What is the difference between an insurance claim and a lawsuit?

If you’ve been the victim of an accident due to the negligence of another person or business, you may have considered suing them.

It’s only natural for people to be angry when they’ve been hurt, and TV shows about the law make people feel like the first thing to do is sue someone. However, before proceeding further, you will normally want to follow the proper protocol. You will first gather evidence and file an insurance claim.

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What is an insurance claim?

An insurance claim is basically a request you make from an insurance company to pay bills related to an accident. The insurance company that pays your claim will depend on the type of accident you had and the state you live in.

What is a personal injury lawsuit?

A personal injury lawsuit occurs when two parties cannot settle the amount of compensation for an accident or cannot agree on who is at fault.

If an insurance company denies your claim, or if you’re not happy with their offer to settle, you can sue. You can also sue a negligent doctor for medical malpractice or a party that caused the wrongful death of a member of your immediate family.

When should I file an insurance claim?

You must file an insurance claim as soon as possible after an accident. If you have a car accident in the state of Georgia, the responsible driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying your bills. Georgia is a tort state in auto insurance. This means that a person responsible for an accident will pay all associated bills.

According to Georgiatrialfirm.com, when you have an accident at a business or residence, you may be able to sue the owner of the property.

If you have had a spill at a business, you will normally need to complete an accident report and ask for the name and number of their insurance company. If the business owner was at fault, his insurance would have to pay for your injuries. When an accident occurs in a person’s home, that person’s home insurance must pay your medical bills.

What evidence should I collect?

When you have an accident you should take pictures if you can and collect the names and phone numbers of anyone who may have seen it. Document all of your medical bills and the time you missed from work.

When should I continue?

When you file an insurance claim, an insurance adjuster will investigate it. They will review your documentation and then decide whether to accept or deny the claim. If they approve the request, they will make you an offer.

If they deny your claim, you may want to consult with a lawyer to determine if it is a good idea to take legal action. Often times, an insurance company won’t be willing to pay you as much as you deserve. While it may be tempting to take what they offer and get it over with, it is best to contact a lawyer.

A personal injury lawyer will be able to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and get a fair settlement. In rare cases, you and your lawyer may need to take legal action against the insurance company. However, even if a lawsuit is filed, the two parties will almost always reach an amicable settlement.

If you collect as much evidence as you can and hire a lawyer with years of experience in personal injury law, you should be able to get the money you need without a lawsuit.

Related article of interest: “Mistakes to Avoid When Making a Personal Injury Claim”