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Car Accident Reporting Requirements In Oregon: Protecting Your Rights In A Claim

Car accidents in Oregon happen multiple times each day. Considering the high number of crashes and collisions on interstates, highways, and local roads running throughout the state, all drivers need to be aware of the potential risks.

As most people are only likely to be involved in an accident maybe once or twice over the course of their lives, they may be unfamiliar with what to do in the aftermath. Oregon has strict policies in regard to car accident reporting requirements. The following explains important details about filing a report and other steps that can help to protect your rights to compensation. 

What Are Oregon Car Accident Reporting Requirements? 

According to the state Department of Transportation (ODOT), close to 40,000 car accidents in Oregon happen each year. Nearly 500 people are killed due to these crashes, while nearly 20,000 other victims suffer potentially serious personal injuries. The remaining crashes are generally categorized as property damage-only accidents, but can still result in major losses for victims. 

To protect yourself and your rights to compensation for damages you suffer in a claim, all drivers should be aware of Oregon car accident reporting requirements. The ODOT advises that an accident report must be filed with the state Department of Motor Vehicles in the following situations: 

  • Damage to any of the vehicles involved is greater than $2,500, even if it was a single-vehicle crash;
  • When property damages require that a vehicle is towed from the scene;
  • When damage to the personal property of others impacted by a crash totals more than $2,500 (such as damage to lawns, landscaping, and fences);
  • Whenever a car accident in Oregon involves personal injuries or deaths. 

It is important to contact law enforcement when any type of crash or collision happens. However, even if they file an accident report, it does not exempt you from state reporting requirements. Failure to follow these guidelines could result in fines and suspension of your driving privileges. 

Do I Have To Report A Fender Bender? 

One of the most common questions our Oregon car accident attorneys hear from clients concerns how to handle relatively minor crashes or fender benders. If you do not suffer any obvious personal injuries or major property damages, you may hope to bypass alerting insurers and handle the matter yourself. This is generally a bad idea for the following reasons: 

  • Unless you are a skilled mechanic with experience in handling car accident claims, it is impossible to accurately assess property damages immediately at the scene. 
  • Symptoms of potentially serious personal injuries are often subtle at first and can take hours or even days to appear. 
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), even a relatively minor crash could end up costing you more than $10,000 in vehicle repairs, medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses. 

To prevent having to pay these costs out of pocket, adhere to Oregon car accident reporting requirements. Other steps to protect yourself and your rights in filing a claim include notifying law enforcement immediately, seeking medical attention as soon as possible, and contacting our Oregon car accident attorneys before accepting any settlements or making any statements to insurers. 

Information Required In An Oregon Traffic Accident Report

When reporting any type of car crash or collision, you will need to complete an Oregon Traffic Accident And Insurance Report and submit it to the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The information it should contain includes: 

  • Your name, date of birth, and street address;
  • Driver’s license and license plate number;
  • The state your vehicle is registered in;
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN), make, and model;
  • Insurance information. 

At the scene of a car accident in Oregon, you should also get the name, contact information, driver’s license, and insurance information of other motorists involved. To protect your rights in a claim, gather evidence at the scene as well. This includes names and contact information, any nearby stores or businesses (they may have video surveillance), and photos of your vehicle, your injuries, and the surrounding area. 

Contact Our Oregon Car Accident Attorneys And Request A Consultation

Even a minor car accident could result in serious injuries and property damages. To protect your rights in a claim, follow state reporting requirements and reach out to the Johnston Law Firm before accepting any settlements. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Oregon car accident attorneys online and request a consultation today.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.