The Portland metro area spans three Oregon counties and even the Vancouver, WA area. This can make an auto accident in the metro area complex at times. The addition of an uninsured motorist can only add to the complications.
Statistics published by the Insurance Research Council indicate that 16.1 percent of all drivers nationally are driving without insurance. In addition, 14 percent of auto accidents are believed to be caused by uninsured drivers. With numbers like these, it is important to know how to protect yourself in case you are hit and/or injured by an uninsured motorist. Contact us to get stated on your motorist accident case. Call 503-233-6507
Minimum insurance requirements
Both Oregon and Washington require that drivers carry automobile insurance. At a minimum, the requirements in Oregon are as follows:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $20,000 for property damage per accident
- Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, of $15,000 per person
- Uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 bodily injury per accident
In Washington, drivers are required to carry insurance with at least $25,000 coverage for bodily injury or death to one person and $50,000 for two or more people per accident as well as $10,000 coverage for property damage per accident.
Your compensation options
If you are involved in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, you have a few options. If you carry uninsured motorist coverage, as required in Oregon, you can utilize your own insurance policy. In cases like this, your insurance company may opt to try and recover damages from the other driver.
Another option is to pursue recourse directly from the driver at fault. This may or may not provide you with the compensation you need depending upon the person’s assets or ability to pay but it is your legal right to consider this option.
A word about underinsured drivers
When referencing uninsured drivers, the term “underinsured motorist” is often discussed as well but may not always be fully understood. A driver that carries the legally required minimum amount of insurance for their state may still be considered underinsured if the amount of damages incurred in an accident is greater than the level of coverage that they carry.
For example, if you are hit by a driver who carries $50,000 worth of coverage for bodily injury in a single accident but the total of your injury costs add up to $75,000, that driver’s level of insurance is insufficient to pay your claim and he or she is referred to as an underinsured motorist. In such cases, you may be able to solicit the insurance company for the additional funds.
Many times, drivers involved in accidents with uninsured or underinsured motorists believe they have no options for recourse but that is not necessarily true. Talking to an attorney is always a recommended course of action in such situations. Contact us online or call 503-233-6507.