Car Accident Attorney in Portland Oregon

Car Accidents

Car accidents happen without a warning, and they can happen to anyone. It is critical to be aware of your legal responsibilities and reporting procedures, if you are involved in an auto accident in Portland, OR.

While your best recourse would be to seek legal guidance from an experienced car accident attorney in Portland, you may be required to do a few things even while you are in the process of choosing or consulting a lawyer.

Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident?
Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Attorneys, PC
111 SW Columbia Street, Suite 710, Portland, OR, 97201

Oregon DMV Accident Reporting Requirements

Oregon’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires you to file a Traffic Accident and Insurance Report within 72 hours in the following circumstances:

  • Damage to a vehicle is more than $2,500 (even if yours is the only vehicle involved in the crash)
  • A vehicle has been towed from the accident site
  • Bodily injury or death has occurred from the accident
  • Damage to property (other than the vehicle involved) is over $2,500

If you fail to file the required report with Oregon DMV, your driver’s license will be suspended.

If the damages in the accident were below $2,500, but the other party is uninsured, you can still report to the DMV. You should mention clearly on the accident report that the mandatory reporting conditions are not met.

Another important thing to know is that even if you have filed a police report, it does not absolve you of the responsibility of filing the accident report with Oregon DMV. The accident report should be filed additionally.

Injured in an Accident? Get a Free Case Evaluation Today!

Injured in an Accident? Get a Free Case Evaluation Today!

Accident Reporting Procedure in Portland, OR

The first step is to fill out the Oregon Accident and Insurance Report Form. You can download this form at website and take a print. Or, you can obtain this form from the local DMV office in Portland, the police department, or the sheriff’s office.

The DMV will add the car accident to the records of the driver(s) who were involved in the accident and who meet the reporting criteria.

Once you have filled out the form:

  • Retain a copy of the form for your reports. (Oregon DMV will not provide you a copy of your car accident report).
  • Send the completed form to any DMV office in Portland, or mail it to the DMV’s Accident Reporting Unit, 1905 Lana Ave NE, Salem, OR 97314.

"For over 52 years I have been protecting the financial future of personal injury victim's in Oregon by fighting for maximum compensation in every case." - Roy Dwyer

Mandatory Liability Insurance

If at the time of the accident, you did not have the mandatory liability insurance, the Oregon DMV will suspend your driver’s license for one year. Thereafter:

  • You will have to file an SR-22 to have your license reinstated.
  • SR-22 filing for three years following the end-date of license suspension is mandatory, even if you were not at fault for the accident.

This law is applicable even when the damages in the car accident are below $2,500. Insurance companies and brokers are also required to inform Oregon DMV about these kinds of accidents where they believe that a driver has no liability insurance.

Oregon Auto Insurance Requirements

If you are a driver involved in an Oregon car accident, and meet the accident reporting criteria specified by the DMV, you are required to notify the police immediately.

Full Legal Responsibilities

If you are involved in an Oregon car accident, you are required to:

1. Stop the Vehicle

Stop your car at the accident site or as close as you safely can without endangering or blocking other vehicles. If you leave the accident scene, you could be charged with “Hit and Run” in Portland, OR. A conviction would mean revocation or suspension of your driving privileges.

2. Provide Aid

Render aid to any people injured in the accident. Remember that an injured person should be moved away with extreme care. In some cases, they must not be moved at all except by trained paramedics or other emergency personnel.

If someone is unconscious or has been killed in the accident, the driver is required to remain at the accident site until the arrival of a police officer. Violating this rule will result in a “Hit and Run” charge.

3. Exchange Information

You can download and print a checklist of the mandatory exchange information from website and keep it in your vehicle. You must provide the other driver, the passengers in the car, an any injured pedestrians your:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • License plate number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Insurance information

4. Report the accident to Oregon DMV (as discussed above)

Unoccupied Vehicle

If you hit an unoccupied/unattended vehicle, you should try to locate the owner. If you are unable to find them, leave a note informing that you are the driver who hit their car, and how they can contact you.

The law in Oregon requires you to mention your name, address, and a brief description of the incident on the note.

If you have caused damage to property other than vehicle, you should try to locate the owner or in-charge of the property, failing which, you should inform about the damage similarly by leaving a written note.

Hitting an Animal

If you are a driver in Portland who has hit and injured an animal, you should:

  • Stop the vehicle and check the extent of injuries
  • If it is safe to do so, try to move the animal away from traffic
  • Report the injuries to the animal’s owner
  • If you are unable to locate the owner, report the injuries to the police
Moving Your Car from a Highway Accident Site

If you are involved in a highway crash and have not suffered any injury, you should move your car over to the shoulder, provided it is safe to do so. This will allow the traffic to keep moving. If you fail to remove your car even if it was safe to do so, you could be issued a traffic ticket.

Inform Your Insurer

If you are involved in a car accident in Portland, OR, you are required to inform your insurance provider about it. Provide accurate details of the crash and your injuries, and cooperate with the insurer. Stick to the facts of the incident, and avoid giving any other comments or opinions.

If the insurance company later discovers that you intentionally misled them in some way, it could result in a potential denial of your claim for damages. If a police report was filed, make sure to obtain a copy of the report and refer to the facts mentioned therein to your insurance company.

Keep a Record of Your Injuries and Medical Treatment

Note the name and contact details of doctors, surgeons, physical therapists, chiropractors, or any other medical professionals who are involved in your treatment.

Maintain an account of the medical treatments and procedures you undergo. Obtain copies of all medical reports and invoices, which will later be used to justify your medical costs.

While medical bills can be documented rather easily, pain and suffering are more subjective matters to prove. Keep a detailed record of your injuries have impacted your daily life, including leave from work, daily activities that you are not able to perform, and details of how the injuries have affected your personal life.

In addition to your physical injuries, include description of your pain, anxiety, depression, loss of sleep and other mental agony in your notes. Courts often consider such records to be more reliable when they are prepared as soon as possible after the accident rather than much later as an afterthought.

But if you recall something at a later stage or the symptoms of your injury show up only later, you must record that information.

Do not ignore seemingly minor details. For example, if you record “slight discomfort in the neck,” it could later support your claim if you end up developing chronic back pain resulting from the accident.

This is why you don’t want to take any money from the insurance company. Don’t accept their offer. You don’t even know what is fully wrong with you. If you take their offer and you later develop some medical problems you will not be eligible to sue them. You will not be entitled to anymore compensation.

Their offer is just enough to cover your car loss and perhaps a little extra for your trouble. It is not enough to cover your lost time at work, pain and suffering, and other medical issues. Don’t sign any of their paperwork until you have a legal pro representing you.

Contact a Reliable Portland, OR Car Accident Lawyer

Portland car accident attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss will make it their top priority to pursue your car accident personal injury claim to its logical conclusion and get you the maximum possible compensation. Here are some of the key steps our Portland personal injury attorneys will take for your claim:

  • Carry out a meticulous and thorough investigation into the crash to collect solid evidence to back your claim
  • Uncover every possible source of insurance coverage for you
  • Engage appropriate case experts, such as medical specialists, forensic experts, accident re-constructionists, economists and life care planners to establish an evidence-backed case
  • Conduction an aggressive settlement negotiation with your insurance adjusters, and handle communication with insurers and defense lawyers on your behalf
  • Prepare your Portland personal injury claim for court and make a persuasive case in the event of a trial, if required, and make sure all the deadlines are met

For a no-obligation, free legal consultation call the office of Dwyer Williams Cherkoss in Portland, OR at 1-800-285-8678 today.