You're suffering after a car accident, slip and fall, or dog bite that left you seriously injured. You know the other party was at fault, but are unsure about how to make them pay. You see ads for personal injury lawyers on TV and think that getting the compensation you're owed involves suing the other party and fighting out in court. While some accidents do end this way, most do not.
In most cases, filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company is all you need to do, especially if you work with an attorney from the outset.
How Is a Claim Different From a Lawsuit?
If the person or business responsible for your injuries has some form of liability insurance, the first step after your accident is to file a claim with their insurance company. The carrier then assigns a claims adjuster to the case, who will investigate the accident to determine whether their client did, in fact, cause the accident, whether your injuries were the result of the accident, and the value of your losses.
Because insurance providers are for-profit companies, the adjuster will do everything within their power to deny the claim or to offer as little as possible for your losses. If you're working with a personal injury attorney, your attorney presents the claim with evidence of fault and with an accounting of your losses. If the adjuster doesn't offer a fair settlement, your attorney negotiates in an effort to get the best possible deal for you. If the insurance company refuses to meet these terms, your legal counsel might decide to file a lawsuit.
The lawsuit is filed directly against the person who or business that caused your accident, but their insurance company is liable for the damages, and will be represented by its attorney. Many accident lawsuits settle before there's a trial because the trial process is too time-consuming and costly for the insurance provider.
However, if the case does go to trial, the judge or jury determines fault and decides on the amount of monetary compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney will prepare your claim for trial from day one and be ready to argue before a judge and jury if necessary.
Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys Are Here for You
At Mahaney & Pappas, LLP, we're experts in personal injury law, and we regularly handle personal injury cases. Working with an attorney is the first step you can take to protect your rights and make sure you receive a settlement that covers all of your accident-related expenses. Our legal team aggressively pursues the maximum possible compensation for our clients and will go to trial if that’s what it takes to secure a proper and fair settlement.