What’s the Difference Between a Personal Injury Claim and a Lawsuit?
After you’ve experienced an auto accident, you may wonder what the difference between a personal injury claim and a lawsuit is. What’s the best option for your specific case? Understanding the difference is essential so you can pursue the option in your best interest. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Colorado Springs, contact Springs Law Group today.
Read this guide to learn the difference between a personal injury claim and a lawsuit:
What is the difference between a personal injury claim and a lawsuit? Hi, I’m Jake Kimble. I’m one of the partners at Springs Law Group. And I want to talk to you today about the difference between a personal injury claim and a personal injury lawsuit.
So usually, most personal injury cases don’t go into litigation, which is a lawsuit. Instead, they are resolved in their form as a claim. So a claim says you are entitled to a certain amount of money because the at-fault driver hurt you in the accident. Therefore, the at-fault driver’s insurance company needs to compensate you. That’s a claim.
As long as you haven’t filed a lawsuit, then it is still in the claim form. So as part of the claims process, you or your attorney will submit a demand for a certain amount of money, along with documentation to support that demand. Next, there’s usually a negotiation where you go back and forth with the insurance company to decide on a settlement amount. Typically, the insurance company will offer a low amount, so your attorney will negotiate for a higher, more fair settlement for your damages. If you can settle your claim, there’s no need for a lawsuit—the case is done.
If the insurance company doesn’t offer you enough or what you think is fair, you can always file a lawsuit. The deadline to file a lawsuit is three years in Colorado if it’s an auto accident and it’s not against a government entity. So if it’s a normal auto accident, the deadline to file is three years. However, some exceptions exist, so please talk to an attorney about your case.
So in some cases, you may have a couple of years’ worth of negotiations. In other situations, you might only try to negotiate once you recover to know how much your damages are worth. Regardless of your case, if you try negotiating with the other insurance company and they don’t make a fair offer, you can file a lawsuit. Around 95% of these cases will settle in the claims form before a lawsuit is filed. The remainder of these cases goes into litigation. Even so, a lot of cases that go into litigation will settle, but that’s the difference:
If the claim has not been filed, it’s not in litigation. We call that pre-litigation. Once a lawsuit is filed, then it’s in litigation. Therefore, a claim becomes a lawsuit when it couldn’t be resolved through a settlement.
So, that’s the difference between a personal injury claim and a lawsuit. Knowing the difference can help you better understand your case and what options you can pursue. Remember: don’t wait to get the help you deserve. You can find more information on our website or by calling us today!
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