Whenever a car accident happens, all drivers involved are legally required to stop, exchange information with any other parties involved, or wait for the authorities to arrive. In some cases, the driver responsible for the accident does not stop and instead, speeds off from the scene of the accident. This can leave accident victims feeling helpless and unsure about what to do to recover the compensation they need for their injuries and losses. If you or someone you love has been injured in a hit-and-run-accident, there are several legal options available even if the at-fault driver is unknown. The Portland hit-and-run accident lawyers at Rizk Law have years of experience representing victims of accidents and can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

We understand what you are going through and the obstacles you are facing after an accident. If we determine you have a valid case and you decide to move forward, a Portland car accident lawyer at our firm will work with you to help you obtain maximum compensation. We work on contingency, which means there are no upfront costs unless you recover compensation for your injuries.

Contact us today at 503.342.0783 for a free consultation.

Why Hit-and-Run Accidents Happen in Portland, OR

Every minute there is at least one hit-and-run accident on a U.S. roadway, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In 2016, these accidents resulted in 2,049 fatalities – a 60 percent increase from the number of fatalities in 2009. Of the 2016 deaths, 65 percent of the victims were pedestrians and bicyclists.

There are several reasons why a driver would leave the scene of an accident without stopping to check if anyone needs medical care or without sharing any information:

  • Does not want to be held liable for the crash
  • Does not have a driver’s license
  • Does not have the required car insurance
  • Has a warrant out for his or her arrest
  • Is committing another criminal act
  • Does not want a drunk driving charge
  • Wants to avoid getting points added to his or her license
  • Was speeding or driving recklessly
  • Is trying to avoid the authorities altogether

If a hit-and-run driver is not immediately found, there are other means the authorities can use to try and identify the driver and track him or her down. This could include:

  • Examining evidence from the scene such as skid marks on the road, which can narrow down the types of tires on the car
  • Reviewing surveillance camera footage of the car speeding off
  • Property damage left behind from the car (missing lights, torn bumper, paint chips, etc.)
  • Talking to witnesses who may have seen the entire accident and may be able identify the make or model of the car and/or its driver

Fortunately, many hit-and-run drivers are eventually caught and face criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident, especially one that results in serious injury or death.

Whether the driver is found or not, a knowledgeable hit-and-run attorney in Portland can work with you to pursue fair compensation for your medical expenses and other damages.

Fill out our Free Case Evaluation form to get started.

The Duties of an Oregon Driver

A new Oregon law (effective January 1, 2019), expands and clarifies the duties of drivers who are involved in a hit-and-run accident. Under House Bill 4055, Oregon requires drivers to stop and investigate if they suspect they have hit something and take action if they did not realize at the time of the accident that they hit someone or something. This includes calling 9-1-1 if you later learn or suspect your involvement in an accident resulting in an injury or fatality.

Failure to do these things will result in felony charges for the driver. These new additions expand on the current law concerning the duties of drivers involved in hit-and-run accidents:

  • ORS 811.700 – If an accident involves only property damage, the driver must stop and exchange information with the owner. For unoccupied vehicles, the driver must make every effort to locate the owner and notify him or her of the accident and leave contact information.
  • ORS 811.705 – Requires drivers involved in an accident where anyone is injured to stop immediately, stay at the scene until released, give their insurance information to the other party in the accident, provide assistance in getting medical help, and cooperate with authorities on the scene. If the authorities do not arrive, they must still be informed of any damages or injuries at a later date.
  • ORS 811.706 – Not following these guidelines will result in fines and jail time for hit-and-run drivers. The court may also order the at-fault driver to pay monetary damages equal to the amount of damages the injured victim suffered.

Any accident that results in death, injury or substantial property damage must be reported to the DMV within 72 hours. You must also report an accident to the DMV if any one of the following apply:

  • Property or vehicle damage totaling more than $2,500 even if your vehicle was the only one vehicle involved in the accident
  • Any vehicle towed from the scene of the accident
  • Injury or death as a result of the accident

If the at-fault driver is identified, your Portland hit-and-run accident lawyer will investigate all relevant evidence to build a strong hit-and-run accident case on your behalf. If the driver cannot be found, we can help you review your own insurance policy to find out if you can file a claim with your own insurance company to obtain the compensation you need. In either case, we will fight for your best interests every step of the way.

Our team is here for you. Call 503.342.0783 right now.

Obtaining Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Accident

After a hit-and-run accident, you may be entitled to compensation to help cover many different types of expenses resulting from:

  • Emergency room visits and ambulance services
  • Medical tests, such as X-rays, MRIs or CT-Scans
  • Follow-up doctor visits and medications
  • Present and future loss of wages and earnings
  • Rehabilitation or physical therapy
  • Disability or impairment

However, it can be complicated to get the maximum compensation owed to you depending on whether or not the at-fault driver is identified. If the driver is not found, you may be able to pursue compensation from your insurance policy. If the driver is found but is uninsured, you can file a claim with your own insurance company and seek compensation under your underinsured motorist coverage.

Oregon requires all drivers to have at least $25,000 of uninsured motorist coverage in their policies. In other words, a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This coverage helps pay for your medical expenses up to the policy limits, but not for any damage done to your vehicle.

If the at-fault driver is found, you can file a claim with his or her insurance company for the accident. If your claim is successful, the insurance company should help pay for any medical expenses and property damage you suffered. Unfortunately, insurance companies often try to avoid liability and make low-ball settlement offers all in an effort to protect their best interests and their own profits. This may include devaluing or denying a valid insurance claim.

In the event the driver’s insurer will not sufficiently cover your injuries and losses, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against them. This is why you need a trusted Portland hit-and-run accident attorney by your side. A Portland personal injury attorney at Rizk Law can evaluate your case, determine if you have a valid claim, and help you throughout the entire claims process. He or she can fight for all the compensation you deserve.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.

How Can a Portland Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer Help Me?

Our hit-and-run-accident lawyers in Portland, Oregon understand the financial, emotional, and physical setbacks our clients go through after an accident. We know that your livelihood may be suffering as a result of the hit-and-run accident.

You may be experiencing medical bills piling up, missed work days and lost wages, among other losses. Hiring a reputable lawyer in Portland can help you obtain the compensation you need so you can focus on what really matters – your recovery.

If you have a valid claim, our firm can handle every detail on your behalf and help you build a strong case. This includes:

  • Reviewing the accident report
  • Investigating the accident scene and analyzing photos or video taken
  • Letting medical experts evaluate your injuries
  • Gathering further evidence from any eyewitnesses
  • Determining whether it is possible to locate the at-fault driver
  • Negotiating with the insurance company for a fair settlement

We will work tirelessly to advocate for your rights, answer any questions you may have, inform you about the progression of your hit-and-run accident lawsuit and use all of our resources to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve whether the driver has been identified or not.

Call our Portland hit-and-run accident lawyers at 503.342.0783.

Contact a Portland Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney for a Free Legal Consultation

Hit-and-run accidents can lead to serious injuries and leave victims feeling hopeless without anyone to hold accountable. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime that should not go unpunished. At Rizk Law we have helped our clients obtain millions of dollars in compensation for their injuries, and we will work hard to help you recover what you are entitled to after an accident.

Our dedicated Portland hit-and-run-attorneys are ready to discuss your legal options through a free, no obligation consultation. We charge no upfront fees or costs of any kind, and we only get paid if you do.

Call us now at 503.342.0783 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form.