Oregon Car Accident Settlement and Lawsuits

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Drivers, passengers, and others who have been involved in a car accident in Oregon will want to have an understanding of the different state laws and car insurance rules that could affect any settlement or lawsuit over the accident. This page provides a summary of the Oregon-specific resources available on All-About-Car-Accidents.com, plus links to more detailed information.

Oregon Car Accident Laws

If you decide to file a lawsuit after a car accident in Oregon -- or even if you’re only making an insurance claim for now -- there are a few state laws to keep in mind, beginning with the time limit for getting a car accident lawsuit started (this is a state law called a “statute of limitations”).

Oregon has some of the most generous lawsuit-filing time limits in the country. The relevant deadlines for car accident lawsuits are:

  • ten years after the accident for filing a personal injury lawsuit (codified at Or. Rev. Stat. section 12.115) and
  • six years after the accident for filing a lawsuit for property damage (i.e. damage to a vehicle) (codified at Or. Rev. Stat. section 12.080).

If you don’t get your case started before the lawsuit-filing window closes, it’s safe to assume that the court will refuse to hear it when you do try to file. So it’s crucial to pay attention to the deadline, and that’s true even if you think your case is going to settle out of court. You always want to leave open the option of filing a lawsuit, not just for leverage in settlement negotiations, but also to make sure you can turn to the court system for a remedy if the settlement process isn’t promising a satisfactory solution.

Get details on other Oregon laws that could impact your car accident case in our article Car Accident Laws in Oregon.    

Oregon Car Insurance Requirements

Like most states, Oregon requires drivers to carry adequate car insurance coverage on any vehicle owned and operated in the state. The following minimum coverage is mandatory:

  • $25,000 for the injury or death of a single person (yourself, passenger, another driver, pedestrian, etc.)
  • $50,000 total for the injury or death of multiple people in a single accident
  • $10,000 for property damage (such as damage to another vehicle), and
  • $15,000 personal injury protection (PIP).

Uninsured motorist coverage is also required for any car insurance policy issued in Oregon. For more details on car insurance for vehicles in Oregon -- including how the state’s fault plus personal injury protection) works -- check out our companion article Oregon Car Insurance Laws.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Oregon

You might not find it necessary to hire a lawyer for every car accident claim you decide to file. For example, in a situation where the other driver’s insurance carrier isn’t disputing that its insured was at fault for the car accident, and you suffered only minor injuries, it’s probably fine to handle that kind of claim yourself as long as you’re comfortable with the process.

But what if the other driver’s insurer is saying that you caused the car accident? Or what if you suffered serious injuries and the insurer is balking at the extent or the costs of your medical treatment? In those situations, things can get complicated (and contentious) very quickly, and it may be time to discuss your situation with a local car accident lawyer in Oregon. Remember that most lawyers will take a car accident case on a contingency basis, meaning that the lawyer only gets paid a percentage of any successful settlement or court award.

A good attorney knows how to successfully navigate not just the back-and-forth of settlement negotiations with car insurance adjusters, but also the car accident lawsuit process if your case proceeds to Oregon civil court.

by: , J.D.

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