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What’s the Difference Between an Injury Claim and an Injury Lawsuit?

When you suffer an injury in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence in Wisconsin, you can seek financial compensation for your losses. This is typically done through a claim with the other driver’s insurance or a personal injury lawsuit.

You can pursue an injury claim or injury lawsuit to receive compensation if you’re injured in a vehicle collision; however, each has its benefits and drawbacks. The Green Bay car accident lawyers at Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers can review your case and help you determine the best option for receiving a fair settlement.

Injury Claims vs. Injury Lawsuits

Injury claims and lawsuits are legal avenues to help an injured party receive compensation. These actions differ in process, timeline, and potential outcomes. Injury claims are requests for damages from the at-fault party and their insurer, and lawsuits are legal actions that are decided in court by a judge or a jury.

Injury Claim

An injury claim is an initial step in seeking compensation from the at-fault party or their insurance company. It involves filing a claim with the third-party insurance provider, submitting evidence to support the claim, and negotiating a settlement. In most cases, injury claims are resolved through negotiation and do not involve the court system.

The claims process for an injury claim is usually faster than a lawsuit. It may take a few weeks to several months to settle, depending on the case’s complexity and the parties’ willingness to negotiate.

Injury Lawsuit

An injury lawsuit occurs when the injured party and the at-fault party cannot reach a satisfactory settlement through the claims process. The injured party files a lawsuit in court, initiating legal action against the responsible party. A lawsuit may involve pre-trial discovery, depositions, and ultimately a trial, where a judge or jury decides the damage award.

Lawsuits often take longer to resolve than claims, usually lasting several months to a few years. The time frame depends on the court’s schedule, the complexity of the case, and procedural requirements.

Do All Injury Claims End in Legal Action?

Not all injury claims end in legal action. The majority of injury claims are resolved through negotiation and settlement with the help of an experienced attorney, with only around 3% of tort claims going to trial.

The claims process involves communication and negotiation between your attorney and the at-fault party’s insurance company. Typically, both parties try to reach a fair settlement to avoid a time-consuming and costly lawsuit.

Several factors can influence the likelihood of an injury claim resulting in legal action:

  • Severity of the injury: More severe injuries often result in higher claims, making negotiations more challenging. If the insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable settlement, your attorney can help you pursue legal action.
  • Disagreement over liability: If there is a dispute over who is responsible for the injury or to what extent, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to resolve the issue. The court will review evidence to assign fault for the incident and subsequent injuries. Wisconsin uses modified comparative negligence, which means if one party is more than 51% at fault, they cannot receive compensation.
  • Insufficient settlement offer: If the insurance company’s settlement offer does not adequately cover your losses, you may decide to file a lawsuit to seek fair compensation. A lawsuit allows you to seek maximum damages for lost earnings, medical bills, and pain and suffering to compensate you for the harm you suffered in a crash.

What Happens if I Have to File a Lawsuit for Compensation?

If you file a lawsuit for compensation, you will enter the litigation phase of your personal injury case. This often occurs when negotiations and settlement attempts have been unsuccessful or have resulted in an unsatisfactory outcome.

The litigation process can be complex, time-consuming, and emotionally draining, but it may be necessary to ensure that you receive fair financial compensation for your injuries.

During this phase, both legal teams gather evidence, exchange information, and build their respective cases. They may continue to engage in settlement negotiations and use alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation or arbitration to settle out of court. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case proceeds to trial, where a judge or jury determines the outcome.

Retaining an experienced personal injury attorney can help protect your interests and guide you through the legal system during this challenging time. At Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers, our legal team won’t hesitate to file a lawsuit to get our clients full compensation.

Even when lawsuits are filed, they usually don’t progress to the courtroom or a jury verdict due to reaching a settlement. In fact, about 95% of pending lawsuits end in a pre-trial settlement, meaning you can settle at any time in the process.

Don’t Go It Alone: Schedule Your Free Consultation

Whether it is a car accident injury claim or a lawsuit, the goal is the same: getting you compensated for your injury. While many injury claims are resolved without legal action, it is essential to understand your rights and options. Consulting with a Fox Cities car accident lawyer can help you determine the best course of action for your situation and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Schedule your free consultation with an experienced auto accident attorney to discuss your claim.

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