How Do Personal Injury Claims & Lawsuits Differ?
Most personal injury claims are brought against the insurance company of the liable party. This is called a third-party insurance claim. If you were hurt in a car accident, for example, and your case meets the serious injury threshold, you would likely file the claim with the at-fault motorist’s auto insurer.
During the subsequent proceedings, you would have to prove liability and damages in order to recover a settlement. As such, your legal team would start by conducting an investigation and gathering evidence, which would eventually be followed by settlement negotiations.
If the opposing party refuses to pay a fair settlement, it may be advisable to file a lawsuit.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit is a kind of civil suit. Plaintiffs bring the lawsuit against the party who is liable for their damages.
Even if you bring a personal injury suit against the liable party directly, you could still end up taking on their insurance carrier. Depending on the circumstances of the accident and the terms of the defendant’s insurance policy, their insurance company may have a duty to defend.
Below is a brief overview of the steps involved in personal injury litigation:
1. Submitting the Claim or Demand Letter
After your legal team has determined the extent of the damages and gathered evidence, they will help you draft a demand letter or file the insurance claim. A demand letter would state the total compensation you are seeking and the reasons why you are seeking it. If the demand letter or claim does not lead to a settlement, the next step would be to file a lawsuit.
2. Filing a Formal Lawsuit
Filing a civil suit will let the opposing party know you are serious about obtaining fair compensation. If they denied your initial demand because they assumed you wouldn’t proceed to court, they might be willing to negotiate upon being served. If they still refuse to settle, the case would proceed to discovery. It’s important to note, however, that at any stage of litigation, the case may be settled if both parties can come to an agreement.
During discovery, both parties will exchange information relevant to the case. Interrogatories might be submitted, and depositions may be taken from various expert and percipient witnesses, as well as the people involved in the accident.
4. Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation and early settlement conferences, are more efficient and less time-consuming than formal trial. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to resolve your lawsuit through ADR.
If ADR proves unsuccessful, the case will go before a judge or jury. After either side presents their claims, defenses, and evidence, the court will issue a verdict.
Speak with a New York Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you intend to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. Our resourceful attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience practicing law. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in New York.