After an accident, many clients ask our PG County Car accident lawyers if they should file a lawsuit. This is not always an easy question to answer, but know that, should you hire our PG County Car accident lawyers to represent you, we remain poised and ready to file a lawsuit on your behalf if all pre-suit settlements and negotiations fail.
What is the difference between a claim and a lawsuit?
As our PG County Car accident lawyers explain, generally, filing a claim is the first course of action for an injured party seeking compensation for bodily injury and property damage. If the at-fault party has insurance, this is a fairly simply process. Basically, if you are injured in a car accident in PG County, you exchange insurance information with the other driver. Then either you or your attorney contacts the at-fault driver’s insurance company and informs them of what occurred and what your damages are. A claim number is assigned. And, if the insurance company accepts fault, then your attorney forwards all the relevant information regarding your injuries, property damage, time lost from work, time lost with supporting family and friends, the effect the accident had on enjoyment of life, etc. The insurance adjuster will review this information and then may make an offer of settlement. If you wish to file a claim, it is important that your lawyer prove the following:
- Your injury resulted from the other driver’s negligence
- The injuries you sustained are real
- The costs of your treatment is supported by documentation and is accurate
- Your out-of-pocket costs are supported by documentation
- Your injuries have affected your ability to work
- You have sustained pain and suffering
Your PG County car accident lawyer will keep you fully informed of the status of settlement negotiations with the insurance adjuster. Once you agree on an amount, the insurance adjuster will forward a release form and send you a check, from which point, you are free to move forward.
When we have already been through the ordeal of a car accident, we certainly hope for a quick and simple legal process. However, the insurance claims provider’s goal is to pay us as little money as possible. After the medical expenses, lost wages and other costs, the insurance company’s final offer may not be enough. In which case, we may refuse to settle and take the matter to arbitration or court. If you do decide to file a lawsuit in court, you will have many fees to consider, including: time away from work (if you are working), filing fees, expert testimony payments, and payment to the law officer who serves the other party.
Furthermore, different states have varying stipulations on what merits a lawsuit. It often takes a certain level of injury, known as a “threshold injury” for an injured party to file a suit. These “threshold injuries” can include paralysis, death, or dismemberment, or permanent loss of the use of an organ or limb. In cases where the injury is not permanent, there may be a minimum recovery time before the injury can warrant a lawsuit. Another time limit to be conscious of is a statute of limitations: most states require that a lawsuit be filed within 2 or three years of the accident.
A PG County car accident lawyer will likely explain that there are many courses of action you can take after an accident. At Cohen & Cohen, PC, we are happy to discuss all of your options. Whatever you decide, we will be sensitive to your needs and help you move forward in this difficult time. If you have been injured in a car accident in PG County, contact Cohen & Cohen PC today.