Difference Between a Personal Injury Claim and a Lawsuit

If you were involved in a serious accident you have two methods available to you in order to obtain compensation for your injuries and any subsequent losses.

  1. The first option is to file a personal injury insurance claim. Here you try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
  2. The second is to file a personal injury lawsuit. Here you file a lawsuit against the party who was at fault in the accident.

These two things are very separate and distinct. The option best suited for your situation is going to be based on the nature of your injuries, the severity of the injuries, and what transpired to cause the injuries. Because of these elements, it is best to work with an experienced attorney who can review your case individually and help you decide which route to take.

Insurance Claim

Put simply, an insurance claim is the first thing you would typically do after an accident. You submit a formal request to the insurance company in which you ask them to give you a payment after taking into consideration the injuries and losses you have suffered. Contingent upon the type of injury sustained, your insurance claim might be one you submit to your personal insurance company, to the insurance company of your employer, or to the insurance company of another driver, another homeowner, or another business owner.

Lawsuit

By comparison a personal injury lawsuit is one that you file against another person or another entity responsible for the accident. This is a civil legal action which serves the purpose of getting financial compensation for your injuries, and for any losses you sustained as a result of those injuries.  These losses could be damage to your personal property like your vehicle, or lost income because of your inability to work.

Why You Need a Professional

If you were involved in an accident where you suffered injuries, property damage, or both, you can file an insurance claim where you request compensation. This process is very simple. However, each insurance company will review the claim request differently. When this happens, the insurance company will open an investigation. You will have to work with an attorney to submit your demand letter after which point the insurance company will make a decision and you will negotiate a settlement. You can choose to accept or reject that settlement offer.

If you are submitting a claim, it is important that you do so as quickly as possible after the accident. In fact some insurance companies require you to file a claim within 24 to 48 hours of the accident. When you submit a claim you need to be honest about what happened and how severe the injuries were. If you misrepresent anything intentionally it can result in consequences and it will hinder your ability to obtain a fair settlement. Having legal professionals can make it much faster and easier for you to undergo this process. Personal injury attorneys can speak directly with a claims adjuster, they can obtain from you the necessary information like medical bills and then forward that as required, making the process as simple for you as possible. They can also work out a settlement on your behalf to make sure you are getting the best possible outcome.

The same is true if you wish to file a civil lawsuit against someone or against a business responsible for your injury. It is absolutely imperative that you work with a legal professional who can help you navigate the complex waters of civil legal system.

How We Can Help

Filing personal injury suit doesn’t have to be hard, nor does submitting an insurance claim. If you live in Georgia and you want to know how to negotiate a settlement with an insurance claims adjuster, contact us to schedule a free consultation session and begin the road to recovery today.

Remember, you are not alone. There is help available.