I often represent people that have been injured by a bad driver that told them at the scene, "don't worry I have full coverage." This term really doesn't mean much in the world of personal injury law. Oregon has specific requirements regarding what should be in automobile insurance policies such as personal injury protection benefits (PIP), uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage. The law also imposes the minimum limits for each bodily injury insurance policy in Oregon. The relevant law on minimum insurance limits provides:
ORS 806.070 Minimum payment schedule. (1) This section establishes a schedule of payments for the following purposes:
(a) An insurance policy described under ORS 806.080 must provide for payment of at least amounts necessary to cover the minimum required payments under this section to qualify for use for financial responsibility under ORS 806.060.
(b) A person who is self-insured under ORS 806.130 must agree to pay according to the payment schedule established by this section.
(c) The payment schedule is the minimum required payment of a judgment for purposes of ORS 809.020, 809.130 and 809.415.
(2) The schedule of payments is as follows:
(a) $25,000 because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident;
(b) Subject to that limit for one person, $50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident; and
(c) $20,000 because of injury to or destruction of the property of others in any one accident.
What this means for most injured people is that if they have a crash caused injury, the maximum they may be able to collect from the bad driver is a mere $25,000.00. This sounds like a lot of money. However, $25,000.00 can go quickly if you incur crash caused medical bills and are missing work.
If you and two or three other people were injured in the same crash, the bad driver will only pay a combined total $50,000.00 to the injured people. That will be divided up between them. A lawyer should be involved if that is the case. These are also important numbers when you are dealing with the bad driver's insurance company.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an Oregon car crash, call Portland personal injury lawyer Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658. Ross Law PDX provides free personal injury consultations. Please remember Oregon's personal injury laws and insurance laws are constantly changing. DO NOT Solely rely on this post for information, look at the current law. Please consult with a lawyer. This post is not intended to be legal advice and can be considered attorney advertising.