Difference Between Personal Injury Claim and Lawsuit

Suppose you or your loved ones have been injured due to another person’s negligence. In that case, you have one of two options – file a personal injury claim or a lawsuit. While these terms are used interchangeably, they couldn’t be more different. In this blog post, we will explain the differences between a personal injury claim and a lawsuit to help you decide which one you should file. So keep reading to learn more. 

What is Personal Injury Claim 

An injury claim is another term for an insurance claim. You can file a claim with your insurance company or the at-fault party’s insurance when you are injured. Depending on your insurance, the claim will be filed either with a homeowners policy, professional liability policy, or auto insurance policy. 

After the claim has been filed, your insurance company will send an insurance adjuster. This persona will investigate the case and conclude it. The parameters for the conclusion are how the incident happened, who was at fault, and the damages you sustained. 

Afterward, the insurance adjuster will review police reports and medical statements to verify your claim. Make sure you have a copy of these documents with you. A key point to remember here is that the insurance adjuster is not on your side. 

They are agents whose responsibility is to bring down the claim request as low as possible. Therefore, it’s best to have your personal injury lawyer talk to the insurance adjuster. 

You and your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company regarding your claim. Consequently, it’s in your interest to hire the best personal injury lawyer to handle your case. 

What is Personal Injury Lawsuit 

If you cannot settle the case with your or the at-fault party’s insurance company, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawsuit is a case filed in the civil court to request funds against the injuries you sustained due to the other party’s negligence. 

Personal injury lawsuits can become complicated as you have to prove to the judge and the jury that the causes of your injuries are due to the other party’s negligence. Moreover, personal injury lawsuits are time-consuming as they can take weeks to months. Here are the stages involved in a personal injury lawsuit. 

  • Filing: Your attorney files the documents required by the court and ensures everyone involved with the case is notified in advance. 
  • Discovery: This is the phase where both parties accumulate facts and evidence to strengthen their side. At this point, the case is settled outside court without moving to the trial phase. 
  • Trial Phase: If a settlement isn’t reached in the discovery phase, the personal injury lawsuit moves to the trial phase. Both parties present their case to the judge and the jury. The trial phase can take weeks to months and may include several hearings. 
  • Completion of Trial: After both sides have been heard, the jury is dismissed to come up with a verdict. If the ruling is in your favor, a compensation amount will be decided. 
  • After the Trial: After the ruling is made, the losing side can lodge an appeal which will lead to another trial or settlement between both parties. 

When Should I Pursue a Lawsuit? 

Typically, the first step is to file a personal injury claim and try to settle for an amount offered by the insurance company. However, if your insurance company is trying to avoid paying the full amount, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. But know that personal injury lawsuits can take time, and you might not win the case if the evidence isn’t in your favor. 

Why Do You Need a Lawyer?

When the personal injury claim turns into a personal injury lawsuit, you will need a lawyer on your side. This is because the matter has moved from simple conversation to legal proceedings, and if you don’t know how the law works, you need a competent professional on your side. You can represent yourself, but it’ll be a substantial risk because understanding the law is one thing but having relevant experience in personal injury lawsuits is a whole new game. 

Final Verdict 

Personal injury claims and lawsuits are used interchangeably while these terms are the polar opposite of each other. While the former is a straightforward request, the latter is an invitation to the courtroom. Usually, personal injury lawsuits are settled outside court because neither of the two parties has the time to go through a trial. But a competent lawyer can help you secure the compensation you deserve without filing a personal injury lawsuit. 

At Cameron Law Group, we have a team of experienced personal injury lawyers to represent your case in court. We also have relevant experience and knowledge about how insurance companies work. Therefore, most of our clients have received their compensation without even filing a personal injury lawsuit. You can contact us by visiting our website or discuss your case with an expert by dialing (954) 994 2254.