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Is a personal injury claim the same as a lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2022 | Catastrophic Personal Injury |

Victims of crash-related catastrophic injuries hear two phrases when talking with law professionals – litigation or lawsuit and personal injury claim. You might think these phrases mean the same, but they refer to two distinct legal procedures.

It serves you to understand both options so that you leave no stone unturned in obtaining the maximum amount of compensation. Catastrophic injuries typically lead to long-term (or lifelong) medical needs, which sufficient compensation helps to address.

Personal injury insurance claims

In auto accidents, a personal injury claim means filing a claim for damages with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The insurer pays for your damages on behalf of that driver. Most accident victims prefer this remedy over a lawsuit because it usually takes less time to obtain a settlement.

Personal injury lawsuits

An injury lawsuit (litigation) means suing the party responsible for your injuries in civil court. The outcome of a courtroom trial is never guaranteed – meaning you could lose. Some victims pursue litigation when an insurance settlement is insufficient to meet their medical care needs.

Which option is better?

It depends on the individual situation. In Alabama, an insurance claim typically concludes faster and involves less hassle than litigation. Two risks to consider are having your claim denied by the insurer and receiving a lowball settlement.

Litigation usually takes longer, but it offers you a chance of obtaining a substantial sum. The risks include losing completely or suing someone with no means to pay if you win.

Seeking legal guidance can help ensure that you select the option that promises the most financial compensation. You will need substantial funds for health care and more when facing a catastrophic personal injury.