Auto Injury Resources*


Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can often cause significant pain and disability. However, finding appropriate care as well as understanding your rights and responsibilities can also be difficult and confusing, especially when you are in pain.

This section is designed to provide you with easy access to helpful key information as well as links for further resources.

STEP 1: SAFETY FIRST

Stop at Once - Stop at the accident scene or as close as possible without needlessly blocking or endangering other traffic. "Hit and run" is a serious traffic crime. Conviction will mean your driving privileges will be revoked or suspended.

Render Aid - Give any reasonable aid to injured persons. Remember, injured people should never be moved carelessly. In many cases, they should not be moved at all until it is possible to get an ambulance or someone trained in first aid to the scene. If a driver is involved in an accident in which a person is killed or rendered unconscious, the driver is required to remain at the scene of the accident until a police officer arrives. Failure to do so is classified and punishable as a "hit and run."

Exchange Information - available as printable checklist for your car. Give to the other driver, passengers in the vehicle, or any injured pedestrian.

  • Your Name & Address
  • Driver license number
  • License plate number of your vehice
  • Your insurance information

STEP 2: MEDICAL HELP

First - If you have been seriously injured or have life threatening injuries seek emergency immediate medical attention.

Second - Seek a doctor experienced with the evaluation and treatment as well as required documentation of automobile collisions. Early evaluation and treatment helps to provide appropriate care for common injuries related to automobile collisions and can help recover from your injuries so you can get back to your pre-collision abilities as soon as possible. Proper documentation is also important to receive the needed care and provide information in case you require an attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

1) You do have coverage. Auto insurance covers medical treatment for injuries related to a car accident.

2) Know your rights. You have every right to seek what you deem as appropriate medical care. An auto insurer cannot direct you to a certain medical care provider unless you've signed for a preferred provider organization discount.

3) Seek appropriate early evaluation, treatment and medical documentation. Proper early medical care is very important for various reasons noted above. If you don't seek medical attention, your insurance or the other drivers insurance company may argue that your injuries arose from something that happened after the accident and in-turn deny a claim and refuse to pay for needed treatment or financial settlement.

5) Many symptoms and injuries are “Masked”. The "adrenaline rush" from the accident can mask your symptoms -- a physical examination by a physician experienced in the evaluation and treatment of automobile collisions may reveal an injury that you do not yet feel. Tell the doctor if you have any loss of memory, headache, blood or fluid in your ear, dizziness, tinnitis (ringing in the ears), disorientation, nausea, confusion, or any other unusual physical or mental feeling. Many people hit their heads, or suffer brain injuries in car accidents, and don't realize that they are injured -- it is best to be safe, by reporting your symptoms so that the doctor can rule out the possibility of a concussion or brain injury.

STEP 3: REPORT THE ACCIDENT

A) Reporting Accidents

You must file an Accident and Insurance Report formwith DMV within 72 hours when:

  • Damage to the vehicle you were driving is over $1,500; or

  • Damage to any vehicle is over $1,500 and any vehicle is towed from the scene as a result of damages from this accident; or

  • Injury or death resulted from this accident; or

  • Damages to any one person's property other than a vehicle involved in this accident is over $1,500.

Accidents in areas open to the public for the use of motor vehicles must be reported. Some drivers who are in accidents offer to fix the damage and try to get the other driver not to file a report. If you agree to do this, you are breaking the law if the amount of damage is more than $1,500. Always remember to keep a copy of your report for your own records.

You must file a report even if your vehicle was the only one in the crash. If you do not report an accident when required to do so, your driving privileges will be suspended.

If you were in a collision and the other party did not have insurance, you can report the collision to DMV. However, the accident may also go on your driving record, if you do not clearly indicate on the accident report that the accident does not meet mandatory reporting criteria.

Police Report

You must fill out an Accident and Insurance Report form and return it to DMV even if a police officer files a report. A police report does not replace your requirement to file an accident report with DMV. You must do that yourself.

B) Filing an Accident Report

Fill Out an Accident and Insurance Report Form
Be as accurate as you can. Give as much information as you can about where, when and how the crash happened. Include all of your contact information and your liability insurance company. The accident will be listed on the driving record of those drivers involved in the accident who meet the reporting requirements. To acquire the necessary form:

Liability Insurance

If you are the driver or owner of a vehicle in an accident that must be reported, your report must show the name of your liability insurance company, not the insurance agent or agency, and the policy number. The insurance coverage you report is checked by DMV with the insurance company shown on the report. If you did not have liability insurance at the time of the accident, your driving privileges will be suspended for one year. You must then file proof of future financial responsibility (SR-22) before your driving privileges will be reinstated.

An SR-22 filing is required for three years after the suspension ending date even if you were not at fault in the accident.

Insurance companies and agents must tell DMV about any accident where they have reason to believe a driver is uninsured. If the information is correct, the uninsured drivers driving privileges will be suspended for one year. After that, they will be under the future financial responsibility law for three years. This law applies even if the damage is $1,500 or less.

Keep a Copy for Your Records

Under Oregon law 802.220(5), DMV can not provide you a copy of your accident report. If you wish to have a complete copy of your report (front and back), you will need to make a copy for your records.

Deliver a Completed Form to DMV

Deliver your completed Accident and Insurance Report Form to any DMV office or mail the form to:

Accident Reporting Unit

DMV

1905 Lana Ave NE

Salem OR 97314

HELPFUL LINKS:

English:

Oregon DMV Main Page

Consumer Guide to Auto Insurance

Insurance Requirements in Oregon

Accident & Insurance Report Form

Accident Information Exchanged Checklist

Spanish:

Oregon DMV information (Spanish)

Guia basica para seguros de seguros de automoviles en Oregon

* Most of the information in this section can be found at the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles website. Falling Waters LLC, is not responsible for the information content from the Orgeon Department of Motor Vehicles or changes. The information on this site is used to provide introduction to the information available.