Oregon is a fault car accident state, meaning that drivers who are responsible for collisions must pay for the damages of their victims. If you are injured in a collision with a negligent driver, you could file an insurance claim or lawsuit against him or her to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and more. However, proving fault in an Oregon car accident claim can be a highly complex process—and you may need an attorney to guide you through the process.
Since Oregon is a fault car accident state, you have two options to recover compensation after a collision: an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. You will need to follow two similar but distinct processes to prove liability in each of these claims.
During the insurance process, a representative will be assigned to your case and conduct an investigation. The representative will review all available pieces of evidence, such as witness testimony and medical records, and determine whether or not the policyholder caused the accident.
Proving negligence in a lawsuit is a more complex process. You and your attorney will need to provide evidence to establish the following four elements.
Evidence such as surveillance footage, witness testimony, police reports, and medical records can help you prove these elements and establish your right to compensation.
To establish the other driver’s negligence, you will need to present sufficient evidence to the court or insurance representative. This evidence is often freshest in the moments after the crash. If you are injured in an Oregon car accident, take steps to protect yourself and preserve as much evidence as possible.
After the accident, a representative from the other driver’s insurance company may contact you and ask you to provide a statement. You should decline this request and speak to an attorney as soon as possible. While a lawyer advocates for your rights during the claims process, the insurance company often wants to protect its bottom line—and does not always have your best interests in mind.
As soon as possible following the collision, contact a Portland car accident attorney to discuss your legal options.