Uninsured Motorist Law
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Uninsured Motorists: Accidents with No Coverage
Oregon state law requires all drivers to have motor vehicle liability insurance. Unfortunately, not everyone follows the law. If you are injured by an uninsured motorist, you can file a claim against your own insurance company. Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is mandatory in Oregon.
When you make a claim for uninsured motorist benefits, your insurance company “steps into the shoes” of the at-fault driver. That means that your insurance company will assert every possible defense available to the at-fault driver. For example, your insurance company may contend that you were partially at fault for the accident or that your injuries are not as serious as you or your doctor claim.
Role of Your Insurance Company
Uninsured motorist claims set up an adversarial relationship with your own insurance company. You may find that your insurer is much more eager to accept the premiums you have been paying faithfully year after year than it is to fairly compensate you for your injuries.
Hit and Run Drivers are a type of uninsured motorist and present special considerations.
Underinsured Motorists: Accidents with Insufficient Coverage
If the at-fault driver is insured, but does not have enough coverage to fully compensate you for your injuries, underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits under your own policy help cover this gap. Like UM claims, UIM claims place you in an adversarial position with your own insurance company. They frequently are hard fought.
In Oregon, you must get permission from your own insurance company before settling your injury claim with the at-fault driver. If you do not get permission first from your insurance company, you may waive your right to pursue an underinsured motorist claim.
Underinsured and uninsured motorist claims present complex insurance and legal issues. Consult an experienced personal injury lawyer before settling your claims with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or your insurance company.
Rob Kline is easy to work with, and explains things really well. He really gives you the confidence that he knows what he is doing and will get the most for you. Every time I called I’d be able to talk to him until all my questions were answered. He was very patient, offering clear explanations as to what was going on.