Many people who have an auto collision while uninsured experience a rude awakening when they make a claim for damages against the other party’s insurance. Since 1999, Oregon law has provided that an uninsured person who is injured through the negligence of another in an auto collision can only recover their economic loss from the at fault party. That means that such a person is barred from recovering damages for pain and suffering, which constitutes a significant portion of a personal injury claim.
There are exceptions to this rule limiting damages. If the at fault party was also uninsured, the limit does not apply. Also, if the at fault party was engaged in the commission of a felony, driving under the influence of intoxicants or driving recklessly at the time of the collision, there is no bar to recovery of pain and suffering.
The most significant exception is for people who have recently had insurance but allowed their insurance policy to lapse. If a person has been insured in the 180 days preceding the collision, and not been cited for driving without insurance for the year preceding the collision, there is no limitation on recovery.
James F. O’Rourke Jr. Is an experienced Portland Personal Injury Lawyer and explores every possible means of avoiding the damage limitation for our uninsured clients who are injured through the negligence of another in an automobile collision.