Thousands of people suffer injury every year due to no fault of their own. When someone is hurt or loses a loved one due to negligence, they may be uncertain about finding recourse and compensation for their damages and losses. Our personal injury attorneys help clients understand the difference between lawsuits and personal injury claims and which course of action may be most effective in their specific case.
What Are Damages?
Regardless of whether an injured victim files a personal injury claim or takes action by filing a civil court lawsuit, they’re typically seeking compensation for damages.
Claims and lawsuits are just different methods of seeking recovery for damages. When a negligent individual or entity causes injury or losses, you may be able to seek monetary compensation for economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Medical bills
- Loss of past and future income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of companionship and consortium
Personal Injury Claims
If you’re injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you’re entitled to file a personal injury claim against their auto insurance company. A personal injury claim is not a lawsuit. To avoid the cost and effort of litigation, the vast majority of personal injury claims are settled out of court. Before filing a lawsuit, you should find an experienced personal injury lawyer to act as your advocate.
Dealing with insurance companies is stressful and going it alone can result in a minimal settlement or no compensation. Your attorney ensures that your claim is valued at an amount that provides full and fair compensation for all your damages. They negotiate with your insurance company until a settlement that’s agreeable to both parties is reached. If a compromise isn’t possible, your lawyer may advise you to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. That’s why it’s vital to choose a personal injury lawyer who has a proven track record of success in litigating cases and recovering compensation through the courts.
Many states require plaintiffs to go to formal arbitration before taking their case to jury trial. In arbitration, an arbitration panel hears arguments and reviews evidence from both sides before making a decision. Depending on the circumstances, arbitration may be binding or non-binding. If you are involved in binding arbitration, the arbiter’s decision is final, and you may give up your right to sue in a court of law.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
There are different reasons you may have to take your personal injury case in front of a judge or jury. A claims adjuster may determine that their insured party was not at fault or minimize the severity of your injuries and dispute the amount of compensation you’re seeking. In rare cases, you may have to go straight to filing a lawsuit because of the specific circumstances or if the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance.
Regardless of whether you’re at the stage of making a claim with an insurance company or filing a lawsuit, you need to back up your demands for compensation with evidence, such as photos, police reports, medical records, witness statements, receipts for accident-related expenses, and proof of lost wages.
Duty Of Care And Proving Negligence
Personal injury cases are often complex and proving negligence can be challenging. In any personal injury case, wrongful death claim, or liability lawsuit, you must prove that the negligent party owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused your injuries that led to your damages and losses.
How A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Personal injury lawyers often employ the help of experts, including accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, and forensic accountants, to demonstrate how an accident happened, the impact it had on your health and life, and the past and future economic losses you may suffer.
A good attorney knows how to bring all these elements together to present a compelling argument to an insurance company, judge, or jury. A lawyer who is experienced in litigating personal injury cases should be relentless in their pursuit of recovering maximum compensation for their clients and holding responsible parties accountable.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, our attorneys are skilled litigators who have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our personal injury clients. Contact us online or call us at our Bethlehem office at 610-867-2900. We represent clients throughout the Lehigh Valley and Eastern PA.