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The Difference Between A Personal Injury Claim And Lawsuit

The difference between a personal injury claim and lawsuit

For many people that have been injured due to negligence, the medical bills and even lost wages begin to pile up.  Many of these negligence victims understandably want to have these losses paid for.  Some though are reluctant to pursue action against the person that caused the accident because they don’t want to sue the person.  It is important to know though that there are important differences between personal injury claims and lawsuits.

If you were injured in a car accident due to negligence you may file a claim.  The claim would be filed with both your car insurance company, and also with the insurance company for the driver that caused the accident.  A claim is merely a filing with an insurance company for a loss you have sustained.  Most claims, including slip and falls and other claims for negligence, are resolved without the need for a lawsuit.  A claim is not filed in court.

A lawsuit differs from a claim in that it is filed in court and is a formal legal process.  Unlike a claim, a lawsuit is an adversarial dynamic.  It is a process that is formal and that follows strict rules and procedures.  If a case filed in court does not settle then a judge or jury will decide who wins and who loses.

Keep in mind if you do sue the party that caused your injuries, that person’s insurance company will pay the claim, as well as the cost of hiring attorneys to defend the lawsuit. Therefore, the party you have sued will not have any out-of-pocket expenses, and you will not be taking food off that person’s table.

Workers’ compensation cases are also litigated in court, but follow very different rules and procedures.