Oregon State Accident Reporting Requirements

The following is from the Oregon State Driver Manual.

Traffic Crashes and Insurance Requirements

The common term for crashes, wrecks and collisions is “accidents.” However, the word “accident” is a misnomer. Almost every crash is preventable and is not truly an accident. Drivers may become distracted, tired or simply not drive as defensively as they should, and therefore may be caught unaware. When this happens, it is not an accident. It is a preventable crash. Because true accidents are rare, the term “accident” is not frequently used in this manual. In its place, you usually will find the words “crash,” “collision” or “wreck.”

Your Responsibilities
If you have a traffic accident or collision, you must:

  • Stop at once. Stop at the accident scene or as close as possible without needlessly blocking or endangering other traffic. “Hit and run” is a serious traffic crime. Conviction will mean your driving privileges will be revoked or suspended.
  • Render aid. Give any reasonable aid to injured persons. Remember, injured people should never be moved carelessly. In many cases, they should not be moved at all until it is possible to get an ambulance or someone trained in first aid to the scene. If a driver is involved in an accident in which a person is killed or rendered unconscious, the driver is required to remain at the scene of the accident until a police officer arrives. Failure to do so is classified and punishable as a “hit and run.”
  • Exchange information. Give to the other driver, passengers in the vehicle or any injured pedestrian, your name, address, driver license number, license number of your vehicle, and your insurance information.
    Report the accident to DMV if there is more than $1000 damage to anyone’s property, or if someone is injured (no matter how minor) or killed. You must submit an Accident Report Form within 72 hours. Accidents on areas open for the use of motor vehicles — premises open to the public — must be reported. Some drivers who are in accidents offer to fix the damage and try to get the other driver not to file a report. If you agree to do this, you are breaking the law if the amount of damage is more than $1000.
  • Keep a copy of your accident report. Under Oregon law 802.220(5), DMV can not provide you a copy of your Accident Report. If you wish to have a complete copy of your report (front and back), you will need to make a copy for your records.

Unattended Vehicles:
If you hit a vehicle no one is in, try to find the owner. If you cannot find the owner, leave a note where it can be seen. The note must have your name, address, driver license number, license number of your vehicle, your insurance information and a brief description of what happened. If you damage property other than a motor vehicle, you also must try to find the owner or someone in charge to report the damage.

If you hit and injure an animal, stop and make an effort to check the extent of injury. Give reasonable attention to the animal. What you can do may vary with traffic hazards at the time or the animal’s demeanor. If possible, you should try to get the animal out of the way of traffic. Immediately report the animal’s injuries to its owner. If you are unable to locate the owner, report the injuries to the nearest police agency.

Reporting crashes:
You can download an accident report form or you can get report forms at a police department, sheriff’s office or a local DMV office. If you do not report an accident when required to do so, your driving privileges will be suspended. If the vehicle is owned by someone other than the driver, the owner must fill out the report if the driver does not.

You must fill out a personal report and return it to DMV even if a police officer files a report. A police report does not replace your requirement to file an accident report with DMV. You must do that yourself. Be as accurate as you can. Give as much information as you can about where, when and how the crash happened. The accident will be listed on the driving record of all drivers involved in the accident.

If you are the driver or owner of a vehicle in a accident that must be reported, your report must show the name of your liability insurance company and the policy number. The Insurance coverage you report is checked by DMV with the insurance company shown on the report.

If you did not have liability insurance at the time of the accident, your driving privileges will be suspended for one year. You must then file proof of future financial responsibility before your driving privileges will be reinstated. A filing is required even if you were not at fault in the accident. You must file proof of insurance for three years after your driving privileges are fully reinstated.

Insurance companies and agents must tell DMV about any accident where they have reason to believe a driver is uninsured. If the information is correct, the uninsured drivers driving privileges will be suspended for one year. After that, they will be under the financial responsibility law for three years. This law applies even if the damage is $1000 or less.