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Last updated: July 14, 2023

What to Do After a Hit-and-Run in Oregon

You left your car alone for a few minutes and someone hit it. Now what?

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Accidents happen, but if you don’t follow the law after you’re involved in an accident, you could face thousands of dollars in fines, a license suspension, and even imprisonment.

Committing a hit-and-run in Oregon violates two laws: not remaining at the scene of an accident until you’ve performed your duties, and not reporting an accident to the police. However, the law doesn’t require you to report all accidents. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about hit-and-runs in Oregon, both from the perspective of the at-fault party and the victim.

What to Do After an Oregon Hit-and-Run Accident

Let’s say you’re the victim of a hit-and-run in Oregon. Here’s what to do if someone hits your car and flees the scene without exchanging information or filing a police report.

  1. Get help: First, get any medical attention you need by calling 911.
  2. Gather evidence: If you’re able, collect information about the driver and vehicle that hit you, including the license plate number, make, model, and where the vehicle was headed. Photograph the scene of the accident as well as your car’s damages. Collect the contact information of any witnesses for your police report.
  3. File a police report: If you haven’t already, call the police within 72 hours of the accident. Even if the accident didn’t involve over $2,500 worth of property damage, injury, or death, you’ll want a police report for your insurance claim. If the accident didn’t involve any of the requirements for reporting, your window for reporting widens to more than 72 hours following the accident.
  4. File a claim: Next, use the evidence and police report to file a claim with your insurance provider or, if you know the identity of the hit-and-run driver, a third-party claim with their insurance provider. Keep in mind that Oregon’s statute of limitations for claims is six years for property damages and two years for personal injuries. If you wait too long to file, the provider will deny you coverage.

How to Recover Damages

If you’re unable to locate the owner of the car that hit you, are you responsible for your own losses? When someone hits your car and leaves the scene, you should look at your own insurance policy and the following coverages.

  • Uninsured motorist coverage: Oregon requires you to have uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage in the amounts of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, which you can apply to hit-and-runs where you don’t know the identity of the at-fault driver. However, this required coverage doesn’t include uninsured motorist property damage coverage for your physical damages, although you can add that coverage separately. Limits should match your liability limits.
  • Collision coverage: Oregon doesn’t require collision insurance, but you can use it for your property damages. You should buy collision insurance with a limit of your car’s actual market value — the amount you’d get if you sold it tomorrow.
  • Personal injury protection: For most at-fault states like Oregon, you can pay for your and your passengers’ injuries with medical payments coverage, MedPay. However, Oregon is unusual in that it’s an at-fault state that offers PIP, personal injury protection. PIP takes coverage a step further than MedPay by reimbursing you for any lost wages or childcare costs you had to pay as a result of the hit-and-run. But again, this coverage is optional.

If you’ve exhausted your car insurance limits and have not recouped your total losses, you can sue the party that hit you for both economic and noneconomic damages — assuming you know their identity. Noneconomic damages include the following:

  • Emotional distress
  • Humiliation
  • Inconvenience/interference with normal/usual activities (apart from gainful employment)
  • Injury to reputation
  • Loss of car, comfort, companionship, and society
  • Loss of consortium
  • Mental suffering
  • Pain1


For a wrongful death suit, the award for noneconomic damages cannot exceed $500,000 (not including punitive damages).

To be eligible to file a civil suit, you must be less at fault for the collision than all other parties involved. However, if you’re any percentage at fault — for example, if you were parked where you shouldn’t have been — your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. This is due to the state’s modified comparative negligence laws. Schedule a free consultation with a lawyer to see if you have a good chance of recovering medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and so on.

Of course, in most hit-and-run cases, you won’t be able to find the person who hit your car. That’s why it’s important to get full coverage car insurance with high limits. Filing an insurance claim is much easier than entering into a lawsuit, anyway!

How Hit-and-Runs Affect Car Insurance

Hit-and-runs make auto insurance in Oregon 71 percent more expensive on average. Although it’s not your fault when someone hits your car, filing a claim could still make your insurance premiums more expensive with some providers if you had to file a first-party claim.

Statistics About Hit-and-Runs in Oregon

From 2011 to 2021, there were 163 fatal hit-and-runs in Oregon, accounting for 4 percent of all fatal crashes.

Year Involved a hit-and-run Total fatal crashes in Oregon Percentage of all fatal crashes
2011 16 310 5%
2012 10 306 3%
2013 9 292 3%
2014 8 322 2%
2015 12 411 3%
2016 14 448 3%
2017 12 403 3%
2018 12 446 3%
2019 15 455 3%
2020 24 460 5%
2021 31 552 6%
Total 163 4,405 4%

The biggest year-over-year increase occurred from 2019 to 2020, when there were 11 percent more fatal hit-and-runs than the year before.

According to the most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), in fatal hit-and-run cases where the driver’s sex was known, 85 percent of drivers were male, while only 15 percent were female.

Sex Number of drivers involved in fatal hit-and-runs in Oregon in 2021 Percentage of total known drivers
Male 22 85%
Female 4 15%
Reported as unknown 20 n/a
Total known 26 n/a
Total 46 n/a

When age was known, 52 percent of drivers were between the ages of 25 to 34, followed by 29 percent between the ages of 45 to 54.

Age group Number of drivers involved in fatal hit-and-runs in Oregon in 2021 Percentage of total known drivers
16-20 1 5%
21-24 1 5%
25-34 11 52%
35-44 3 14%
45-54 6 29%
55-64 1 5%
65-74 1 5%
Unknown 1 5%
Total known 21 n/a
Total 46 n/a

The majority of the state’s fatal hit-and-runs, 52 percent, included one driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, meaning they were legally impaired or driving under the influence. Speeding was involved in 13 percent of fatal hit-and-runs.

Driver involvement Number of drivers involved in fatal hit-and-runs in Oregon in 2021 Percentage of total
Alcohol impairment (BAC of 0.08% or higher) 24 52%
Drowsy driver 0 0%
Distracted driver 2 4%
Speeding 6 13%
Total 46 n/a

Hit-and-Run Laws in Oregon

Oregon has laws stipulating your duties after a car accident, from helping the other driver get medical care to reporting the accident to the police.

Fleeing the Scene

If you get into a car crash, you must stop at the scene or as close to it as possible so you can investigate what you struck. Then you must remain at the scene until you’ve performed duties such as exchanging the following information with the other driver and any other involved parties.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Registration number
  • Name of insurance carrier
  • Insurance policy number
  • Insurance phone number
  • Driver’s license number

If you hit a vehicle without anyone in it, you must still locate the operator/owner of the vehicle and exchange your name, address, registration number, and insurance information. If you are unable to locate them, you must leave a written note in a conspicuous place stating your name and address, insurance information, and a description of what happened. If your crash caused property damage only, your duties end there.

However, if the car crash caused bodily injury, on top of exchanging information with the other parties, you must help any injured person get to a doctor, hospital, or surgeon. You’re required to stay at the scene until the police arrive and you’ve exchanged information with all of the live and conscious parties involved. However, if you are injured from the accident and need immediate medical care, you can leave the scene as long as you take steps to return to the scene or contact the nearest police officer as soon as you can.

If you leave the scene not knowing you caused injury or death, you must make a good-faith effort “as soon as reasonably possible” to comply with the requirements, starting with contacting the police.

Penalties for fleeing the scene can include fines and imprisonment, according to Powell Law, a Beaverton-based criminal defense firm.2

Consequence Hit-and-run resulting in property damage only Hit-and-run resulting in injury only Hit-and-run resulting in serious physical injury or death
Charge Class A misdemeanor Class C felony Class B felony
Maximum length of imprisonment One year Five years 10 years
Maximum fine $5,000 $125,000 $250,000

You could also be required to pay for any damages that occurred as a result of your fleeing the scene.

Not Reporting Accidents

Aside from remaining at the scene of the hit-and-run, the state of Oregon requires you to report the collision to the police if any of the following occurs:

  • Damage to a vehicle worth over $2,500
  • Injury of any severity
  • Death
  • Damage to another person’s property worth over $2,500
  • Vehicle damages over $2,500 and vehicle is towed from the scene as a result of the damages

If any of the above scenarios apply, you must submit an Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report with the DMV within 72 hours of the accident. Access a PDF of the form at

The report requires the following information from you:

  • Name
  • Birth date
  • Driver’s license number
  • Insurance company
  • Insurance policy number
  • Mailing address
  • Vehicle make
  • Vehicle model
  • Vehicle year
  • State vehicle is registered in
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Vehicle license plate number

You can submit the report in a number of ways.

  • Email:
  • Fax: 503-945-5267
  • Mail:
    • DMV Crash Reporting Unit
    • 1905 Lana Ave. NE
    • Salem, Oregon 97314
  • In person: See locations at

If you fail to comply with the above duties as an occupant or driver of the at-fault car, you’ll be guilty of a Class A traffic violation. This will result in a fine of $225 to $2,000, or a presumptive fine of $440 that goes up to $875 if the accident occurred in a school zone, highway work zone, or safety corridor.4


A presumptive fine is the amount someone must pay to resolve the violation offense before they appear in court. However, the court can impose a higher fine up to the maximum if the defendant must appear in court.

Along with fines, you will lose your driving privileges, as the state will suspend your license.


Whether you hit a car or someone hits your parked car and leaves, it’s essential to follow Oregon’s state laws surrounding fleeing the scene and reporting accidents to police. When in doubt, remain at the scene, exchange information, and report the accident to the police. As an added incentive to follow the proper protocol, the police report will be useful for your insurance claim in providing evidence of your losses.


  1. Economic and noneconomic damages separately set forth in verdict. OregonLaws. (2023).

  2. Oregon Hit and Run Law: What is it and What To Do. Powell Law. (2023).

  3. Accident Reporting and Responsibilities. (2023).

  4. Chapter 153 — Violations and Fines. Oregon Legislature. (2021).