Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Accidents
According to Oregon state law, all drivers must have vehicle liability insurance. While this is a basic requirement by law, not everyone follows it. If you have sustained injuries in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, you can file a claim against your own insurance company. Uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in Oregon, with all drivers expected to have it.
Submit Your Request
Portland Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Lawyer
At Portland Legal Group, we help represent clients who need Oregon uninsured motorist attorneys to navigate the state’s complex legal system. It is crucial to know that suing an uninsured motorist is different from suing a responsible driver’s insurance company. You need an experienced legal mind to help you figure it out.
What Is an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Accident?
According to Oregon laws, insurance companies must offer their policyholders uninsured motorist coverage. Unfortunately, this is a policy add-on that most people don’t take. If you get involved in an accident with an underinsured or uninsured motorist, two things are certain:
- The driver’s coverage didn’t cover all the damages, or
- The driver didn’t have insurance at all
Dealing with such cases can be challenging given that the other party doesn’t have insurance. Get in touch with a skilled Portland car accident attorney so that they explain how to handle such cases. They will also give you the best advice on protecting your family and loved ones. At Portland Legal Group, we have a dedicated team of car accident attorneys that are ready to help you get compensated for all damages you have suffered.
What Are the Consequences of Uninsured & Underinsured Motorists?
If you get involved in an accident with an underinsured or uninsured motorist, here is what you might be up to:
- The damages to your car won’t be covered
- Your insurer might not be able to recover damages
- The medical bills you have incurred will not be settled
However, if you have insurance coverage for uninsured or underinsured drivers, your insurance company will cover your car damages, pain and suffering, as well as medical bills. It is vital to know that motorists without adequate insurance coverage face severe legal consequences in Portland. The state of Oregon requires that motorists have $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person. A $50,000 insurance cover is required for each accident. Besides, motorists should have a minimum of $20,000 in property damage coverage.
If a motorist doesn’t have this insurance cover, they can be held liable for the amount of damage caused. If you find yourself in such situations and in need of an uninsured motorist attorney, we are here to help. Our team will help you pursue legal action against the at-fault party even if they don’t have sufficient insurance coverage. Get in touch with us today for a free case evaluation!
The Difference Between Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists
The main difference between an underinsured and an uninsured motorist is whether he or she has any liability insurance coverage, at all. Underinsured motorists are those that have liability coverage that will cover some of the damages caused in an accident. On the other hand, underinsured motorists either don’t have any liability insurance cover or have a coverage policy that won’t cover any of the damages caused.
What differentiates the two types of motorists is whether their liability cover can help accident victims recover damages. If an underinsured motorist causes an accident that results in another person’s injuries, their insurance company will partially cover the victim’s losses. If the accident is caused by an uninsured motorist, the driver’s insurance company will not cover any of the victim’s losses, at all. In such cases, the victim’s insurance company will cover his losses.
Underinsured drivers have car insurance policies. This insurance policy includes liability coverage for when the driver causes an accident that results in damages and injuries. What makes a motorist an Underinsured driver is when the liability coverage on their car insurance policy won’t fully compensate the accident’s victim. The severity of the accident is a driving factor depending on whether the motorist will be underinsured or not. Keep in mind that the same driver can be fully insured for a minor crash that doesn’t result in massive damage since their policy only covers mild damages.
How UM and UIM Claims Work in Portland
According to Oregon state laws, all drivers must have motor vehicle liability insurance. While this is a state requirement, not everyone follows it. This is unfortunate because it results in many compromising situations. If you have sustained injuries in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, you are allowed by law to file a claim against your own insurance company. This is because it is mandatory for your insurance company to insure you against uninsured motorists (UM) in the state of Oregon.
After an accident with an uninsured motorist, your insurance company will step in the shoes of the at-fault driver and cover all the damages you have suffered. In that case, your insurance company will assert every possible evidence available against the at-fault motorist. For instance, because they are the ones paying for the damages, the insurance company may contend that you were partially responsible for the accident. They might also try to underestimate your injuries. Such messy negotiations need a tactical and skilled personal injury attorney from Portland Legal Group.
In Oregon, you must get permission from your insurance company before settling a claim with the at-fault party. If you fail to do so and proceed without permission from your insurance company, you may waive your right to pursue an underinsured motorist claim. This means that you won’t be allowed to pursue the claim without the necessary evidence. Underinsured and uninsured motorist claims involve complex legal and insurance issues. Trying to navigate these issues by yourself can put you in a weaker position. Therefore, you should seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney before settling your claims with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The same should also be done before settling claims with your insurance company.
What To Do If You’ve Been Hurt in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
Sustaining injuries in an accident caused by an uninsured driver can be challenging. In the best-case scenario, you will have uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance coverage. If you have one, the policy will pay for any medical expenses and care costs resulting from the accident. All you have to do is file a claim against your own insurance company. In cases where the driver is uninsured, you are still encouraged to call your insurance company and file a claim. This will help you get the compensation you need.
In any case, injuries should be treated as soon as possible. Therefore, the first thing you should do after getting involved in an accident is to seek medical attention. Let all the injuries you have sustained be treated by a professional. Keep in mind that your medical bills will likely be paid for by your insurance company. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about spending a fortune on your medical expenses. If the driver is uninsured, you won’t be able to seek compensation for property damage or pain and suffering. Get the help of an uninsured motorist attorney if you don’t have the add-on policy.
Here are the steps you should take after getting injured in an accident with an uninsured driver.
- Call the Police: Call law enforcement officers as soon as possible. You will need the police report when proving your case in court.
- Obtain Information: Get the necessary information from the driver if you can. In most cases, this information is contained in the police report. However, you should write down crucial details like the person’s license plate number and insurance information.
- Get Medical Attention: At this point, you should get medical attention. Getting treated is essential no matter how minor the injuries look.
- Obtain Evidence: If possible, you should obtain evidence from the accident scene. Ensure it is safe to do so before obtaining it. Crucial evidence for such cases includes raw images of the scene, photos of your injuries, and witness information, among other details.
After that, get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney as well as your insurance company.
Do I Need an Attorney to File a UM/UIM Claim?
You are encouraged to work with an underinsured or uninsured motorist account attorney. If the at-fault driver didn’t have insurance coverage, there is a good chance that they lack the finances to pay out your settlement. While it is possible to file an uninsured motorist lawsuit by yourself, it is best to work with an attorney. A personal injury attorney will:
- Accurately assess your case’s worth
- Research the driver’s assets
- Seek fair and full compensation for your damages
Furthermore, a personal injury attorney will represent you in court so that you can focus on recovering from injuries. Our attorneys at Portland Legal Group will handle the intricacies of suing an underinsured or uninsured driver so that you can recover damages. Get in touch with us today for a free case evaluation.