Portland, OR asked in Car Accidents, Personal Injury and Criminal Law for Oregon

Q: If I was hit and injured in a car accident having no insurance and a suspended license, what are my options considering?

I left the scene before cops arrived "Which is considered a "hit and run" the person who hit me is at fault and was not injured nor were any of her passengers. I have not filed a report, nor spoke with police about the matter. I am afraid, because I don't have insurance, I will be the one declared at fault or punished even tho I did not cause the accident

2 Lawyer Answers
Virgil Royer
Virgil Royer
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Salem, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: You pose an interesting, and all too common set of issues. If you are in accident caused by someone's negligence, and do not have auto insurance, then you are entitled to recovery your monetary damages (for example, medical bills, lost wages, property loss). In other words, you cannot recover what are known as general damages for your pain and suffering.

Leaving the scene of the accident is a misdemeanor offense. Likewise, driving while your license is suspended, DWS, is also a serious crime. In addition, you are required to report the accident to DMV within 72 hours, and if not, they can suspended your license, which in your situation would only add another barrier to you finally getting your driving privileges back.

Because you did not have insurance, failed to stop at the accident, did not have insurance, and failed to report the accident to the DMV within 72 hours, neither of these things will result in the responsible party avoiding being considered the at-fault driver. The person who caused the accident will be the at-fault party, though if it is not clear who was at-fault, you would have a more difficult time proving your case.

You will not be punished for being the victim of a car accident. According to you, it was not your fault. However, you may face consequences for the decisions you made before and after the accident. You may want to consult a criminal defense attorney. It is important that you take steps to regain your driving privileges and always ensure that you maintain automobile insurance when you are driving. It may be a lot of work, but it will make you feel better and the public at-large safer. It sounds like you did not get seriously injured, which is the silver-lining here. Wish you the best in all your future endeavors.

Jennie Lynn Clark
Jennie Lynn Clark
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: Obviously, you had enough time to determine nobody was apparently injured. You did not say if there was vehicle damage. If you gave the other driver your contact information, it should not be considered a hit and run. However, you still could face charges for lack of driver's license and insurance if they choose to pursue you.

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