Oregon Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Accident

What If The Person Who Hit Me Doesn't Have Insurance Or Doesn't Have Enough Insurance?

 
 
Oregon uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is the term used when there is no coverage at all on the other vehicle. Underinsured motorist coverage is the term used when the other vehicle's policy limit is inadequate to pay for all of your damages.
 

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage usually comes into play in the following examples:

  • Example No. 1. You are injured in a car accident caused by someone who does not have liability insurance or based upon some technicality, their liability insurance company has denied coverage for your accident.
  • Example No. 2. A hit and run accident.
  • Example No. 3. Your accident was caused by a “phantom vehicle.” The classic “phantom vehicle” accident occurs when someone cuts you off and causes you to crash your car but they never make contact with your vehicle and you were never able to identify the driver of the phantom vehicle.
  • Example No. 4. You are injured by another driver who does not have enough insurance to fully compensate you for your injuries.
The requirements which you must meet in order to preserve your Oregon uninsured or your underinsured motorist claim are complex and technical. If you intend to represent yourself in presenting your under-insured or uninsured motorist claim to your insurance company, you should have a good understanding of the language contained in the policy of insurance with your insurance company and of ORS 742.504 which sets out the basic requirements of every underinsured/uninsured motorist policy in the state of Oregon.

Remember, uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage is your coverage that you have paid for. The insurance company must sell it to you. You have purchased a benefit from the insurance company which gives you the right to collect from your own policy. In an Oregon uninsured or underinsured motorist case, your Oregon insurance company is not on your side. They stand in the shoes of the driver who caused your injuries and they are required to compensate you up to your policy limits to the same extent as the driver would have been required to compensate you had they been insured.

It is our collective experience that most insurance companies will not explain all of your rights. There have been countless lawsuits, investigations and penalties handed out to the major insurance companies in the state of Oregon where it was proven that insurance companies failed to deal fairly with their customers who were entitled to uninsured and underinsured motorist benefits.
 

TYPICAL UNINSURED MOTORIST ACCIDENT LEGAL QUESTIONS

 
 

What is the most important thing you do for you clients?

Our first priority is to get your medical bills paid, start your disability payments and help you take care of your property damage so that you can take as much time as you need to get better before you try to settle your case. One of the most important things that we do for our clients is to figure out what problems they are going to have in the future as a result of their accident. After we are certain about your future, we can obtain fair compensation for everything you have gone through and everything that the accident will cost you in the future.
 
 
 

Why is it important to hire an Oregon attorney who specializes in traffic collision cases?

Your case will settle when the insurance company, or whoever you are making a claim against, fears that you will take them to court and force them to fairly compensate you for your injuries. A demand is simple: “Be fair with me or else I will take you to court and have a jury force you to be fair.” Without an attorney, you pose no risk to the insurance company. Our past results in court benefits you because insurance companies in Oregon know that if they are unfair, then The Law Office of Clayton H Morrison will take your case to court. This is why we are able to fairly settle most of our cases as quickly as possible.
 
 
 

Can I talk to an Oregon attorney for free, even if I plan on handling my own case?

Yes. The Law Office of Clayton H Morrison's very best clients are the ones who have tried to settle their own cases. These clients are truly grateful when they end up with two to three times the amount of money that they were offered on their cases without an attorney representing them. In a few moments over the phone, we can give you an estimate of what you claim is worth.
 
 
 

What are the important statutes of limitations in Oregon?

In general, Oregon traffic accident cases must be filed with the court within two years of the date of the accident. There are, however, several important exceptions and you should call our office a get free legal advice on your case even if more than two years have passed since your accident.
 
 

FEATURED UNINSURED MOTORIST ACCIDENT CASE RESULTS

$800,000 Award and Settlement
EB was injured in a T-bone collision when the at fault driver suddenly and without warning pulled from a stop sign into his lane of travel. Initially EB thought that he suffered soft tissue injuries and a minor concussion. About a month after the accident he started to notice memory and coordination problems on his left side. The insurance company for the other driver refused to acknowledge EB's traumatic brain injury and accused him of faking the injury. A lawsuit was filed and a month before trial the insurance company's paid their $300,000 policy limits. Thereafter, the client proceeded to binding arbitration for his underinsured motorist benefits. The resulting arbitration, workers' compensation claim and the above settlement resulted in a benefit to the client of over $800,000.
$419,000 Settlement
TS was making a left hand turn at an intersection when another driver ran a red light striking him on the driver's side of his car. He suffered rib fractures, an elbow fracture and a spleen laceration that was surgically repaired. The driver at fault for the collision settled the case for his insurance policy limits of $100,000. We prosecuted an under-insured motorist claim against Safeco Insurance. Initially, Safeco refused to acknowledge that because TS missed a significant amount of work, he lost retirement benefits. Just before trial we were able to reach a settlement of $319,000 that compensated TS for all of his losses including his retirement benefits.
$117,000 Award
SM was injured when another driver made an illegal left turn in front of him causing a T-bone collision. SM suffered soft tissue injuries to his neck and back that required about 8 months of treatment with $7,000 in medical bills and no wage loss. The other driver's insurance company paid SM their policy limits of $25,000 and we prosecuted an under-insured motorist claim against SM's insurance company, USF&G Insurance. USF&G refused to settle the case, claiming that SM had been fully compensated for his injuries by the $25,000 payment from the at fault driver. The jury disagreed and awarded SM $117,000.

UNINSURED MOTORIST ACCIDENT INTERNET RESOURCES

Oregon DMV: Steps to take after an accident. http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/pages/driverid/acci...

Oregon DMV: Traffic Accident Insurance Report Form PDF http://www.odot.state.or.us/forms/dmv/32.pdf

Oregon Revised Statutes https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/Pages/ORS.aspx

Oregon State Bar http://www.osbar.org/index.html

Oregon Insurance Division: Complaint Form http://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/insurance/gethelp/Pages...

ODOT: Traffic, Bike, Motorcycle & Pedestrian Safety Manuals http://www.odot.state.or.us/forms/dmv/32.pdf

OLCC's Digest of Violations by Bars & Restaurants http://www.oregon.gov/olcc/Pages/casedigest_finalo...
The Law Offices of Clayton H. Morrison are Oregon personal injury attorneys who represent people injured in car accidents throughout Southwest Portland and its surrounding areas, including, Beaverton Aloha, Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood, Lake Oswego, Scappoose, Banks, North Plains, Vernonia, Yamhill, Gaston, Carlton, McMinnville, Sheridan, Wilsonville, Woodburn, Kaiser, Salem, Monmouth,, Tillamook, Cannon Beach, and Astoria.