You do not have to go to court if you file a personal injury claim. To settle your claim requires working with a claims adjuster from your own insurance company or the insurance company representing the person or entity that you are holding responsible for your personal injury.
You may go to court if you file a personal injury lawsuit against the insurance company that refuses to settle your claim. In this scenario, a judge or jury will determine the settlement amount the insurance company owes you.
What Is The Difference Between A Personal Injury Claim And A Lawsuit?
A claim is a formal request to an insurance company to reimburse you for medical bills and other costs for injuries and other damages you sustained in an accident. Individuals can file and negotiate their own claims or have a personal injury lawyer handle the claim on their behalf.
A lawsuit is a legal action filed in a court against an insurance company or an individual or entity a person holds liable for his or her damages. The person who files a lawsuit is a “plaintiff,” and sues an individual or entity called a “defendant.” Plaintiffs and defendants are represented by personal injury lawyers who can negotiate a settlement out of court or take the case to trial for a judge or jury to resolve the matter.
Should I File An Insurance Claim Or A Lawsuit Over My Personal Injury?
It depends on the circumstances of your accident and the severity of your physical injury. For instance, if you were in a motor vehicle accident and suffered minor injuries, you can file a claim with the driver’s auto insurer to recover costs for repairing your car and other damages.
However, if you suffered a catastrophic injury, such as loss of limbs or a spinal cord injury that caused some level of paralysis, and the insurance company does not want to negotiate a fair settlement, you may decide to file a lawsuit.
A personal injury attorney can advise you on whether to file a claim or a lawsuit based on the circumstances of your accident and the type of injury you suffered.
What Information Do I Need to File Along with a Personal Injury Claim?
You will need proof that the negligence of an individual or entity caused your injury. The evidence you collect depends on the circumstances of your injury. For example, if injured in a car accident, you may collect the following evidence:
- A police report
- Traffic camera video that captured the accident
- Eyewitness testimony
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Photographs of your injuries
- Your medical records
Without providing sufficient proof, you will not prevail in your claim. The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril PLLC can help you collect evidence that will strengthen your personal injury claim.
Can I Use This Evidence If I Go to Court?
You may use this and more evidence should you take your case to court. Your attorney will ask the defendants to produce certain documents or videos, depose witnesses (take their statements under oath), and conduct extensive investigations into your accident. The defendants will also want information from you and may also take your testimony under oath.
The court process is more detailed and usually takes longer than settling a personal injury claim out of court.
Will I Recover More Money by Going to Court?
It is possible, but difficult to say whether you will recover more money from filing a lawsuit rather than settling a personal injury claim with an insurance company. If you contact our law firm and schedule a free consultation, we can talk with you about the court process and the insurance settlement process.
How Do I Settle a Personal Injury Claim?
Settling a lawsuit involves negotiating with an insurance adjuster for your monetary losses. Your damages may include your medical expenses, lost wages, physical therapy costs, and pain and suffering.
Insurance companies typically do not want to pay out high settlements, but a proficient personal injury lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement that takes into account your present needs but your future needs as well.
Call The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril PLLC
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril PLLC have decades of experience handling personal injury claims. We not only file claims, but we conduct thorough examinations of accidents to build a solid claim on behalf of our clients. We negotiate claims and uncooperative insurance companies do not intimidate us. We fight for the fair compensation our clients deserve even if we have to go to court for your personal injury claim.
The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril PLLC work on contingency, which means that you do not pay us unless we win your case. Call us today at 865-546-1111 to schedule an appointment with one of our personal injury lawyers.