If you become injured due to neglect or oversight at the hands of someone else, you might wish to have them pay for some or all of the medical bills resulting from your injury. However, it can be difficult to know the best way to go about getting the compensation you deserve. Filing a personal injury claim and filing a lawsuit are two ways to go about this, and it is important to be aware of the differences between the two.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
You can think of a claim as a request for compensation that involves the other party’s insurance company rather than the court system. There are several reasons why someone might file a claim, including:
- To receive help with mounting hospital bills due to an injury caused by someone else
- To get compensation for lost wages resulting from needing to take time off from work
- To earn some relief from pain and suffering or other mental anguish
If you believe that you have a good case to make after becoming ill or injured due to the negligence of someone else, filing a personal injury claim should be your first step, rather than going directly to filing a lawsuit.
What Are the Steps Involved in Filing a Personal Injury Claim?
One of the first steps involved in filing a claim is consulting with someone to determine how good of a case you have in the first place. If you do not have a good chance of winning, you might decide that it is not worth the time and effort to pursue the claim.
However, if you do decide to move forward, the next step is to have your attorney look over your documentation and pinpoint how best to prove that the other party acted in negligence and is responsible for your injury.
After that step is completed, the attorney informs the other party of the claim and begins negotiations. If both parties are unable to come to an agreement, that might be when you decide to file a lawsuit.
What Might Affect the Outcome of a Personal Injury Claim?
Before filing a claim, be aware that there are many factors that may affect the outcome, such as:
- How easily you and your attorney can establish fault
- How elaborate and complex your situation is
- How cooperative the other party is willing to be
- How much money you are likely to receive in the end
Although there are some benefits to filing a personal injury claim over a lawsuit, such as not having to go to court, there are still many considerations to make prior to taking that step.
What Is a Lawsuit?
A lawsuit is an action that one party brings against another in an attempt to receive some sort of compensation or justice for wrongdoing. Lawsuits are generally a last resort that you should only carry out if filing a personal injury claim did not work out the way that you wanted it to. For instance, you might file a lawsuit if:
- The insurance company under which you filed the claim did not want to pay out an amount that you thought was fair
- The insurance company involved in the personal injury case outright refused to accept your claim
- There are exclusions to the insurance policy that affect your ability to receive compensation
- The other party refuses to cooperate for any reason
There are many reasons why you might receive a denial for your personal injury claim, and filing a lawsuit can be a good backup plan.
What Are the Steps Involved in Filing a Lawsuit?
Many of the steps involved in filing a lawsuit mirror those involved in going through the personal injury claim process. The main difference is that the steps involve a court of law rather than just private parties and their insurance companies.
What Might Affect the Outcome of a Lawsuit?
As with personal injury claims, several things affect which direction a lawsuit may go. There may be even more variables involved in lawsuits; for example, the judge presiding over the case and the members of the jury on the case have much to do with the outcome of a lawsuit. There is a big risk in putting the amount of compensation you receive in the hands of strangers, but there is the potential for a big reward as well.
Although it is advisable to only file a lawsuit after the personal injury claim does not go your way, it is still good to know what to expect if you end up having to go this route.
If you become injured at the hands of another party, contact us at The Law Offices of Brent D. George to learn more about what steps to take next. We want you to be happy and healthy, and that includes getting the monetary settlement that you deserve after an injury.