident. These are the state limits for insurance, but if you are concerned about the risk of a lawsuit, you may want higher liability limits than the state minimum.
What Does Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance Cover?
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of insurance that pays for reasonable and necessary medical, dental, and other expenses after a car accident. PIP coverage will only cover costs a car accident victim has incurred up to one year after the car accident. One of the benefits of PIP coverage is that it covers your injuries and your passenger’s injuries regardless of who was at fault. In Oregon, drivers must carry a minimum amount of $15,000 per person of PIP insurance.
The primary purpose of PIP insurance is to provide an immediate way for car accident victims to access medical care. Car accident victims can use their PIP benefits without having to determine who was at fault. Under Oregon law, auto insurance companies must pay PIP benefits within 60 days of receiving a claim. Or, they must provide a written notice of denial saying why they have denied the insurance coverage and how to contest the denial.
What You Need to Know About Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Oregon
Additionally, Oregon drivers must carry minimum amounts of uninsured and underinsured motorists insurance. When a driver causes a car accident and does not have insurance, uninsured motorist insurance will pay for your medical, rehabilitation, lost earnings, and other damages. Uninsured motorist coverage is frequently used in hit-and-run accidents in which the victims cannot identify the at-fault driver who caused the accident. In Oregon, drivers must carry a minimum of uninsured motorist coverage, specifically, $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash for bodily injuries.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Car Accident
Even if you and the other driver carry the minimum required amount of auto insurance, these limits may not come close to covering your recovery cost. If you are seriously injured, your medical expenses could exceed $1 million during your lifetime. The average cost of a fatal car accident exceeds six million dollars. Even if you were not seriously injured, the average injury accident cost approximately $126,000. Many drivers do not have enough insurance coverage to cover these types of devastating injuries.
At DuBois Law Group, our car accident lawyers have an in-depth understanding of Oregon insurance laws. We also understand the tactics insurance companies used to try to avoid paying compensation to car accident victims. If you do decide to pursue compensation through an insurance claim, an attorney will help you immensely. As you focus on recovering from your injuries, your lawyer will negotiate aggressively with the insurance company.
Sometimes car accident victims assume that their insurance provider will treat them fairly if they are filing PIP or uninsured motorist claims with their insurance provider. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Even if it is your auto insurance provider, a claims adjuster will try to deny or limit the amount of compensation you deserve. When a lawyer represents you, insurance companies will take your claim more seriously, and your lawyer will stop them from taking advantage of you.
We will do all of the talking to the insurance company so you can focus on your recovery. We will also help you craft a statement to provide the insurance company that protects your claim and right to compensation. Insurance adjusters frequently begin calling victims immediately after a car accident, hoping that they can record a statement in which the victim unintentionally admits fault. We know all of the tactics insurance adjusters use, and we also know how to negotiate aggressively for the best settlement amount possible.
Pursuing Compensation Through a Personal Injury Lawsuit
A personal injury lawyer can help car accident victims determine the best way to pursue the compensation they deserve. In some cases, auto insurance coverage will not be an effective strategy. A car accident victim may need to seek damages through a personal injury lawsuit. In a personal injury lawsuit, victims can recover more types of damages than when they submit a claim to an auto insurance company. For example, victims can pursue the following types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit:
- All of your medical expenses
- Estimated ongoing medical expenses in the future
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of Consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages when the defendant acted egregiously
Discuss Your Case With a Portland Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a Portland car accident, the experienced Portland accident lawyers DuBois Law Group, are here to help. We offer new clients a free initial consultation so they can discuss your case with us and learn more about how we can fight for them. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.