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What to Do After Hitting an Illegally Parked Car in Oregon

Posted on June 21, 2022 in

In Oregon, drivers whose negligence causes an accident are financially liable for any damages that occur due to their actions. Hitting a parked car is generally a negligent act. If the car that you hit is illegally parked, however, you may not be completely liable for the accident.

To reduce your fault in this situation, it is important to take a series of careful steps to prove that the car was not parked in a lawful location. Here is what to do after hitting an illegally parked car.

hitting a parked car in oregon

Understanding Oregon’s Comparative Negligence Laws

Drivers in Oregon have a duty to follow traffic laws and operate their vehicles safely. If a driver breaches this duty of care and causes an accident—such as hitting a parked car—he or she will be financially responsible for any property damage, medical care, and other damages sustained by the victim.

In cases where more than one party shares liability, the state’s comparative negligence laws will apply. Oregon follows a modified comparative negligence standard, meaning that a plaintiff can collect damages if he or she is less than 51% at fault for the accident. The court will reduce his or her award by the amount of fault the plaintiff shares.

For example, say that you hit an illegally parked car and the court assigns the other driver 40% of the liability. The plaintiff asks for a $20,000 settlement, but you will only need to pay $12,000. If the plaintiff received 60% of the fault, you will not need to pay any settlement.

Steps to Take After Hitting an Illegally Parked Car

If you hit a car that is parked in an illegal location, you will likely be partially responsible for the collision. However, the other driver will likely be liable for the accident as well. In these situations, you may want to take steps to reduce your own financial obligations. 

To reduce your liability after hitting an illegally parked car, it is important to document the accident thoroughly and report it to the authorities as soon as you can. 

  • First, stop in a safe location and attempt to identify the owner of the vehicle. Do not leave the scene. If you cannot find the driver, leave a note with your information on the vehicle.
  • Take as many photographs and videos of the vehicle as you can. Ensure that the pictures show that the car is parked illegally.
  • Call 911 and report the incident to the police as soon as possible. Make sure to mention to the police that the car was parked in an illegal location.
  • Contact an Oregon car accident lawyer as soon as possible and discuss your legal options. Your attorney will represent your case and work to reduce your financial liability.

Consult with an Oregon Car Accident Attorney as Soon as Possible

Being involved in an accident with an illegally parked car can be a very stressful situation. You may be liable for the driver’s losses, even though he or she committed an illegal act. In these cases, you need an attorney on your side who can protect your best interests and establish the other driver’s partial or complete liability.

A Portland car accident lawyer can guide you through the claims process and advocate for your optimal outcome each step of the way. As soon as possible following the collision, contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.

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