When you hear the terms personal injury claim and lawsuit does your mind settle on the same thing? If it does, you might be surprised to discover that they are not. What’s more, there are significant differences between both concepts.
What is the main difference between both phrases?
Mostly, it is the involvement of the court system. In personal injury claims, you and the other party (or their insurance) must work out a payment for the injuries you have sustained. In these cases, the court system is not involved. When the claim stalls because it was either impractical or because you and the party at fault could not come up with a satisfactory settlement, you must take the other party to court and deal with the lawsuit there.
What are the steps that must be taken after you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of another party?
The journey to recover your losses will start with your attorney making a claim on your behalf against whoever is responsible for your injuries and/or their insurance company. In it, it will be stated that you suffered injuries and that someone else is responsible for them. The insurance company or the other party will review the claim. They will also go over police reports, medical records, and any other piece of evidence available.
After this review, the insurance company will decide to either pay all or part of your claim. However, they may also conclude that you do not have a valid claim and refuse to pay. At this point, your personal injury attorney would step in and negotiate on your behalf in order to obtain the compensation that satisfies you and is fair. If negotiations are impossible or do not yield the desired results, the next step must be taken and the lawsuit must be filed in the courts.
When the dispute needs to be brought to court, you, as the party bringing the lawsuit, will be referred to as the plaintiff. The party that you are suing is called the defendant. The lawsuit is also known as the case.
In the lawsuit, there is a judge involved that oversees the case, while the jury may decide the important issues. If a lawsuit does not end favorably to you or to the other party, there could be an appeal. The appeal requires that a higher court review some or all of the decisions made by the judge or jury.
The appellate court could either decide to uphold the previous decision, reverse it, or order a new trial which would serve to decide part or all of the issues. When there is an appeal, both parties need to be prepared to wait for years to have a conclusion that satisfies them.
The Factor of Risk
The degree of risk involved in a claim and in a lawsuit is also a great difference between these terms. If there is a claim, there is very little risk involved since it generally does not cost anything. Once the issue is presented at court, the risk rises exponentially since filing costs money and attorney’s fees and costs may have to be absorbed. Navigate to this website to understand the full extent of the differences between a personal injury claim and a lawsuit.