Why Insurance May Not Be Enough After A Car Wreck In Oregon

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average amount of money that someone in Oregon spent on liability auto insurance coverage in 2013 was $562.95. The average amount spent on collision insurance was $206.78.

Having a policy in place is a good idea, though it may not be enough. Someone involved in an accident should know what insurance will cover and when to pursue the negligent party for additional compensation.

Damages associated with a car accident

Someone who hears about a car accident may initially call to mind a few common types of damages, such as a physical injury or damage to the vehicle. However, there are many other types of losses that should be accounted for, such as the following:

  • Medical bills
  • The cost of rehabilitation
  • Property lost due to the incident
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Lost wages due to an inability to work

It is evident that there are tangible and intangible losses here, each one of which is important when a victim is trying to move forward.

What insurance policies cover

Policies may vary, but most typically include items such as bodily injury, property damage and coverage in the event of an uninsured motorist. However, these policies have limits. According to the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles, the minimum requirement for bodily injury is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash. When it comes to property damage, the minimum limit is $20,000 per crash. The law also requires every driver to carry a minimum of $15,000 per person for any medical expenses someone has for up to a year following the incident.

The gaps

The above illustrates where gaps can easily occur. For example, someone carrying only the minimum coverage would only have $25,000 to put toward someone's injuries plus $15,000 for additional expenses in that first year. However, someone who suffers major harm, such as a brain injury, could easily see costs skyrocket about those numbers.

Additionally, car insurance policies do not take into account the intangible costs, such as the pain and suffering someone experiences following a car wreck. A policy likely also will not compensate a victim for having to miss work due to injuries. In some cases, providers try to shortchange a policyholder on the money to which he or she is entitled.

In these circumstances, someone involved in a wreck caused by someone else's negligence may want to explore the option of a personal injury lawsuit. These claims will hold the other driver responsible for the costs that an insurance policy will not cover. They can also ensure that the insurance provider is paying out what it should.

Moving forward following a serious car accident may not be easy, but it can be less challenging when a victim has the money necessary for recovery. Anyone who has concerns about this issue should connect with a personal injury attorney in Oregon.