While you may feel that most accidents are cut-and-dry situations, some states operate differently. Some states rely on “fault” insurance for car accidents, while others operate on a “no-fault” basis. Oregon is a fault state. We’ll explain what this means so you can recognize your rights after a crash.
Fault vs. No-Fault
No-fault doesn’t recognize a party to be at fault for an accident. Instead, both parties in a crash will go through their own insurance company to get compensation. There are some exceptions to this, however, such as when:
- One party suffers significant property damage totaling over a specific amount of money
- One party suffers debilitating injuries or a physical disability
In these cases, no-fault states allow for the injured people to file third-party lawsuits against the responsible individual and his or her insurance company.
Is Oregon a “No-Fault” State?
The state of Oregon is a fault state. However, the state’s insurance policies are required to include a built-in “provision.” This provision is called PIP (personal injury protection.) In simple terms, at fault insurance laws mean that the person who caused the accident is responsible for any damages.
Oregon Is A "Fault" Car Accident State
In a fault state, like Oregon, an accident involving negligence goes through the at-fault party’s insurance company. If you suffer an injury or property damage because of someone else’s actions, you’ll file a claim through his or her insurance company, and they must pay compensation when you prove liability. In other words, This means that the person who was at-fault for causing the car accident will also be responsible for any harm done.
The Insurance Company’s Duty
When you go through the other person’s insurance, you expect the process to go smoothly. Unfortunately, despite the insurance provider’s duty to care, they often try to turn the tables on you. They’ll claim you were at fault for the accident, your injuries are pre-existing, or their customer’s policy doesn’t cover your losses.
Whenever an insurance company wrongfully denies coverage, they are acting in bad faith. What this means for you is the possibility of filing a lawsuit for negligence. While you would hope that you can file a claim successfully, you may need to go through legal matters to get the outcome you need.
Oregon Auto Insurance Coverage After An Accident
So, you can receive compensation for injuries and vehicle damages. There may be additional factors to consider as well. But before receiving that compensation, you'll need to proceed through one of the following ways:
- Filing a claim with your own insurance company
- Filing a third-party claim with the other driver's insurance company
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver
Your way forward with one of the three ways will depend on the specifics of your accident and which driver is at-fault for the accident. Contact a car accident attorney to have your Oregon car insurance questions and concerns addressed.
Our Salem car accident lawyers recognize how Oregon’s fault insurance works. When you suffer an injury due to negligence, we’ll stand in your corner and work to hold the responsible party fully and financially accountable. Let us be your guide.