If you’ve been involved in a car accident, Oregon law requires you to file an accident report within 72 hours of the collision. For car accident injury victims, properly filing the report not only ensures you meet your legal obligation, it also helps lay the foundation for any personal injury claims you may have. Here’s what you need to do.
How to File an Oregon State Accident Report
In Oregon, car accidents must be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 72 hours if any of the following criteria are met:
- Damage to your vehicle is over $1,500.
- Damage to any vehicle is over $1,500, and any vehicle was towed from the scene due to damages from the accident.
- The accident resulted in injury or death.
- Damage to any person’s property (other than a vehicle) is over $1,500.
Even if the police were at the scene of your accident and a police report was filed, you must still file your own accident report with the DMV. If you are unable to file a report within the 72-hour window—which may be the case if you sustained serious injuries—you are required to submit a report as soon as possible. Should you fail to report the accident to the DMV, your driving privileges could be suspended.
To file an accident report, you can print and fill out the Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report (available here) or obtain a copy at the nearest DMV office. Once you complete the form, it must be mailed to the DMV at the following address: Accident Reporting Unit, DMV, 1905 Lana Ave NE, Salem, Oregon 97314.
While the DMV does not determine fault in a car accident, filing an accident report in a timely manner can work to support the claims you make seeking compensation for your injuries and damages. It shows you have reported in good faith not only the date, location, and time of the accident, but also allows you to provide details of the accident, such as road conditions and witnesses to the accident. The accident report is often your first chance to put certain facts and your take on the accident on record, especially if you were immediately taken to the hospital after the accident.
Dealing with a car accident is overwhelming. An experienced car accident lawyer can help immensely, from filing the initial accident report to recovering maximum compensation that covers the cost of your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. In Bend, Oregon, contact Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Attorneys, PC for a free consultation. As your guide through the recovery process, there’s nothing to small or big for us to handle.