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We Handle Uninsured Motorist Claims Throughout Oregon


You’re reeling from a car accident, battered, bruised, and in pain. You might wonder how your day can get any worse. Then, you reach out to the other party asking for contact and insurance details, only to find things are about to get much more complicated: the person who just hit you is an uninsured motorist.

While this nightmare scenario might make you feel like you have no recourse to justice, do not panic. This situation is more common than you might think, and there may be legal avenues open to you. In fact, one 2022 study estimated that every 1 in 7 motorists on US roads are uninsured.

A car accident attorney specializing in uninsured motorist claims at Johnston Law Firm can listen to your story and give you the legal advice you need. Call us today at the number above to schedule a free consultation. Alternatively, contact us online, and we will get back to you soon.

Auto Insurance Laws in Oregon

In Oregon, all drivers are required to have auto insurance, including:

  • Liability coverage
  • Personal injury protection (PIP)
  • Uninsured motorist coverage

The minimum insurance limits for uninsured motorist coverage are $25,000 per person or $50,000 per crash for bodily injury in case of car accidents. Motorists can choose higher limits.

There is also an optional coverage called Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) available in Oregon. In the event of a collision with an uninsured driver, this should pay your car repair bills up to your policy limits.

Whether you only have basic coverage or a more comprehensive policy, if you have gotten into an auto accident with an uninsured driver and were injured, you will need to file a personal injury claim with your own insurance company. 

This does not mean, however, that you should get on the phone with your insurance company as soon as you realize you need to make an uninsured motorist claim. Keep reading to find out why.

The Danger of Making an Uninsured Motorist Claim

All insurance companies are looking out for their own interests rather than yours. That even includes your own insurance company, which you would reasonably expect to be on your side. The problem is that when you get hit by an uninsured motorist, the insurance company effectively becomes the uninsured motorist’s insurer. 

You should expect to see the usual tactics insurance companies use to try to reduce the amount they have to pay in compensation. For example, they may try to claim that you were at least partially responsible for the accident. Another popular tactic is claiming that your injuries are less serious than you claim or else were not even caused by your accident.

So while your insurance company was on your side when you were paying your premiums and earning them money, things will change the moment you get hit by an uninsured driver. Your insurer will turn into your adversary.

The takeaway? After an accident with an uninsured motorist, you need to seek justice by talking to the Portland car accident attorneys at Johnston Law Firm, not your insurance company. Contacting us first can help prevent problems jeopardizing your claim.

Don’t miss out on these common personal injury mistakes.

Get the legal counsel you need to guide you through the process of filing an injury claim.

What Our Oregon Car Accident Lawyers Can Do for You

When you find yourself in a face-off with an uninsured motorist, our Oregon car accident attorneys may help you in two key ways: (1) by negotiating with your insurance company to get you a fair settlement, and (2) by possibly suing the uninsured at-fault driver personally for damages.

The first step is to schedule a free consultation with a Johnston Injury Law uninsured motorist claims attorney. Our lawyer will listen carefully as you explain what happened and the extent of your car accident injuries; he or she can then advise you whether you have a personal injury case and the best way to proceed.

Negotiating a fair settlement with your insurance company

Our uninsured motorist claims lawyer may advise you not to talk to the insurance company directly. Instead, he or she will handle all communications on your behalf. This can protect you because your insurance company may look to use things you say against you. We will calmly stick to the facts when dealing with insurance companies, denying them ammunition that they can use to hurt you later.

To give you the best chance of success, our car accident lawyer can do the following on your behalf:

  • Investigate your accident: Find out exactly why your crash happened and gather evidence showing the negligent driver was at fault
  • Calculate your losses: Source medical records, payslips, and other evidence to demonstrate the extent of your losses and calculate a fair settlement
  • Submit an uninsured motorist claim: Verify your insurance coverage and carefully file a claim to prevent it from being rejected or delayed on a technicality
  • Negotiate: Play hardball with the insurance company to fight for the best possible settlement, defending you against tactics designed to reduce your compensation

Suing an uninsured at-fault driver

According to the Oregon State Bar, if an uninsured driver causes a car accident and does not have insurance, you can sue that person for damages. If the court rules that damages must be paid but he or she fails to comply within 60 days, it can lead to a driving license suspension until the damages are paid.

However, it is important to consider whether it is worth suing an uninsured driver. The chances are that the motorist is driving without insurance because he or she cannot afford it. Therefore, it is unlikely that an uninsured motorist will be able to pay damages out of pocket anyway. He or she may even file for bankruptcy to avoid paying the damages.

Yet, it is also possible that the uninsured motorist simply let their insurance policy lapse; he or she may have significant resources available. Thus, it is crucial to explore this option with a personal injury lawyer, who can advise you on whether there is any merit in pursuing it.

Pursuing damages when you do not have insurance

If a negligent driver crashes into you while you are driving without insurance, you still have legal rights. Although it is illegal to drive without insurance, that fact alone does not make you automatically responsible for a car accident. 

However, you would not be eligible to benefit from the personal injury protection (PIP) policy of the at-fault driver, which normally covers the other party in such cases. That being said, a personal injury lawyer at our law firm can tell you what your options may be. 

Act fast

Insurance companies may have strict policy time constraints that apply to uninsured motorist claims. Some may be as short as 30 days. So talk to our car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident so you do not miss out on making a claim.

Damages Available in an Uninsured Motorist Claim

Filing a claim against your uninsured motorist benefits does not limit the type of compensation you can pursue. 

As in a regular Oregon auto accident claim, you can pursue economic damages such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Future medical expenses

You may also be entitled to compensation for non-economic losses, including:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Loss of consortium

However, it is important to remember that you can only claim up to the limits of your policy. So if you have the minimum insurance required, you will only be able to claim up to $25,000 per person or $50,000 for the total accident.

Asked Questions

If your insurance company denies your uninsured motorist claim, review the denial letter to understand the reasons. Gather additional evidence, such as witness statements or accident reports, to strengthen your case. Consider appealing the decision through your insurer’s internal process. Consulting an attorney can help navigate the appeals process or pursue litigation if necessary.

Oregon law mandates that all auto insurance policies include Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage to protect drivers in accidents with uninsured drivers. This coverage helps pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Additionally, Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage can bridge the gap if the at-fault driver lacks sufficient insurance. These protections ensure financial support for injured parties.

Immediately after an accident with an uninsured driver, ensure everyone’s safety and call 911 to report the accident and seek medical help if needed. Document the scene by taking photos of the vehicles, damage, and any visible injuries. Exchange contact information with the other driver but avoid discussing fault. Gather contact details from witnesses, if any. Notify your insurance company about the accident and provide them with the collected evidence. Seek medical attention even if injuries seem minor, as some symptoms may appear later. Consulting an attorney can help navigate the claims process and ensure your rights are protected.

Yes, you can still pursue a claim if the uninsured driver flees the scene. Report the hit-and-run accident to the police immediately and provide as much information as possible. Notify your insurance company and file an uninsured motorist claim. Your uninsured motorist coverage typically applies in hit-and-run situations, allowing you to seek compensation for your damages.

To file an uninsured motorist claim after an accident, first, report the accident to the police and obtain a copy of the police report. Notify your insurance company promptly and provide them with all relevant details, including the police report, photos of the accident scene, witness statements, and medical records. Fill out the necessary claim forms provided by your insurer and submit any requested documentation. It’s essential to keep detailed records of all communications and expenses related to the accident. Consulting an attorney at Johnston Personal Injury Law Firm can help navigate the process, ensure all paperwork is correctly filed, and maximize your compensation.

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Contact Johnston Personal Injury Law Firm to Speak with an Experienced Uninsured Motorist Claims Attorney

Filing an uninsured motorist claim and obtaining a fair settlement can be complicated. When choosing Portland car accident lawyers to represent you, make sure you select a law firm with a track record of obtaining outstanding results for their clients.

At Johnston Law Firm, we know how to fight and win all types of personal injury cases for our clients. Further, we always prioritize our clients’ best interests when handling each personal injury lawsuit or claim. In part, this is because Marc A. Johnston, principal and owner, cares deeply about protecting people in need.

An uninsured motorist claims attorney is ready to hear your story and explain your legal rights. Book a free consultation today by calling us or reaching out online, and we will get in touch with you soon.


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