Claim vs. Lawsuit
If you search online for legal information, you will likely see the terms “claim” and “lawsuit.” In many cases, you will see these two terms used interchangeably.
While claims and lawsuits are similar, they are not the same thing.
Claims and lawsuits are really two separate ways to seek compensation for an injury. If you have questions about whether you need to file a claim or a lawsuit, then it is important that you speak to an experienced attorney.
What is a Claim?
Say you are involved in a car accident, slip and fall, or another accident on someone else’s property. In this case, you will likely file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company to recover compensation for your injuries. Auto accident claims are the most common example of an insurance claim.
If you are not at fault for a car accident, you will need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. When you file an insurance claim, your claim is handled outside of court by representatives of the insurance company. You may deal with an insurance adjuster, an insurance company attorney, or another person acting on the insurance company’s behalf.
The insurance company will investigate your claim to determine how much it wants to offer for your injuries and losses, if anything at all. You will have to demonstrate how the other driver was at fault and the extent of your damages to receive compensation from an insurance company in Texas.
Why You Should or Shouldn’t File a Claim
In an auto insurance claim, you are attempting to recover compensation for your injuries and expenses without the need for litigation.
There are several reasons why an insurance claim might be a better option than filing a lawsuit, including:
- Lower court fees and costs
- Lower attorney fees
- Faster processing
There are also some reasons why you might file a lawsuit rather than an auto insurance claim, including:
- If the insurance company won’t respond quickly
- If the offer from the auto insurance company isn’t enough
- To have your lawsuit decided by a judge and not the insurance company
Sometimes, all you need to do is file an auto insurance claim to have your injury and other expenses compensated. If you are not offered what you deserve, then you will likely need to file a lawsuit in court.
What is a Lawsuit?
If an auto insurance claim will not get you the compensation you need, filing a lawsuit is likely your next step.
Lawsuits are essentially insurance claims filed with and handled by the courts. You will have to prove that the defendant injured you. Your case may be decided by either a jury or a judge.
Filing a lawsuit takes power and control away from the insurance company when the ultimate decision on liability is made.
Why You Should or Shouldn’t File a Lawsuit
With a lawsuit, you are foregoing the insurance claim in pursuit of compensation. Usually, you don’t file a lawsuit until after your efforts at making an agreement with the auto insurance company have failed.
There are several reasons why a lawsuit might be a better option than an auto insurance claim, such as:
- Your compensation is decided by a judge or jury, not the insurance company
- Higher potential compensation
- The potential for punitive damages
There are also some reasons why you shouldn’t file a lawsuit and might be best served by an insurance claim.
Some of the reasons include:
- Higher legal expenses in a lawsuit
- Non-guaranteed outcome
- Slower case processing
Sometimes, auto insurance companies are not helpful or cooperative. When this happens, filing a lawsuit may be your only option to get compensation for your injuries. Make sure you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney before you decide to file an insurance claim or lawsuit.
How an Experienced Attorney Can Help You Decide What to Do
If you are hurt in an accident, you probably don’t know whether to file a claim or a lawsuit. Having the help of an experienced lawyer can make a difference.
A personal injury lawyer will:
- Help you determine what your case is worth
- Properly negotiate your claim
- Present your evidence to the court in a lawsuit
These are just some of the ways that an experienced attorney can help you get compensated for your injuries. If you have questions about your case, then give us a call so we can help!
Get Your Legal Questions Answered in a Free Consultation Today
If you have been hurt in an accident, you may not know your next steps. If you have questions about making a claim or filing a lawsuit, call us or contact us online for a free consultation. Have your questions answered by an experienced legal professional!