Is Oregon A No-Fault State For Car Accidents?

Nobody wants to get involved in a car accident. However, one of the first things drivers need to know in the aftermath of an accident is whether they are in a “fault state” or a “no-fault state.” Ideally, drivers know this information at the time they obtain insurance. Here, we want to review Oregon car accident laws so residents of this state know what happens in the aftermath of an accident.

What is a fault or no-fault system?

In no-fault insurance states, drivers involved in accidents are required to submit claims to their personal insurance carriers to secure compensation for medical bills, car repairs, etc. Drivers in no-fault states do this regardless of whether or not they were at fault for the incident. The idea behind this type of system is to have a more streamlined insurance process that pays accident expenses quicker.

However, many stays use a traditional fault-based car accident system. This means that the driver who was at fault for the incident is liable for repairs, medical costs, and other damages that are a result of the accident.

What system does Oregon use?

Oregon uses a fault-based process for car accidents, though there are no-fault provisions. However, the system in this state is more of a hybrid fault system. Under Oregon law, insurance policies have a built-in no-fault provision. Under this system, car insurance providers are required to provide Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to pay for injuries resulting from the use, ownership, or maintenance of a vehicle. This protection is available to anyone who pays insurance in Oregon, even if they are at fault for the incident.

However, that is where the no-fault system ends in Oregon. In a true no-fault state, drivers are not allowed to pursue compensation from the at-fault party under most circumstances. In Oregon, injured victims in car accidents are allowed to file lawsuits against the at-fault party without any financial or injury thresholds in place.

What kind of compensation is available in these cases?

There are various types of compensation available to victims of car accident injuries. No two cases are the same, and the total amount of compensation a car accident victim can cover will differ depending on the variety of factors, including the severity of the injuries, whether or not the person is unable to work, the amount of pain and suffering involved, and more. Generally, the following are types of compensation that an Oregon car accident victim may recover in a settlement or jury verdict:

  • Coverage of all crash-related medical expenses
  • Lost income if they cannot work while recovering
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Possible punitive damages against a negligent driver

What does PIP coverage provide?

If a driver chooses to use the personal injury protection coverage from their own insurance policy, they will generally have access to coverage for medical expenses and lost wages. However, drivers are only required to carry $15,000 worth of personal injury protection coverage. For anything more than a minor car accident injury, this coverage will become exhausted fairly quickly. If you are the victim of another driver’s careless or negligent actions, you should speak to a Portland car accident attorney as soon as possible in order to explore all routes available for compensation.