After a car accident or pedestrian accident in Portland, it is our responsibility as drivers to pull over, provide assistance, and exchange insurance and license information. Unfortunately, not all drivers stay at the scene of a collision.
Hit-and-run accidents are not only illegal but can result in serious injuries and lasting complications such as expensive medical bills, weeks of lost wages, and emotional and physical trauma.
You may wonder how you can recover from your damages if you do not know who is responsible for your injuries — but Tillmann Law can help. Our Portland hit-and-run accident attorneys have the skills, resources, and experience you need to secure the compensation you deserve.
Oregon follows a fault-based system for Portland car accident claims, which means that a driver responsible for a collision must pay for the victims’ damages. If you cannot identify the driver responsible for the accident, you can still collect compensation for your injuries thanks to Oregon’s insurance laws.
Unlike many fault insurance states, Oregon requires drivers to purchase a minimum of $25,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) in addition to liability coverage. You can file a claim under this policy after a hit-and-run,
However, you can only claim damages up to your policy limit. This can be limiting, especially if you experience severe injuries and need to claim high amounts of compensatory damages. To determine your best legal options, speak with your attorney immediately after the accident.
Another option is to investigate and identify the at-fault driver so you can file a claim under his or her insurance. Law enforcement officers may take the lead in this investigation, but your attorney can also assist this process. Your lawyer may review important pieces of evidence and offer to collect additional information to identify who is responsible for your accident.
If you are able to identify the at-fault driver, you can choose to file an insurance claim under his or her policy. However, if the driver has insufficient insurance or not enough coverage to meet your needs, you can choose to escalate your claim to a personal injury lawsuit.
While this civil action is often lengthier than the average insurance claim, policy limits do not apply, and you may be able to claim higher amounts of damages through a lawsuit. The court may also assign punitive damages to deter the hit-and-run driver from committing the same actions again, which may increase your overall award amount.
Criminal and civil cases follow separate procedures. Even if law enforcement officers identify the hit-and-run driver and you pursue criminal charges against him or her, you can still file a civil lawsuit against the driver over the same accident.
A hit-and-run accident can have a devastating impact on your life. You deserve just compensation so you can make a full recovery — and the Oregon injury attorneys at Tillmann Law can help. We can represent you and your best interests from consultation to settlement, advocating aggressively on your behalf to achieve fair compensation.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with our Portland hit-and-run accident attorneys.