What to do after a hit-and-run in Oregon

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Accidents are stressful, and hit-and-run accidents add additional stress to an already difficult situation. The good news is that after a hit-and-run in Oregon, the next steps do not have to be overly complex. As long as you know the proper steps to follow, you may be able to manage the situation with relative ease. And because of the state minimum insurance requirements, your own insurance might help you recover.

Hit-and-runs in Oregon

What, exactly, constitutes an Oregon hit-and-run? Basically, any accident in which a driver leaves the scene without stopping qualifies as a hit-and-run. Fortunately, in Oregon, hit-and-runs that lead to fatalities are relatively rare. But hit-and-runs do happen frequently enough that the Oregon Department of Transportation Driver & Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) has a dedicated section for training police officers on how to report these types of accidents.

If you find yourself facing a hit-and-run — whether you are the victim or you caused the accident and fled — knowing how Oregon hit-and-run laws work and what Oregon hit-and-run insurance applies to can go a long way.

Oregon hit-and-run laws

The Oregon DMV requires that all drivers involved in an accident do four things:

  1. Stop: Oregon hit-and-run law requires all involved drivers to stop and stay at the scene of the accident (although they should move their vehicles out of the flow of traffic). If you fail to do so and are convicted of a hit-and-run, your driving privileges may be suspended or revoked.
  2. Help injured parties: At the scene of the accident, you generally should check on yourself and everyone else. You are required by law to do what you can to help anyone who is injured, including calling 911 for emergency medical care. If anyone is unconscious or killed, everyone involved is legally required to stay at the scene until the police arrive or they could be charged with a hit-and-run.
  3. Exchange information: The DMV offers a printable checklist that you can keep in your car to make sure you and the other involved drivers share the proper details.
  4. Report the accident to the DMV: Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may need to fill out an accident report form and submit it to the DMV.

If you leave the scene of an accident, per the hit-and-run Oregon statute, you could be convicted of a hit-and-run.

How hit-and-runs impact car insurance rates in Oregon

If you are convicted of a hit-and-run in Oregon, your car insurance situation could be challenging. Your auto insurance company could increase your premium significantly, and it is possible that your coverage will be dropped. In that case, you would need to search for a new car insurance provider.

If your insurance company decides they are still willing to take on the risk of offering you coverage, you will most likely need an SR-22 form. This is a form that your car insurance provider files with the DMV on your behalf. The form attests that you carry at least the state minimum required insurance coverages and must typically be on file for three to five years.

That said, Oregon hit-and-run insurance is more affordable than it is in many other states. In fact, the average Oregon driver pays roughly the same amount after fleeing the scene of an accident as average drivers in other states pay after a less serious standard collision.

Average annual full coverage premiums:

Before a hit-and-run After a hit-and-run After a standard accident
Oregon average $1,346 $2,463 $2,012
National average $1,674 $3,367 $2,405

5 things to do after a hit-and-run in Oregon

If you find yourself the victim of a hit-and-run, what to do in Oregon looks virtually identical to what you could do in other states. You may want to:

  1. Stay at the scene: You might be tempted to chase after the fleeing driver, but most law enforcement agencies advise against this for your safety. You should probably stay put, but try to take note of the license plate number and other defining features of the at-fault car or driver as they flee the scene.
  2. Keep everyone safe: Your first priority should be getting yourself and anyone else involved, as well as your vehicles, out of the flow of traffic. That said, if someone is badly injured, the Oregon Department of Transportation advises against moving them. In that case, you should likely call 911 as quickly as possible.
  3. Call the police: Even if no one needs medical attention, you may still want to call the police. This allows an officer to be dispatched to the scene of the accident. The responding officer will likely gather evidence — including your and any witnesses’ testimonies — to try to catch the hit-and-run driver.
  4. Write down what you remember: It may take time for an officer to reach the scene of the accident. While you wait, make a note of any details you can remember, including the other driver’s license plate number, the make and model of their vehicle and anything else that stands out to you.
  5. Start your insurance claim: You can usually file a claim by calling your insurance provider or using tools on the company’s website or app. The sooner you start your claim, the faster you can be on the road to recovery.

Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?

It might. There are several car insurance coverages in Oregon that could come into play after a hit-and-run:

  • Liability insurance: The first line of hit-and-run Oregon insurance is the at-fault driver’s liability coverage, assuming that they can be tracked down. Oregon requires both bodily injury liability insurance, which is designed to pay for injuries you and your passengers sustain, and property damage liability insurance, which pays to repair or replace your vehicle and other damaged property, up to the at-fault driver’s policy limits.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): Oregon also requires that all drivers carry PIP coverage, which is designed to pay for injuries, lost wages and other expenses for you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage: Oregon also requires that all drivers carry uninsured motorist coverage. If the other driver is located and does not have insurance, this coverage could pay for your injuries and for injuries that your passenger sustained.
  • Uninsured motorist property damage: This coverage is not required by Oregon law, but it is available as an option. Uninsured motorist property damage is designed to pay for your damages, including damage to your vehicle, when you are hit by an uninsured motorist.
  • Collision: If you have full coverage, your collision coverage could also help you pay for damage to your vehicle. You may have to pay a deductible, but some companies waive deductibles for hit-and-run scenarios. Not all policies include collision coverage though, so you may want to review your policy with an agent.

Frequently asked questions

How much does car insurance cost?

That depends on numerous factors, including your driving record. The average Oregon driver with a clean driving record pays $1,346 annually for full coverage auto insurance. After a standard accident, the average premium jumps to $2,012 per year for full coverage. But after a hit-and-run, Oregon insurance costs can skyrocket, with the average driver paying $2,463 annually for a full coverage policy.

Is it a hit-and-run if I hit a parked car in Oregon?

Yes, if you fail to leave your information behind you could be charged with a hit-and-run even if you hit a parked vehicle. Oregon law mandates that you need to stop and try to locate the owner or operator of the vehicle. If you are unable to find them, you are required to leave a note with your name, address and a description of what happened.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.

Written by
Kacie Goff
Personal Finance Contributor
Kacie Goff is a personal finance and insurance writer with over seven years of experience covering personal and commercial coverage options. She writes for Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, NextAdvisor, Varo Money, Coverage, Best Credit Cards and more. She's covered a broad range of policy types — including less-talked-about coverages like wrap insurance and E&O — and she specializes in auto, homeowners and life insurance.
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Insurance Writer & Editor