When to Make Personal Injury Claims or File a Lawsuit

February 24, 2022

Personal injury and negligence-related accidents are often difficult and slow events to recover from. Injuries sustained at your place of work or in the care of licensed professionals you trust obviously carry both mental ramifications and traumas as well as physical injuries. While your first move should almost always be to lawyer up, it’s imperative that you carefully choose a firm that can represent you adequately.

However, you’ll also have the option to make a choice in the legal actions you do take. The basic split is injury claims and injury lawsuits. It’s not entirely your preference; either one applies to certain conditions and the response of the defending party to the situation they may or may not have, contributed to.

Personal Injury Claim

A claim is the simpler of the two in that you essentially hand over the case to an insurance company to resolve the matter, whether that’s your own or the party accused of negligence’s company. Insurance companies are experts at investigating these sorts of injury claims. They can do the majority of the research into how the incident occurred and who could be at fault, as well as quantifying the injuries you received.

This research can include requesting and reviewing both police reports (if you made one) and medical records, which are vital pieces of evidence in personal injury cases. Nonetheless, it’s highly recommended that you do confer with a lawyer before contacting insurers.

Personal injury claims, to you, will be a justified attempt to receive compensation for your injuries. However, for the adjustors who work for insurers, their priority is to minimize the impact on the insurance company. As such, your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf with the insurers to ensure that the outcome is representative of the injuries received.

Specialist firms and experienced lawyers are critical to winning these sorts of negotiations. Unlike many legal cases, the option to skip any court proceedings is possibly quite attractive, but it still leaves the claimant with the job of challenging a large insurance company to receive their settlements. These companies are well-versed and ready to fight their corner, so your lawyer needs to be well-prepared for that, too.


Personal Injury Lawsuits

Let’s say the insurance company won’t budge, which can happen. Although typically nobody wants to escalate a case to court (in short, it’s expensive and time-consuming),  if an insurer thinks there’s a legitimate reason to hold back, your lawyer will escalate the claim to court. With an impartial judge and jury to convince, the complexity of a lawsuit is higher – you’re no longer in negotiations where concessions are more common.

A personal injury lawsuit falls into a few basic stages: after filing, the ‘discovery’ process begins. This is effectively evidence-gathering. If one side can find something strong enough, they make a move to settle before trial.

The trial itself can be made up of several hearings as both arguments are presented. Experienced lawyers know how to play for time in trials and swing juries with their presentations. From there, a trial is complete, the jury confers, and – if they side with the claimant – the compensatory figure is finalized. Despite that, a verdict can still be appealed by the losing party, and often might be, which can lead to eventual settlements further down the line.

As you can see, the prospect of lawsuits over claims isn’t necessarily what you want as a claimant. The pressure to provide evidence and ensure nothing is misrepresented or overlooked can be difficult for individuals who want to focus on recovery, despite the importance of securing their compensation. Your lawyer’s ability to negotiate can be the deciding factor here.

Many people simply accept lawyers provided to them by their own insurers or assigned to them, but there’s plenty you can do to attain a lawyer who can help you avoid long, difficult proceedings to reach a settlement or verdict. It can seem a little unfeeling to apply so much process and procedure to personal injuries, but the reality is that when a lot is at stake, details matter.

By doing your due diligence in picking the right representation and building a solid, convincing argument, you can move on from your ordeal much quicker than you’d expect.

About the Author Kyrie Mattos

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}