After you suffered your injury, you may have found yourself hiring a lawyer and trying to navigate the complex world of legal affairs for the first time in your life. As such, you may be wondering about the difference between a claim and a lawsuit, particularly as they pertain to your personal injury case. Here’s what you should know about these two phases of the compensation-seeking process.
Personal injury claims
A personal injury claim is the first phase of the process – and hopefully the last. After your injury, your attorney can file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company, requesting that they compensate you for costs that you incurred due to the accident – such as your medical bills, damaged property, loss of earnings, and so forth.
If the insurance company decides to pay you all or a significant portion of what you asked for, you might be able to finish the case with little or no hassle. However, sometimes insurance companies pay out far less than what the injury victim requires to get their life back on track after an accident, and sometimes they refuse to pay anything at all.
If this happens, your attorney will attempt to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement with the insurance company. If these negotiations fail, then you may have no other choice but to bring a lawsuit for what you deserve.
Personal injury lawsuits
If your case advances to the stage of a lawsuit, then it could take several months before you are able to resolve the situation. Your attorney will have to gather evidence, prepare arguments, and appear in court to litigate your case in order to try to win you the compensation that you need.
No amount of money can truly compensate someone for suffering a horrific accident. But a claim or lawsuit can allow you to receive payments that can help you to make ends meet until you can get back on your feet.