Making an Insurance Claim vs. Filing a Lawsuit
Aug. 21, 2022
Being involved in any kind of accident can be devastating and emotional. Fortunately, Texas personal injury laws allow accident victims to pursue financial compensation for their injuries. Among the available options to seek compensation for your injuries and damages is by making an insurance claim or filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party. An accomplished Texas personal injury attorney can educate you about your possible options and help you make intelligent decisions.
Since 2008, at Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law, I have been providing reliable legal guidance and vigorous representation to clients in their personal injury cases. As your attorney, I can investigate every aspect of your unique circumstances thoroughly, inform you about the benefits and drawbacks of filing a lawsuit or making insurance claims, and help you decide what is right for you. My firm proudly represents clients throughout Houston, Clear Lake, Pasadena, Friendswood, Webster, Alvin, Santa Fe, and South Houston, Texas.
Difference Between Insurance Claim and Lawsuit
An insurance claim (or injury claim) can be described as a request by an injured person to an insurance carrier seeking compensation for injuries, damages, or losses suffered in an accident caused by a negligent party. When injured by a negligent party, you may proceed by:
Filing a first-party injury claim with your insurance provider, or
Filing a third-party injury claim against the at-fault party's insurers or both insurance carriers.
Since Texas is an at-fault auto insurance state, the person who caused the accident or your injuries (the at-fault party) will be held financially responsible for medical bills, property damages, and other accident-related losses.
In contrast, a personal injury lawsuit is a formal legal action taken by the injured party (claimant) against the at-fault party (defendant) in civil court. A lawsuit may also be filed against an uninsured motorist insurer. Filing a lawsuit may serve as an additional legal action to pursue fair compensation for the injuries, damages, or losses suffered from the negligent accident.
According to a 2017 Martindale-Nolo personal injury study, about 67% of respondents received compensation through settlement while only 4% went to trial. However, these options to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages have their benefits and drawbacks. Therefore, you need to speak with a practiced personal injury attorney for clear guidance and to determine the ideal option for your individual situation.
What are the Pros and Cons of Filing an Insurance Claim?
To recover damages for your injuries, you may file an insurance claim with your own insurance carrier or against the at-fault party's insurance carrier. Here are some of the pros and cons of filing an insurance claim:
Filing an insurance claim involves less work.
Filing an insurance claim is quite easy and straightforward.
By filing an insurance claim, you know what to expect.
Filing an insurance claim is less stressful compared to lawsuits.
Dealing with insurers and claims adjusters often involves several complexities.
You will be at the mercy of the insurer.
The insurance claim may not fully cover damages and expenses
The insurer might negotiate your claims using bad faith tactics.
It may be difficult to get the rightful financial compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other potential damages.
What are the Pros and Cons of Filing a Lawsuit?
In the event that you're unable to reach a fair settlement with the insurance provider, you – or your attorney – may file a lawsuit against the at-fault party in civil court. Here are some pros and cons of filing a lawsuit.
Filing a lawsuit allows you to hold the at-fault party liable for their negligent, careless, or wrongful actions.
The judge is a neutral and objective third party who can help settle your case using the specified statutes, rules, and legal procedures.
If the case is tried, the jury is a neutral and objective body that will help settle your case fairly.
When you receive fair compensation, you can feel a sense of justice.
A favorable judgment could mean higher compensation or benefits for you.
The judge may also award exemplary damages (punitive damages) to further punish the at-fault party for their gross negligence.
You will have the burden of proof and must present substantial evidence and facts.
You will only know the outcome of your personal injury case when it is over, which may be risky.
A personal injury lawsuit is often drawn out needlessly and may take several years to get a judgment.
You may likely receive compensation lower than the initial settlement offer.
Due to court costs, you may spend a huge part of the settlement on your case.
Generally, filing an insurance claim offers a simple method to settle negligent accidents. Conversely, lawsuits can be expensive, time-consuming, and risky. A valuable attorney can consider every detail of your case, educate you about the benefits and drawbacks of each path to justice, and help you conclude the best way to proceed.
Get Dependable Legal Action Today
Getting injured in a negligent accident can result in minor or severe injuries, missed time at work, hospitalization, or reduced productivity. However, you don't have to go through the pain and financial liability all by yourself. To seek damages in Texas, you may sue the at-fault party in civil court or file a personal injury claim. A seasoned personal injury attorney can study your options to recover damages and help decide the best course of action.
Here at my firm, Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law, I have the resources necessary to guide, support, and represent clients in their personal injury claims. Whether you want to make insurance claims – against your insurer or at-fault party's insurance company – or file a lawsuit against the liable party, I possess the robust representation and dedicated advocacy you need at every phase of the legal process.
Contact my firm – Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law – today to schedule a straightforward case assessment with an adept car accident lawyer. My firm is proud to represent clients throughout Houston, Clear Lake, Pasadena, Friendswood, Webster, Alvin, Santa Fe, and South Houston, Texas. Call me today to get the detailed advice and compassionate representation you need.