New Oregon law impacts insurance payouts after car accidents

A new law will impact insurance premium payouts in Oregon in three specific ways.

The Oregon Legislature recently passed a law that directly impacts insurance payouts for those injured in motor vehicle accidents. Policyholders should be aware of two main changes: Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (UIM) coverage. These changes should impact all drivers in the state, as Oregon state law requires drivers to carry both types of policies.

What is PIP coverage and what is the impact of the new law?

PIP insurance can help defray the additional costs associated with an accident. This coverage can be used to help cover a number of expenses, including medical bills and lost wages as well as dental costs, prosthetic services, funeral expenses and child care costs.

Depending on the details of the policy, PIP insurance can play a significant role in covering these costs. Nationwide Insurance notes that some PIP policies offer coverage of up to 80 percent of these costs. This type of insurance is generally a “no-fault” policy, meaning it will provide benefits to the policyholder regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

The new law impacts PIP insurance in two ways. First, it doubles the period of coverage of PIP benefits. Originally, policyholders could receive payment from this policy for one year following an accident. The new law requires PIP benefits be provided for two years after the date of injury. Another change that impacts this portion of insurance involves the type of damages that PIP can cover. Originally, these payments were only for economic damages. It is now extended to cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

What is Uninsured/Underinsured coverage and what is the impact of the new law?

Uninsured/Underinsured (UIM) coverage refers to policies that are designed to offer additional coverage to those who are involved in an accident with another driver who either does not have insurance coverage or who has a policy that is not sufficient enough to cover the costs associated with the accident. In these instances, the individual’s own UIM policy provides reimbursement.

The passage of this law now requires that insurance policy providers stack the UIM payments on top of any compensation received from the at-fault driver’s liability payments.

What do these changes mean?

These changes provide an example of the complexity of personal injury law. This law is just one example of the many moving parts to be examined after a motor vehicle accident. Without knowledge of this change, a victim of a car accident may not be aware of the amounts insurance providers are required to pay. As a result, it is wise for those who are injured in these accidents to seek the legal counsel of an experienced injury lawyer. This legal professional will review the details of your case and advocate for your rights, working to better ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled.