Vancouver is only a 15-minute drive north of Portland via Interstate 5. This makes it a popular destination for locals to work or visit. With such close proximity, it can be easy to lose track of the fact that is a completely different state, with different laws that apply to various situations. In the event of car accidents and injuries, many of the basic requirements are the same but there are a few differences that could impact your ability to recover compensation through an insurance claim.
Car Accident Reporting Requirements in Oregon vs. Washington
The state of Oregon has certain requirements for drivers who are involved in car accidents, which are generally similar to those found in other areas. These include:
- Stopping immediately at the scene of the accident, or as close to it as reasonably possible without blocking traffic;
- Notifying law enforcement if serious injuries or property damages occur;
- Rendering aid to victims, which may take the form of calling an ambulance or comforting the victim;
- Exchanging personal contact, driver’s license and registration, and insurance information with other drivers involved;
- Reporting the accident to the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
When it comes to filing accident reports, Portland car accident requirements differ from those in Vancouver. The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) advises that if a law enforcement official investigates an accident, you are not required to file your own accident report, except in situations where you are notified that additional details are needed. Oregon requires all drivers to file a Traffic Accident and Insurance Report within 72 hours of an accident, in addition to any reports filed by the police. Failure to do so could result in license suspension.
Insurance Coverage for Car Accidents in Portland vs. Vancouver
An additional way car accidents in Portland differ from those that occur in Vancouver regards how insurance policies handle claims. Each is known as an at fault insurance state, meaning that drivers can be held legally liable when their actions result in a car accident and injuries, but they differ in terms of insurance coverage:
- Oregon insurance laws require drivers to maintain a minimum amount of $15,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This covers the insured against car accident injuries, regardless of who was to blame for the accident.
- Washington state does not require motorists to purchase PIP protection, but does require insurance companies to offer it as part of a policy.
Without personal injury protection, drivers are fully responsible for paying any damages they suffer in a car accident, unless they can prove the other driver’s reckless or negligent actions were to blame.
Have You Been Injured in a Portland or Vancouver Car Accident?
Whether you were involved in a car accident in Portland or outside the state, the Johnston Law Firm is here to assist you in getting the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries. Call or contact our experienced Portland car accident attorney online today to request a free consultation to discuss your case.