Should I Report a Portland Car Accident?

If you’ve been in an accident in Portland, Oregon DMV regulations apply. According to the DMV website, you must report an Oregon accident if:
1) Damage to any vehicle involved is over $1,500
2) Damage to your vehicle is over $1,500
3) Any vehicle is towed from the scene as a result of the accident
4) Anyone is injured or killed as a result of the accident
5) Damages to anyone’s property (other than a vehicle) is over $1,500

Remember, if you are in a Portland accident and any of the criteria above apply, you MUST report our accident. Sometimes people will offer to fix or pay for the damages without filing a report, but if you agree to this you are breaking the law (if the damages are over $1,500).

Very important Portland accident information to remember:

  • Even if you are the only one involved in the accident, you must file a report.
  • You are required to file a report within 72 hours.
  • You should always keep a copy of the accident report for your records – the DMV won’t give you a copy later.
  • Even if a police officer files a police report, you need to submit a DMV form (called an Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report, and you can find it on the DMV website).
  • When filling out the report, be as accurate as possible.
  • If the other person doesn’t have insurance, you should fill out a report even if there isn’t $1,500 worth of damages (but make sure to note this on the form).
  • The accident will be listed on each drivers driving record.
  • Your report must show the name of your car liability insurance company.
  • If you don’t have insurance at the time of the accident, your driving privileges can be suspended for a year.

All of the same criteria applies to reporting a Portland accident to law enforcement. If anyone has been injured at the scene, call 911. Otherwise, call a non-emergency number for the nearest law enforcement agency. If you call 911 and the police come, you do not need to notify any further law enforcement, but you still need to report your accident to the Oregon DMV (see above).

If your accident does meet the DMV requirements for filing a Traffic Accident and Insurance Report, you might want to consider hiring a Portland car accident attorney for several reasons:
1) If the damages are over $1,500, you want to be sure all your damages (medical and property) are paid.
2) If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you don’t want to have to pay all your bills yourself – you can use your insurance coverage or file a lawsuit to make sure the driver at fault will be held liable for damages.