Every day individuals are the subject to injury at the fault of negligence on another individual’s behalf. WE ALL LIVE WITHIN THIS POSSIBILITY. In order to help you be aware of the ins and outs of an injury situation, FWH has put together the basic knowledge you need to know and what it means to file a personal injury claim. You need to be aware there is a difference between a claim and lawsuit. Referencing injuryclaimcoach.com: A personal injury claim is between you and the at-fault driver’s insurance company, before any lawsuit is considered. The claims process is a series of negotiations between you and the insurance company’s claims adjuster. The negotiations hopefully result in a compromised settlement payment, where both parties are satisfied. A claim begins after a victim is injured or suffers property damage (or both) caused by another individual’s negligence. To cover the resulting costs, the victim pursues the at-fault driver, who turns the matter over to their insurance company. This generates the claim and turns investigation over to the company’s claims adjuster. A personal injury lawsuit is filed when the negotiation process breaks down, and a compromise can’t be reached. The breakdown may occur because the claims adjuster denies their insured was at-fault, or doesn’t agree with the severity of your injuries and the amount you’re demanding. TECHNICALLY, you can file a lawsuit anytime, starting from the first day of the accident. But for most minor accidents, a lawsuit is a last resort. It’s only considered when negotiations break down, and other methods of resolution have failed (i.e. arbitration and mediation). A negotiated settlement is often the best result because it avoids the high costs and lengthy duration of a trial. Although you might not be satisfied with the amount of money being offered, before you refuse, consider the expense and time needed to pursue a lawsuit. With the above distinction in mind, which is the best option for your situation and how do you decide the next steps? Many situations that call for legal help are difficult, trying times. FWH takes time to explain the process and ensure that you have all the information available to make the best decisions. Text “Injury” to 82474 or visit our site for Instant Chat to speak with Partner Attorney Travis Holtrey.