What Are The Reporting Requirements If I’ve Been Involved In A Collision In Oregon?

While nobody wants to get involved in a car accident, it is important to understand what the requirements are for reporting any incident that occurs on the roadway. For most car accidents, state law requires that an accident report be filed within 72 hours after the incident. Not only does this ensure that all legal obligations are fulfilled, it also lays the foundation for any insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits that you may need to file as a result of the incident.

What are the reporting thresholds for an Oregon car accident?

Under state law, any car accident in Oregon must be reported to the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 72 hours if any of the following thresholds are met in the car accident:

  • vehicle damage over $2,500
  • any vehicle is towed from the scene due to damages
  • there are any injuries or fatalities due to the accident
  • damages to anyone’s property (other than the vehicle) that are over $2,500

If there is an accident and damages are less than $2,500, the state DMV says that you can file a report if the other party does not have insurance.

Many people think that just because the police come to the scene and fill out a police report that they do not have to complete a report for the incident with the DMV. However, that is not the case. You are still required to file a report within 72 hours after the incident. If you are unable to file a report within this window due to injuries you have sustained, you must report the incident as soon as possible. Failing to report an accident to the DMV could result in a loss of driving privileges for one year.

You can print the Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report, obtain a copy of the report at your nearest DMV office, or from various precincts around the state. There are instructions for completing the form attached to the form itself as well as the address so you can mail it directly to the DMV.

What reports do you need for an insurance claim?

It is important to understand all reports pertaining to a car accident will be beneficial to a personal injury claim. You or your attorney will need to obtain all accident reports related to the accident.

As mentioned above, you are required to report an accident to the DMV even if the police report to the scene. In most accident cases, state, county, or local police will go to the scene and fill out their own accident report. These reports will be available within a few weeks after the car accident occurs. You or your attorney will want to obtain both the police report as well as the report you made to the DMV when working to make a personal injury claim against the other driver’s insurance carrier.

What if you and the other driver agree not to make a report?

If your car accident meets one of the thresholds for reporting mentioned above, and you do not make the report, the DMV can suspend your license for one year. It can be tempting not to report an accident, particularly if you do not want your insurance premiums to rise and if the other driver agrees that there is no need for a report. However, what happens after you leave the scene will be out of your control at that point. The other driver could end up filing a report anyway, which will leave you in serious trouble. They could even say that you left the scene sustained a serious injury.

By filling out the appropriate DMV accident report in turning it in on time, you are protecting yourself and your ability to recover compensation if another driver was at fault for the incident.