How long After a Car Accident do I Have to File a Claim in Oregon?

By  //  January 3, 2022

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If you’re involved in a car accident in Oregon, there are a few things you need to know about the timeline given for you to file a claim and report the accident. Learning this information will help you avoid missing these deadlines.

If you’re in an accident, you’ll want to take action as soon as possible to avoid those complications and the potential to miss out on getting compensation for an injury or damages to your property. Keep reading to find out more about car accident timelines in Oregon and what to do if you’re in an accident. 

Accident Reporting and Claims Timelines

If you’re involved in an accident, you’ll want to ensure you meet all the specified guidelines. If you want to file a claim, this is an especially important point to note.

Accident Reporting

There is a strict deadline in Oregon for reporting an accident to the Department of Transportation, which is 72 hours from when the accident occurred. You must get a traffic accident report and file it appropriately during that time frame. These guidelines also outline instances where the 72-hour rule applies, such as cases where a death occurs and with damages totaling over $2500. You’ll need to ensure you also get a copy to file with any insurance agencies where you make a claim. 

Filing an Insurance Claim

There are specific steps to take to file an insurance claim correctly. The insurance provider requires a police report, which can be picked up at the local police station where the accident was reported, or they might fax it directly to the insurance company. Don’t forget to turn in all essential information and some other helpful or necessary details such as the following. 

 The other party’s information 

Pictures of the damage to your vehicle

Police accident report 

Additionally, there is also a deadline in the state of Oregon for filing an accident claim with an insurance company. The rule for an accident with a personal injury claim is two years from the accident date. 

Keep in mind this rule applies regardless of whether you or your attorney have communicated with the insurance company and are currently negotiating. The insurance company won’t alert you to this fact, likely hoping you’ll neglect to file, so they won’t need to pay the claim. This is one of the top reasons why you need to seek the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable car accident attorney. 

Filing the Claim

The injured parties must file a claim through the at-fault party’s insurance provider. As mentioned, that needs to occur with the 72-hour window of time according to the State statutes, Section 806.070. There is also a minimum amount of insurance that individuals on the road must carry. For most, it includes $25,000 for a single person with injuries or death and $50,000 for two people. Additionally, you need $20,000 destruction of property and injury. 

Reasons for Filings Claims After a Car Accident 

If you’re involved in a car accident, there is usually significant damage to one or both vehicles, and there can even be more than two vehicles needing to claim for the same accident. If the cost of repairs is over a few hundred dollars, you’d be wise to file with the insurance company.

This helps you get your vehicle repaired or replaced after meeting all the outlined deductibles. Additionally, you might also suffer personal injuries if you’re the victim of an automobile collision. 

If you get hurt during the accident, you’ll have medical bills. If your medical bills are extensive, there’s a chance you’d be out of pocket for expenses such as insurance deductibles and any bills that your medical insurance won’t cover.

The defendant’s insurance may provide some coverage to help with these expenses. Keep in mind that those who become disabled or who are injured and out of work for a long time will have the potential to rack up heavy debt and every bit of compensation helps. 

What if You Don’t File?

As mentioned, you don’t have to file a claim for personal injury right away. However, it can hurt your chances of getting compensation after the accident. It’s best to gather all details and information right after the accident when everything is readily available. If you don’t file, it can become much harder to gather the details and information necessary to outline the case in your favor. Essentially, waiting causes potential issues and may make the case take longer than necessary. 

It’s also worth noting that while you might feel okay right after the accident, you could sustain injuries you aren’t aware of because of shock.

After time passes, you might develop some moderate to severe medical issues directly resulting from the injury. You’ll want to get treatment before this injury gets worse because it can be life-threatening or lead to prolonged complications. When you wait to get the treatments you need, the condition may also worsen and continue to impair your life and increase your hospital and treatment bills. Over time, without the claim or monetary award, the bills can stack up and create a difficult financial situation for anyone involved in the accident. 

Finding a Car Accident Attorney 

If you’ve been the victim of a car accident, and you want to file a claim and pursue legal action against the at-fault driver, you’ll need the assistance of a top car accident attorney or personal injury attorney in the area. Make sure you do some thorough research before you make a decision. The best place to start is online by checking the reviews from previous clients.

Their experiences help shed light on what to expect and any potential issues. You also want to determine if they have an established reputation in the community as a professional who gets good results from their endeavors. Find some top prospects and contact them to see if they have an opening for a consultation.

Sometimes the firm or lawyer can do an over the phone consultation, but you might need to stop by in person depending on the situation. When going for the consultation, try to have as much detailed information as possible to get a feel for the potential case.

The more information that has, the more accurately they can judge whether the case has merit to pursue, and they might give you some more information on what to potentially expect if you decide to use them to move forward with the claim. Every detail matters in these cases and can make a difference in the overall outcome. 

Take Action Today

If you or someone you know has been in an accident and needs professional legal representation, they should reach out to a Eugene, Oregon car accident attorney and discover their options for pursuing a personal injury claim or case.

The faster the victim acts, the sooner the lawyer or legal firm can begin working on the case details and gather the information and documentation they need to file paperwork and get a complete picture of the case. Get the compensation you need to cover various expenses related to medical issues, lost income, damages to your vehicle and personal property, so you can begin getting back to normal.