What is the difference between a personal injury claim and a lawsuit?

lawyer at desk with gavel
lawyer at desk with gavel

When you suffer an injury due to the negligence or recklessness of someone else, it can put you in a difficult situation. On one hand, you shouldn’t have to pay for your medical bills and property damage alone. On the other hand, the prospect of going to court and going through a lawsuit can be intimidating. Luckily, your case may not get to that point. There is an important difference between an injury claim and an injury lawsuit.

Personal injury claims

A personal injury claim is much less contentious than a lawsuit. It’s typically the first step that people take after suffering an injury – and if it’s successful, you can avoid a lawsuit altogether.

During the claims process, you will negotiate with the insurance company for the at-fault party for the compensation you need to cover your medical bills, property damage, missed days of work and any other damages you suffered as a result of the accident.

You should hire an attorney to assist you in these negotiations, so that you have someone with extensive experience who is advocating for your best interest.

Personal injury lawsuits

If negotiations fail, and you just aren’t able to come to an agreement with the insurance company as to what they owe you, you may have no other choice than to take the matter to court.

A personal injury lawsuit is when both parties hire attorneys and litigate the case before a judge, and possibly also a jury. Your attorney will present evidence and arguments to try to convince the court that the other party must compensate you for your injuries, while the other side will likely try to prove either that they were not responsible, or that you caused your own injuries through your negligence.

An unexpected personal injury can change your life. It’s great to know that you have options, and that you won’t necessarily have to go through a lengthy and potentially costly lawsuit to get what you deserve.


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