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Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

ORS 30.480

Summary Title

Liability: Volunteer Transportation

Summary

An individual, who, voluntarily, without compensation, and with a valid Oregon driver’s license, provides transportation services to a person or persons with a disability or over the age of 55, will not be held legally responsible for injury, death, or damage to property of passengers in an amount greater than the individual’s motor vehicle liability insurance policy or $300,000 (whichever is more). They can be found legally responsible if driving drunk or acting with extreme carelessness or intent to cause harm.

Full Title

Limitation on liability of volunteers; conditions

Full Text

(1) When a provider of volunteer transportation services who is qualified under subsection (3) of this section provides the services under the conditions described in subsection (4) of this section to a person with a disability or a person who is 55 years of age or older, the liability of the provider to the person for injury, death or loss arising out of the volunteer transportation services shall be limited as provided in this section. When volunteer transportation services are provided to five or fewer persons at one time, the liability of the provider of the volunteer transportation services shall not exceed the greater of the amount of coverage under the terms of the provider’s motor vehicle liability insurance policy, as described in ORS 806.080, or the amounts specified in ORS 806.070 for future responsibility payments for: (a) Bodily injury to or death of any one person to whom the transportation services are provided, in any one accident. (b) Bodily injury to or death of two or more persons to whom the transportation services are provided, in any one accident. (c) Injury to or destruction of the property of one or more persons to whom the transportation services are provided, in any one accident. (2) Notwithstanding the amount specified in subsection (1)(b) of this section by reference to ORS 806.070, if a qualified provider of transportation services provides the services to more than five persons, but not more than 16, at one time who have disabilities or who are 55 years of age or older, under the conditions described in subsection (4) of this section, the liability under subsection (1)(b) of this section shall not exceed the greater of the amount of coverage under the terms of the provider’s motor vehicle liability insurance policy or $ 300,000. The limitations on liability provided by ORS 30.475, 30.480 and 30.485 do not apply when volunteer transportation services are provided to 17 or more persons at one time who have disabilities or who are 55 years of age or older. (3) The following persons qualify for the limitation on liability under subsections (1) and (2) of this section: (a) The person who provides or sponsors transportation services. (b) The owner of the vehicle in which transportation services are provided. (c) The person who operates the vehicle in which transportation services are provided. (4) The limitation on liability under subsections (1) and (2) of this section applies to a person qualified under subsection (3) of this section only under the following conditions: (a) If the person is an individual, the individual must hold a valid Oregon driver’s license. (b) The person must provide the transportation services on a nonprofit and voluntary basis. However, this paragraph does not prohibit a sponsor of transportation services from reimbursing an operator of a private motor vehicle providing the services for actual expenses incurred by the operator. If an operator is paid, that operator is qualified only if operating as an emergency operator. (c) The person providing the transportation services must not receive from the persons using the services any substantial benefit in a material or business sense that is a substantial motivating factor for the transportation. A contribution or donation to the provider of the transportation services other than the operator of the motor vehicle or any mere gratuity or social amenity shall not be a substantial benefit under this paragraph. (d) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this subsection, the transportation services must be provided without charge to the person using the services. (5) The amounts received by a person with a disability or a person 55 years of age or older under the personal injury protection provisions of the insurance coverage of a person who qualifies for the limitation on liability under this section shall not reduce the amount that the person may recover under subsection (1) or (2) of this section. (6) The liability of two or more persons whose liability is limited under this section, on claims arising out of a single accident, shall not exceed in the aggregate the amounts limited by subsection (1) or (2) of this section. (7) This section does not apply in the case of an accident or injury if the accident or injury was intentional on the part of any person who provided the transportation services or if the accident or injury was caused by the person’s gross negligence or intoxication. For purposes of this subsection, gross negligence is negligence which is materially greater than the mere absence of reasonable care under the circumstances, and which is characterized by conscious indifference to or reckless disregard of the rights of others. (8) For purposes of this section, a person has a disability if the person has a physical or mental disability that for the person constitutes or results in a functional limitation to one or more of the following activities: Self-care, ambulation, communication, transportation, education, socialization or employment.