Q. I have an Oregon automobile insurance policy. What coverage do I have if I am hit as a pedestrian?
A. In Oregon, every automobile insurance policy has four areas of coverage: Liability, Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Property Damage, and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM). If you are hit as a pedestrian the coverage lines that will apply to you are PIP and UM/UIM.
Q. What is PIP?
A. PIP (Personal Injury Protection) covers medical expenses and lost wages if you are injured in a collision. In Oregon, the minimum amount of coverage is $15,000. PIP is (usually) “first party” coverage which means your automobile insurance covers your medical bills and wage loss despite the collision being the fault of another road user.
Q. I walk as well as drive, do I need to buy an additional insurance policy that covers me?
A. It depends. In Oregon, your automobile insurance will cover you in some ways when you are walking. If you are injured in a collision with a motor vehicle, your PIP insurance will pay your medical bills. However, if you are injured in an accident that does not involve a motor vehicle, like you trip over a pavement defect, PIP will not cover you, but your health insurance would
Q. I usually walk for transportation. I don’t own a car. Can I get insurance?
A. Yes, so long as you’re a licensed driver. Some national insurers offer insurance for drivers who don’t own their own cars. These policies usually need to be purchased through a broker or local agent, though. This coverage is very affordable and offer the same protection as the coverage purchased when a person owns an automobile.
Q. Do I still need a big policy if I mostly walk?
A. Yes. It is just as important to have adequate insurance when you are walking. In Oregon the amount of your UM/UIM insurance is the same as your liability insurance. Therefore higher limits means more protection for you in case you are injured by an underinsured or uninsured motorist.
Q. I was hit by a car while walking and had to go to the hospital, how do I pay the bills? I have automobile insurance and health insurance.
A. Since you have your own automobile insurance, your PIP coverage will become the “primary” insurer to pay the bills. Any bills not covered by your automobile insurance will be paid by your health insurance. Additionally, any bill not paid by either of your insurers, like co-pays, can be submitted to the motor vehicle driver’s PIP insurer. Your insurers will then seek repayment from the negligent driver’s insurer in a process called subrogation.
Q. I was hit by a car by a car while I was walking. I had to go to the hospital. How do I pay the bills? I don’t have automobile insurance or health insurance.
A. In Oregon, pedestrians can access the PIP coverage of the motor vehicle that hit them, regardless of whose fault the collision was. As a result, if you are struck and injured by a motor vehicle while walking, your medical bills and wage loss will be covered as if you had automobile insurance yourself.
Q. I was hit by a car while walking and now I can’t work. How do I recover my lost wages?
A. Your lost wages will be paid by PIP coverage, but not 100%. First, you have to be unable to work for two weeks. Even then you will receive only 70% of your gross pay up to $3,000 a month. The other portions of wage loss not covered will need to be recovered from the driver’s insurance company through a settlement or trial.
Q. I was hit by a car while walking and I don’t think I was hurt. Should I still file a claim with the driver’s insurance company?
A. Yes. First, sometimes injuries can stay “hidden” for several months. Second, by reporting a driver that hit you to their insurer, you are ensuring some repercussion (higher insurance rates) for their negligent driving.
Q. I was hit by a car while walking and the driver did not have insurance. What can I do? I have automobile insurance.
A. Your insurance policy contains UM/UIM coverage which will cover you if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured (damages exceed their policy) driver. Your insurer essentially steps into the shoes of the negligent driver’s insurance (if they had any).
Q. I was hit by a car while walking and the driver did not have insurance. What can I do? I do not have automobile insurance.
A. First, file a police report. If you have medical insurance, that coverage will pay your medical bills. If you do not have medical insurance then you may need to find a treating doctor that will accept payments or treat you for a reduced charge. If the uninsured driver struck you while engaged in a crime (assault, driving under the influence) then you may be able to obtain compensation from the Oregon Crime Victim’s Fund.