The Differences Between Personal Injury Claims And Personal Injury Lawsuits
While the terms claim and lawsuit are often used interchangeably, the reality is that there is actually a clear distinction between these two words. Generally, a claim precedes a lawsuit and is filed with someone’s insurer and if resolved, is done so in an out-of-court setting. If a claim cannot be resolved, however, an injured party has the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit in court. Unlike claims, personal injury lawsuits are litigated in the presence of a judge and the outcome of the suit will ultimately be left up to that judge or a jury. The differences between the process of filing a claim and filing a lawsuit are complex, so if you were hurt in an accident and have questions about these two types of proceedings, it is important to reach out to an experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer for help.
Settling a Claim vs Going to Trial
The only way to resolve a personal injury claim is for the parties involved to reach an out-of-court settlement agreement. This is the most common way of resolving personal injury cases, as it tends to be less time-consuming and less expensive. However, claimants should be wary of settling too quickly, as insurers are notorious for undervaluing cases. When this happens, injured parties should strongly consider filing a personal injury lawsuit, which, unlike a claim, will involve arguing the case in the presence of a judge. While there is more risk in going to court, as a defendant could end up not being found at-fault for an accident, it is also true that jury awards tend to be higher than what insurers are willing to offer in settlement negotiations.
The Pros and Cons of Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Those who are injured in accidents have the option of filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party’s insurer. There are a number of benefits to settling a personal injury claim out of court. For instance, claimants typically receive their settlements much more quickly than they would if they went to court. There also tends to be less paperwork and no court hearings. There are also, however, some drawbacks to the claim filing process. For instance, settlement awards may not end up covering all of a person’s damages. Furthermore, the insurance adjuster is ultimately given the final say in how much a claimant will be compensated.
The Pros and Cons of Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit is similar to a claim, in that it involves an injured party filing against someone who was responsible for his or her accident. Unlike a claim, however, a lawsuit goes to court and must be argued before a judge or jury. Whatever the court’s eventual verdict, the parties will be required to submit to it. While the outcome of personal injury lawsuits is often uncertain, the damages amounts awarded to victims are typically higher than settlements awards. Unfortunately, lawsuits tend to be more time-consuming, so it could take months or even years for an injured party to receive compensation.
Call Our Fort Lauderdale Legal Team
If you were injured in an accident and need help navigating Florida’s legal system, please call 954-566-9919 and speak with one of the dedicated personal injury lawyers at Boone & Davis today.