Oregon Hit and Run Accident Laws

All traffic accidents are unfortunate, and in a large number of cases, the blame for an accident doesn’t lie solely with one party. Any number of factors can conspire to create a situation where vehicles collide and people get hurt. However, Portland lawyers for hit and run accident victims have always maintained that, no matter who was at fault, there simply is no excuse for any driver to leave the scene of an accident.

Clearly, those who pass the laws that govern road use in Oregon agree, because there are three statutes on the books dealing with penalties for hit and run drivers.

The Law Says Stop and Help the Injured: ORS 811.705

In the event of any traffic accident, all drivers involved have certain responsibilities. ORS 811.705 is the statute that deals specifically with those acts a driver must perform when someone has been injured. It is important to note that all of the following must be done by the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident where someone has been hurt or killed, according to Oregon hit and run accident laws.

Penalties Can Be Severe – Hit and Run is a Felony: ORS 811.706

As well as the possibility of a fine or even prison sentence, Oregon also has laws which allow the imposition of monetary penalties for hit and run drivers. ORS 811.706 deals directly with the two statutes listed above—ORS 811.700 and ORS 811.705—and allows the courts to order the hit and run driver to pay an amount of money equal to the amount of any damages caused, in addition to any sentence or fine the court may decide upon. Portland lawyers for hit and run victims have seen the horrific consequences of such accidents, including financial devastation, catastrophic injuries and death. In cases of extreme negligence, these lawyers can also request punitive damages for their clients.

The Law: 811.705 Failure to perform duties of driver to injured persons; penalty.

(1) A person commits the offense of failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured persons if the person is the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident that results in injury or death to any person and does not do all of the following:

(a) Immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close thereto as possible. Every stop required under this paragraph shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.

(b) Remain at the scene of the accident until the driver has fulfilled all of the requirements under this subsection.

(c) Give to the other driver or surviving passenger or any person not a passenger who is injured as a result of the accident the name and address of the driver and the registration number of the vehicle that the driver is driving and the name and address of any other occupants of the vehicle.

(d) Upon request and if available, exhibit and give to the persons injured or to the occupant of or person attending any vehicle damaged the number of any document issued as official evidence of a grant of driving privileges.

(e) Render to any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including the conveying or the making of arrangements for the conveying of such person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment, if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such conveying is requested by any injured person.

(f) Remain at the scene of an accident until a police officer has arrived and has received the required information, if all persons required to be given information under paragraph (c) of this subsection are killed in the accident or are unconscious or otherwise incapable of receiving the information. The requirement of this paragraph to remain at the scene of an accident until a police officer arrives does not apply to a driver who needs immediate medical care, who needs to leave the scene in order to secure medical care for another person injured in the accident or who needs to leave the scene in order to report the accident to the authorities, so long as the driver who leaves takes reasonable steps to return to the scene or to contact the nearest police agency.

(2)(a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, the offense described in this section, failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured persons, is a Class C felony and is applicable on any premises open to the public.

(b) Failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured persons is a Class B felony if a person suffers serious physical injury as defined in ORS 161.015 or dies as a result of the accident. [1983 c.338 §573; 1993 c.621 §1; 2001 c.919 §1]

Portland lawyers for hit and run accident victims would like to remind drivers that the failure to perform all of the acts listed above is a felony offense. If someone is injured in the accident, it’s a Class C felony not to perform the duties to injured persons. If someone is seriously hurt or dies from their injuries, and a driver has not performed his or her duties to the injured person, it is a Class B felony.

You Also Have to Stay if Property is Damaged: ORS 811.700

It’s not just in cases where people who are injured that drivers have specific responsibilities. Oregon statute 811.700 lists duties drivers must fulfill when property is damaged. Some are similar to those listed above. They include:

      811.700 Failure to perform duties of driver when property is damaged; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of failure to perform the duties of a driver when property is damaged if the person is the driver of any vehicle and the person does not perform duties required under any of the following:

(a) If the person is the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident that results only in damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by any other person the person must perform all of the following duties:

      (A) Immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close thereto as possible. Every stop required under this subparagraph shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.

      (B) Remain at the scene of the accident until the driver has fulfilled all of the requirements under this paragraph.

      (C) Give to the other driver or passenger the name and address of the driver and the registration number of the vehicle that the driver is driving and the name and address of any other occupants of the vehicle.

      (D) Upon request and if available, exhibit and give to the occupant of or person attending any vehicle damaged the number of any documents issued as evidence of driving privileges granted to the driver.

(b) If the person is the driver of any vehicle that collides with any vehicle that is unattended, the person shall immediately stop and:

      (A) Locate and notify the operator or owner of the vehicle of the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle striking the unattended vehicle; or

      (B) Leave in a conspicuous place in the vehicle struck a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and of the owner of the vehicle doing the striking and a statement of the circumstances thereof.

(c) If the person is the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to fixtures or property legally upon or adjacent to a highway, the person shall do all of the following:

      (A) Take reasonable steps to notify the owner or person in charge of the property of such fact and of the driver’s name and address and of the registration number of the vehicle the driver is driving.

      (B) Upon request and if available, exhibit any document issued as official evidence of a grant of driving privileges to the driver.

(2) The offense described in this section, failure to perform the duties of a driver when property is damaged, is a Class A misdemeanor and is applicable on any premises open to the public. [1983 c.338 §572]

Oregon lawmakers take road safety very seriously, and they clearly recognize that hit and run offenses are among the most serious of all road crimes. Still, people leave the accident scene many times each year, without stopping to check whether—and in some cases knowing full well—someone has been horribly injured or even killed. In cases such as this, the injured party or their families shouldn’t hesitate to contact an experienced team of Portland lawyers for hit and run accident victims. These attorneys know there simply is no excuse for leaving an accident scene, and they will fight hard to get their victims the compensation they deserve and need to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and tragically, in some cases, funeral and memorial expenses. They will also work very hard to see hit and run drivers are punished to the fullest extent of the law.