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Claim vs. Lawsuit

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Claim vs. Lawsuit

The terms “claim” and “lawsuit” are both important to anyone who has been injured by someone else’s negligence and is seeking compensation for the damages they suffered, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering

Filing a claim versus a lawsuit is a much different process. There are also advantages and drawbacks to each option. You should understand the differences so you can make informed decisions about how you want your personal injury case to proceed. 

Here is what you should know about these important legal terms. 

What Is a Personal Injury Claim? 

What Is a Personal Injury Claim? 

Most people mistakenly believe that all personal injury cases go to trial. However, about 95% of civil cases settle. This usually occurs because the claimant has reached a settlement with the insurance company, not necessitating the need for a trial. 

A personal injury claim is a legal claim for compensation filed against the party who caused the injury or their insurance company. The injured victim must prove that the accident occurred, it was the defendant’s fault, and they were injured as a result. 

The claim is usually made with the insurance company. An adjuster is appointed to review the case and determine whether the claim should be approved or denied. Commonly, the insurance company and lawyer representing the injured party will negotiate a fair settlement amount, but this may require a few rounds of negotiations. 

What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit? 

A personal injury lawsuit is a formal lawsuit that is filed with the appropriate court. It asks the court to award the injured party money to compensate them for their economic and non-economic damages. There are specific rules that apply to such legal filings. Once this process is initiated, the defendant must provide a response to avoid a default judgment

The parties prepare for the case to go to trial. For example, they may make various discovery requests to narrow the issues in dispute or learn more about the other side’s case. It is still possible for the parties to settle the case even after a lawsuit is filed or if the parties have made significant progress toward a trial. 

If the parties do not settle, the case is set for trial. There may be various pre-trial hearings, depending on the circumstances. The judge will still try to get the parties to settle their case before trial. 

At trial, a jury may be selected, or the judge will be the decision maker. Each party is represented by their own lawyer, who presents evidence and examines witnesses. They also cross-examine the opposing party’s witnesses. 

After the trial is concluded, the judge or jury renders a verdict. If they find in favor of the plaintiff, they also determine the amount of damages to which the victim is entitled. 

The Major Differences Between Claims and Lawsuits

While claims and lawsuits are similar, they do have important differences, including:

  • A personal injury claim is a private matter. If there is a settlement, it is usually subject to a confidentiality agreement. 
  • A lawsuit is filed in court and becomes a matter of public record. The complaint must follow specific rules: the Rules of Civil Procedure.
  • The Rules of Civil Procedure also dictate the filing of pre-trial motions and discovery requests that may arise with a personal injury lawsuit. 
  • There are different filing deadlines for personal injury claims versus lawsuits. 
  • When a claim is resolved through a personal injury settlement, the parties determine the amount of compensation. In a lawsuit, a judge or jury decides whether the defendant was responsible for the accident and, if so, how much money to award. 

An experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can discuss both options and the pros and cons to determine which path forward might be best for you.

Benefits of Personal Injury Claims 

There are several benefits of resolving your case through a settlement with the insurance company, including:

  • Finality – You can finish your case without worrying about it any longer, while a lawsuit can take longer and end in appeal.
  • Certainty – With a settlement, you know exactly how much money you will receive in exchange for dropping your case. With a trial, you don’t know if the court will rule in your favor and in what amount. 
  • Less stressful – Preparing for and appearing at trial can be incredibly draining. 
  • Faster payout – If you settle your case, you can receive the compensation you need to pay for your medical expenses and make up for your lost wages much faster. 

There are also some drawbacks to personal injury claims. 

Drawbacks of Personal Injury Claims

There is always a risk when you settle your claim that you could have possibly obtained more compensation had you filed a lawsuit. Additionally, the insurance company has a greater say in the potential amount to settle your claim for rather than a more objective party like a judge or jury. 

Benefits of Personal Injury Lawsuits

The major benefit of a personal injury lawsuit is the possibility of receiving more compensation. Additionally, a neutral party determines the outcome of the case. 

Drawbacks of Personal Injury Lawsuits

The major drawbacks of personal injury lawsuits are that they tend to take longer, are more expensive, and can result in unexpected outcomes. There is no guarantee you will win your case just because you sue. 
If you are considering these options, reach out to a skilled Las Vegas personal injury lawyer from De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers at (702) 222-9999.

Areas We Serve

At De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers our personal injury attorneys serve the following localities: Angel Park, Anthem, Boulder City, Downtown Las Vegas, East Las Vegas, Gibson Springs, Green Valley, Henderson, Lake Las Vegas, MacDonald Ranch, McCullough Hills, Mission Hills, Paradise, Peccole Ranch, Queensridge, Reno, Seven Hills, Smoke Ranch, Spring Valley, Summerlin, The Lakes, The Strip, Whitney, and more.
We also represent accident victims in Oakland, CA.

About Our Firm

De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers, located in Las Vegas, NV, is a personal injury law firm established over 30 years ago.
We have 100+ years of combined experience securing hundreds of millions for injured people throughout Nevada. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact us today to discuss your case.

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