Picture you being in a car accident, injured, caused by somebody else. You have doctor and hospital bills, costs for bandages and medications, as well as ongoing therapy bills. You are hurt and you cannot work. The pain you endure continues day by day. What do you do?
Should you file a claim and attempt to discuss a settlement, or do you file a court case against the guilty driver? A personal injury lawsuit and a personal injury claim are different from one another. It is imperative that you understand which one applies best to your case.
(Car accidents are usual example, but the info here refers to all kinds of personal injury cases, such as slip and falls, defective products, dog bites, etc.)
Difference Between a Lawsuit and Claim
Personal Injury Claim
The claim is between the at-fault driver and your insurance company, prior to any case is considered. The process is a chain of negotiations and discussions between you and the claims of the insurance company adjuster.
With any luck, the negotiations cause a mutual settlement payment, wherein both sides/parties are satisfied.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
The lawsuit is charged when the process of negotiation goes wrong, and cooperation cannot be attained. The breakdown could take place because the adjuster refutes their insured was responsible, or does not acknowledge the graveness of your injury as well as the amount you are demanding.
When claim discussions do not progress, the next thing to do is to file a lawsuit.
Beginning a Personal Injury Claim
A claim starts after the injured party is harmed or is suffering property damage, or both, attributable to the negligence of another driver. To cover the ensuing costs, the injured party pursues the responsible driver, who takes the issue over to the insurance company.
As soon as the insurance company is informed, it produces a claim number then hands over the case to an adjuster. The adjuster establishes a claim and makes contact with the injured party to discuss a settlement. If both parties can decide on a settlement, a court case won’t need to be filed.
In order to resolve the case, the adjuster requires evidence that the mishap was caused by his/her insured (the responsible driver), that his/her insured was careless, and that the damage of the injured party are sufficiently severe to be eligible for a settlement.
And to acquire this evidence, the adjuster will look into the facts and details of the case.
This investigation could include:
- Evaluating your medical bills and charts
- Conversing with you, as well as any accident’s witnesses
- Assessing the police report
- Visiting the accident scene and taking photographs