Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Dec 07, 2017 in Personal Injury
Although victims may be able to recover compensation for their injuries through personal injury claims and personal injury lawsuits, there are several differences between the two processes.
A personal injury claim is a request made to either the victim’s or the at-fault party’s insurer for compensation for the financial losses suffered after an accident. Likewise, a personal injury lawsuit may provide a victim additional compensation for the pain and suffering he or she endured.
However, not everyone is entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit. The personal injury attorneys in Fort Worth, TX at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings are experienced in handling both types of cases. We will help you determine which course of action is most appropriate for your situation during a free, no obligation consultation with a member of our qualified legal team.
A personal injury claim is a request filed with an insurance company for compensation for injuries sustained in an accident. This claim may be filed with the:
- Victim’s insurance company
- Insurance company of another driver
- Victim’s employer’s insurance company
- Insurance provider of a home or business owner where the accident occurred
While each insurer has its own process for handling personal injury claims, generally they are handled as follows:
Filing a Claim
After an accident, the victim should notify an insurer that an accident resulting in injuries occurred. This should be done as soon as possible in order to begin the claims process. Each insurer will have its own deadlines to report a claim. Some may require to be notified within 24 to 48 hours after an accident.
When filing a claim, the victim should give an honest account of the accident and his or her injuries. Misrepresenting the details of an accident or the severity of your injuries may have legal consequences and could impact your ability to obtain a fair settlement.
Once the claim is filed, it is assigned a claim number and passed to an adjuster to be investigated.
An insurance adjuster will thoroughly investigate a claim before recommending the insurance company offer a settlement. The adjuster works to obtain proof that:
- The insured party caused the accident
- Negligence occurred
- The severity of the injuries qualify for a settlement
Additionally, the adjuster will evaluate several types of evidence to determine each party’s level of fault and the severity of the victim’s injuries. This evidence includes:
- Medical records
- Witness and victim statements
- Police reports
- Damage to personal property
- Video or photographic evidence
The adjuster may want to make an official report of the accident and will likely ask about your injury and how it has affected your life. Furthermore, the adjuster may request access to your medical records and ask that you perform an evaluation with a doctor chosen by the insurance company.
However, it is recommended that you refrain from speaking with an insurance adjuster or providing him or her with any personal or medical information until you have consulted with a personal injury attorney. A skilled attorney will inform you of how to interact with an insurance adjuster so that your claim is not misrepresented.
Once the adjuster takes into account all evidence regarding your claim, he or she will provide you with a settlement offer. In some cases, the insurer may deny the claim and offer no compensation.
If the insurer does not offer a fair settlement, you may have additional legal options and should consult with your attorney to learn more.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
A personal injury lawsuit is legal action taken against another party in civil court. It is intended to recover compensation for the injuries and damages caused by another’s negligence.
A personal injury lawsuit must be filed within a specific time limit, called the statute of limitations. In Texas, there is a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. It is imperative you meet this deadline, or else you cannot recover compensation.
Why File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Not everyone is entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit after an accident. Lawsuits are often filed after an insurer refuses to negotiate a fair settlement or if the at-fault party’s actions caused the victim harm.
You may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit if it can be proven that your injuries were caused by the at-fault party’s negligence, or failure to use reasonable care not to cause you harm. Some situations where a lawsuit may be filed include:
- Wrongful death
- Permanent disability
- Injuries requiring extensive medical care
How Can I Be Compensated From a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Through a personal injury lawsuit, you may be entitled to a variety of damages, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earning capacity
- Disability accommodations
- Lost quality of life
- Lost companionship
Typically, personal injury lawsuits are settled long before going to trial. Lawsuits are often lengthy and complicated legal procedures that insurance companies and the at-fault party prefer to avoid.
A skilled personal injury attorney can help you negotiate a fair settlement for the injuries you have suffered.
Contact Our Lawyers
If you believe you were injured in an accident caused by another’s negligence, contact a skilled attorney as soon as possible to discuss your claim.
The Fort Worth personal injury lawyers of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings will evaluate your accident and assist you in pursuing the appropriate legal options. We will thoroughly investigate your claim to help you determine if you have a case against the at-fault party.
If we believe you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit, we will fight to recover the compensation you deserve.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your claim with our attorneys. We accept cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we will only charge you if we help you recover compensation.