The best course of legal action to take after an accident depends on several factors, most importantly the disposition and well-being of the injury victim and in case someone died, the decedent’s family.
The decision to file a claim or a lawsuit should also be based on a sufficient understanding of the processes, benefits, and disadvantages of each option.
Filing a claim
A claim for personal injury is filed with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The insurance claim will compel the at-fault person’s insurance to cover the expenses you have incurred due to the accident. This can cover hospital and medical bills lost wages and even pain and suffering.
Of course, getting your claim with the insurance is only possible if the other party in your accident has insurance coverage. The insurance company also has the right to investigate and can deny you the claim if they feel that it’s not valid. Having legal counsel during the process of your claim will help you avoid that kind of situation.
Filing a lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit is a civil complaint filed by an injury victim against the at-fault party. This complaint or lawsuit is filed in court and will proceed to a trial if the two parties are keen on resolving the case via a judicial process.
The lawsuit can be dropped anytime during the process if the two parties enter into a mediation process and decide to settle outside of court. This alternative dispute resolution mechanism is often employed by defendants to hasten the resolution of the case.
Many people involved in personal injury cases lack the knowledge of what the processes of a claim and lawsuit entail and thus find it hard to decide which path to take. Sources of information about legal action sometimes use these two terms interchangeably, furthering the confusion that ordinary people have about claims and lawsuits.
To know which is better for you, it is recommended you consult a lawyer and ask for legal advice. Whether you’re claiming for insurance or suing for damages, you need the guidance of a lawyer to ensure that you get the fairest and best outcome for your situation.