Oregon Personal Injury Lawyer | Oregon Business Lawyer

Christopher T. Hill, PC

A Professional Corporation
503-227-4330
Home - Personal Injury Legal Questions - Oregon Property Damage

Property Damage


Property Damage Liability

The property damage part of a car accident claim will usually move fairly quickly. Once the insurance companies sort out who they believe is responsible for the collision, then the car repairs and payment will move forward. The insurer cannot compel you to go to any particular shop, but will probably want you to go to one of their shops. Beware that some of the insurer shops have agreements about how certain things are documented, in particular documenting frame damage repair as body repair.

When the repair costs reach 80% of the market value of the car, most insurers will declare the car a total loss and instead pay the market value for the car. Insurance adjusters usually have discretion over when to declare a vehicle totaled, and can sometimes total a car with repairs costing as low as 65% of the vehicle's market value. You need to be careful when the insurer uses a computer evaluation company. Those companies exist to chip away at the Kelly Blue Book and NADA guide values. Submitting those to an insurer may help, but submitting comparison vehicles from the local area listed in the classified ads of newspapers, or on class ad websites like craigslist, autotrader, etc., will likely be more helpful in maximizing the property damage settlement.

For the time that you cannot use your car, the liability insurer should pay for a rental because of your loss of use. Using the insurer's rental company is usually not an issue because the insurers rent enough cars that they get good rates from the rental companies.


Collision coverage

Collision coverage is on your own insurance policy and covers repairs and/or replacements when there is a collision. You will need to read the policy to figure out what the insurance company is obligated to do. With collision coverage, you will need to pay your deductible and either demand that from the liability insurance company or ask (in writing) that your own insurance company recover your deductible when they get the property damage payments back. Loss of use may or may not be covered under a collision policy, again, you need to read the policy.


Uninsured Motorists Property Damage

Uninsured motorists property damage, or UMPD, coverage is not required coverage in Oregon. Oregon statutes require UMPD to be offered, but they do not require the insured to purchase it. Much like UM bodily injury, uninsured motorists property damage coverage pays for property damage caused by the fault of an uninsured motorist. The repairs or total loss are similar to a liability claim, except that the UMPD insurer steps into the shoes of the uninsured motorist and pays the insured's property damage. You will need to read the policy to figure out what the insurer is obligated to pay.