Who Pays For Car Accident Compensation In Oregon?
Experienced attorneys know how to maximize claims
Being involved in a car accident is a frightening experience that can change your life in seconds. You can be left with serious injuries that require months of recovery and generate costly medical bills. In the meantime, you may lose income during the time you are unable to return to work. But the bills don't stop coming. You may be left wondering how you will make ends meet.
If you've been injured in a car accident, you deserve financial compensation. The laws regarding compensation for car accident injuries are complex. That's why you need experienced representation on your side. The car accident attorneys at Zbinden & Curtis know how to deal with insurance companies to make sure you get the compensation you need and deserve.
Understanding car insurance laws
In Oregon, all drivers required to buy car insurance. Every policy must carry minimum liability limits of:
- $25,000 for the injury or death of a single person
- $50,000 total for the injury or death of multiple people
- $10,000 for property damage
- $15,000 for personal injury protection (PIP)
- $25,000 per person/$50,000 per crash for bodily injury by an uninsured or underinsured motorist
Oregon is a "fault" plus PIP (personal injury protection) car insurance state. In short, this means that the driver who was responsible for causing the accident is also responsible for paying the damages. But in reality, getting compensation can be complicated. You generally have three options for recovering compensation.
Filing a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company
By law, the at-fault driver is responsible for paying for damages. But the insurance company will dispute exactly what those damages are. Insurance companies are only interested in making your claim go away quickly, for as little money as possible. But their initial settlement offer is unlikely to cover the true damages from your accident. That's why you need an experienced lawyer who knows how to negotiate a favorable settlement.
Filing a claim with your own insurance company
Personal injury protection can help cover the costs of medical treatment for your injuries. But it will only pay up to the limit on your policy. You can choose to buy additional coverage. You also have the option of adding optional coverage. For example, collision coverage will help pay the costs of damage to your car, or the cost of a replacement.
Filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver
If a reasonable settlement can't be reached with the at-fault driver's insurance company, sometimes this course of action is necessary. The insurance company is usually responsible for paying any damages that are awarded. In Oregon, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for compensation for your injuries is two years from the date of the accident. But for property damage, the statute of limitation is six years.
Oregon is also a modified comparative negligence state. This means you could be found partially responsible for causing the accident. But if your responsibility is 50% or less, you can still recover reduced damages. For example, if you are found to be 10% at fault for causing the accident, any damages you are awarded will be reduced by 10%. If you are found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident, you are not able to recover damages.
If you've been hurt in a car accident, contact Zbinden & Curtis today for a free case evaluation. Call (503) 287-5000. We'll review your case and go over your options. You pay no fees unless we make a recovery for you.