Visitor Question

Is it okay for insurance to deny pain and suffering compensation if I was uninsured?

Submitted By: Renrr (Portland, Oregon)

I was T-boned by another driver who blew through a red light. I was badly injured and the car was totaled. It’s now been almost 1 year since the accident and I’m still in pain every day.

I had just bought the car the day before the accident and didn’t have auto insurance yet.

My question is, is it true if I didn’t have insurance for 6 months prior to the accident that I don’t get my pain and suffering covered? This doesn’t sound right to me, but I’m not sure of the laws. Can the insurance company deny my compensation based on me being uninsured at the time of the accident? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Renrr,

The question of whether you can recover for your pain and suffering, or any other injuries caused in the accident, depends not on whether you were insured, but whether the driver who blew through the red light and hit you was insured.

From your question, it sounds like the other driver caused the collision. If so, that driver’s insurance would be responsible for paying your claim, including any pain and suffering you can prove.

If you had been insured at the time of the collision, your insurance company would get involved only if the at-fault driver was uninsured or underinsured and you had coverage for both.

Minimum Bodily Injury Insurance Coverage

Just because you were uninsured doesn’t mean the at-fault driver was uninsured.

Section 806.070 of Oregon’s Financial Responsibility Law requires every driver to carry automobile liability insurance in the minimum amount of $25,000 to cover bodily injury or death caused by a driver in an accident.

In all likelihood, the driver who hit you has auto insurance coverage in at least this minimum required amount. The police report from the accident should have information about the at-fault driver’s insurance and you should make a claim with their insurance company. If liability is clear, the insurance should pay to fully cover your claim.

If the at-fault driver’s insurance company continues to deny your legitimate claim for damages, they may be acting in bad faith.

If you’re facing serious questions about your ability to recover for an accident caused by someone else, an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Learn more here: Why Your Accident Claim Was Denied

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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