Though the terms are often used interchangeably, the words claim and lawsuit actually have very different meanings in the world of law. If you’ve been injured in an accident or have been wronged by another person, you may be wondering what the first steps should be in terms of filing. An attorney can help you navigate through it, but it’s essential to understand it yourself as the process moves forward. What’s the difference between a claim and a lawsuit, and when is each appropriate.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
If you’ve been injured in an accident, your first option is to file a claim. A claim is a request from the insurance agency for compensation for injuries or other damages. This claim is an informal request, and after it’s been filed, the insurance company may offer you a settlement. If you find the settlement acceptable, you can move forward with the claim.
If you find the offer is inadequate, your next step is to file a lawsuit. Sometimes minor injuries such as a broken ankle or wrist can be settled through a claim. Other more significant injuries may need to be settled by a lawsuit. You may also need to move forward if the insurance company decides they don’t want to pay for your claim.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A lawsuit is a legal action against the person or persons responsible for causing you injury or harm. A civil lawsuit is filed against the person at fault for your accident or their insurance company.
When a lawsuit is initiated, the following steps must be followed:
- The plaintiff’s (victim’s) lawyer files a complaint. This complaint alleges that the defendant was in the wrong and is responsible. It will also state the plaintiff’s injuries and how the injuries occurred.
- The defendant will file an answer in response to the complaint.
- Discovery will be initiated and filed. This discovery process helps to give both parties the information they need to move forward. Common types of discovery are written questions or interrogation, a request for production or other documents necessary, and depositions. A deposition is where each side is allowed to ask questions under oath.
- After discovery is completed, there’s an opportunity for dispute resolution. It’s generally recommended, when possible, to resolve differences before having to go to trial. Going to trial is a costly and time-consuming procedure. If a settlement isn’t possible, then the lawsuit will continue to trial.
- If your lawsuit goes to trial, there must be a jury selected, opening statements provided by attorneys, a presentation of evidence, and then closing arguments will be provided. The jury will voice their decision to the court once they make a decision.
A personal injury attorney can help you navigate an aggressive process to help keep it as stress-free for you as possible. At De Castroverde, our team of experienced lawyers and support staff will fight to make sure your lawsuit is successful. We have the knowledge and expertise to get you what you deserve.
Key Differences Between Claims and Lawsuits
There are several differences between a claim and a lawsuit. Some may be seen as pros and cons, but it’s important to note these differences to know how to appropriately move forward and get a settlement as quickly as possible. Filing a claim is much cheaper and less time-consuming than filing a lawsuit. If you file a claim, you’ll have to deal with the insurance company directly instead of having your attorney deal with their attorney in court as you would with a lawsuit.
During a lawsuit, a neutral party will be presented with the evidence surrounding the case and a mutual decision regarding the outcome. You may be able to receive more money if a lawsuit is filed, which may make up for the additional court costs and attorney fees. A lawsuit may take much longer, which delays your ability to receive compensation to pay for medical bills or other expenses.
When Should You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
While filing a personal injury claim may be sufficient in some circumstances, there are times when filing a lawsuit is more beneficial. Serious injuries can costs you thousands in medical bills, result in time off of work, or even the loss of a job. This can be overwhelming, resulting in stress and other impacts on your mental health. You deserve to be appropriately compensated for your injuries and how they have impacted your life.
Serious injuries that may happen in an automobile or other type of accident include:
- Traumatic brain injury.
- Spinal cord injury.
- Wrongful death.
- Burn injuries.
- And other catastrophic injuries that may seriously impact you the rest of your life.
If you or a family member have been seriously injured in an accident, let De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers help. We’ll fight for you and get the compensation you deserve. Our expert team understands your frustrations and will do everything we can to get you back to living your life as normally as possible.
About De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers
At De Castroverde, we’re dedicated to providing you with the representation you need to get the compensation you deserve. We understand that your injuries may cause a heavy burden and change in your life. With our headquarters in Las Vegas, we’re able to provide a larger community with fair, respectable legal counsel. We take each case seriously and will fight hard to get you the settlement that you desire.
Contact De Castroverde Today
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the team of experienced lawyers at De Castroverde today. We’re available for our clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can reach us online at any time or by phone at 702.222.9999. With several convenient locations throughout Nevada, we make it easy to find an office that works for you.
We look forward to providing you with the representation that you need. Whether you’ve got a claim or a potential lawsuit, reach out to us today to see how we can help get you started in the right direction.