There is a difference between an insurance accident claim and personal injury lawsuit, however the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. This article is designed to provide a brief overview of each process with key points and differences in relation to auto accidents.
What Is an Accident Claim?
Laws vary by state, but for the most part auto insurance companies are almost always called when there is a car accident. Even if the damages appear minor, and especially if there are more than one vehicle involved, the incident should be reported. When that call is made, it is what prompts the insurance claim. In accidents which have significant claims of damage or injuries, insurance adjusters and investigators may do independent investigations to support the claim. The initial goal of the auto accident investigation is to determine who is ultimately responsible for it. In any case, an accident investigation initiated by an insurance claim will uncover many details pertaining to the accident, parties involved, and injuries sustained. (Such as reviewing hospital data, gathering witness statements, reviewing police reports, acquiring estimates, etc.) Occasionally both drivers will share a percentage of responsibility for the accident and they payout will reflect this conclusion.
The victim driver and innocent passengers will expect to be compensated for damages such as injuries and personal property. This payment process is initially conducted by the insurance company, through the insurance claims process. Negotiations may take place between insurance companies if they disagree. Ultimately, the insurance company representing the at-fault driver will attempt to pay out as little as possible to the injured. When that injured party feels that the final offer from the insurance payout is not adequate or acceptable, this is when they can choose to take legal action. Contacting a personal injury attorney is the next step, and legal right as an accident victim.
What is an Injury Lawsuit?
The negotiation process between insurance companies and drivers doesn’t always end in an agreement. For example, you could have been badly injured in an accident which required intensive medical attention; you lost wages due to missed work and face potential life-long complications, yet the insurance company of the at-fault driver is attempting to payout pennies to settle the claim. Instead of accepting the payout, your next move should be to seek a personal injury consultation. Your initial consultation with an accident attorney is often provided as a free service. During this consultation you’ll share the details of your experience and gain in return some basic legal guidance and direction. An experienced injury attorney will know quickly if you have the potential to obtain significantly more compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Injury lawsuits are sometimes referred to as injury claims. However, unlike claims which are filed with insurance companies, a personal injury lawsuit is a civil action handled by an accident attorney. If you decide to retain a personal injury lawyer, they will pursue the responsible person, persons, entity and or insurance companies for compensation. When an auto insurance has given more headaches than payout, let an injury lawyer deal with them. Once you retain your lawyer, you can focus on healing while they handle all the details and provide legal representation. The expertise in these areas, and available resources to uncover important details, will be important to win your lawsuit. The investigations, evaluations and inspections conducted by an accident law firm are often more in-depth; taking your case many steps further than any insurance company. Therefore, when a personal injury lawsuit is filed, and backed up by an experienced injury attorney, you’ll be more likely to retrieve full and fair compensation than if the insurance companies had their way.
It is not uncommon for agreements and settlements to go beyond the insurance company. For nearly twenty years, Action Law Offices has focused their Wisconsin law firm on accident cases and protecting the rights of innocent accident victims. They fight to ensure that the wrongly injured receive fair compensation. Their experience representing injured victims means that lawsuits are often settled without even having to go to court. There are no fees to collect unless Action Law Offices WINS your case.
DISCLAIMER: Blogs and articles cover very basic accident and injury topics for education and awareness such as statistics, Wisconsin Laws, injury areas, compensation and injury victim rights. Information not intended for legal advice; consult with an attorney directly.