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If you're in an accident where both parties do not have insurance in Oregon, who is responsible for the damages?

Portland, OR |

I was in a car accident and I don't feel like its 100% my fault and the other party wants me to pay for all the damages. And now wants to take me to small claims court.

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Attorney answers 4


Interesting question. I do not practice law in your state but if neither of you have insurance then the issue of fault will have to be determined by a court if you both cannot agree on something. Unless there is a ton of damages, I would suggest walking away because court can be time consuming. Please consult an attorney in your area for help. I wish you the best.


The lack of insurance comes into the case in Oregon because you cannot recover for "noneconomic" (pain, suffering, etc..) damages without having insurance at the time of the incident. Property damages, medical expenses and fault will be determined by a judge in small claims court or a jury in 'regular' court.


There are certain exceptions in Oregon to the statute that says one cannot recover noneconomic (pain and suffering) damages in an auto case if they are uninsured at the time of the collision. You should inquire whether the other person was without insurance for more than 6 months. If the other party had insurance within 6 months prior to the collision, they may be entitled to "pain and suffering" damages. Ultimately, the person responsible for damages in Oregon is the person who is found to be at least 51% at fault. If the other person is found to be 50% or less at fault, you do not have to pay any of his/her damages.


Liablity is not effected by insurance coverage. Oregon law does not allow plaintiffs to recover for non economic damages if they have not had insurance for over 6 months prior to the incident.

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