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Denver Personal Injury Lawyers

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Claim vs. Lawsuit

Claim vs. Lawsuit

If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence in Denver, Colorado, your future can feel uncertain. You may need to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit to recover compensation for your damages.

While “claim” and “lawsuit” might seem interchangeable, they differ significantly. Understanding these differences is critical for anyone seeking post-accident compensation. 

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate a legal claim or lawsuit.

What is a Personal Injury Claim?

What is a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim is a formal request for compensation that is usually filed against an insurance company. Filing a personal injury claim is usually the first step a victim takes after a car accident, slip and fall, or workplace injury

A successful claim details the nature of the accident, the extent of your injuries, and the compensation you seek. Once it is filed, an insurance adjuster will investigate and determine what compensation you may be entitled to. 

The goal of a personal injury claim is to settle. This involves the insurance company agreeing to pay you a certain amount of money in exchange for not pursuing further legal action.

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

A personal injury lawsuit takes your claim to the courts. This step is usually taken if the insurance claim process fails. This may be because the insurer denies your claim or offers insufficient compensation for your losses. 

If you file a lawsuit, you must follow formal legal procedures, including discovery and pre-trial motions. You may possibly even go to trial, where you can present your case to a judge or jury, who will then decide on liability and damages. This can make it more time-consuming and unpredictable than settling a claim outside of court.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Colorado?

Filing a personal injury claim has many benefits and disadvantages. 

Some of the pros of filing a personal injury claim include:

  • Speed and Efficiency: A settlement can be reached more quickly through a claim than filing a personal injury lawsuit and waiting for trial. This can be important for victims needing immediate financial relief from medical bills and lost wages.
  • Certain Results: Settlement agreements are clear and concise. Settling allows you to know exactly how much compensation you will receive, whereas the results of a trial are unpredictable.
  • Lower Costs: Legal fees, court costs, and other expenses are generally lower when a case is settled out of court.

Personal injury claims are not without disadvantages. Certain cons of filing a personal injury claim include:

  • Potentially Lower Compensation: Insurers may offer less than what your claim is worth. This can happen if the insurer believes you want to settle the claim quickly. A quick settlement may leave you without adequate compensation for current and future losses.
  • Policy Limits: Settlements are capped at the policy’s coverage limits. If a responsible party has a policy that does not adequately cover your damages, you may be left without full compensation.

A Denver personal injury attorney can help you evaluate the legal options in your particular case.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Colorado?

Like pursuing a claim, filing a personal injury lawsuit also has benefits and disadvantages. Some of the pros include:

  • Potentially Higher Compensation: Juries can award significantly higher compensation than what may be offered in a settlement. Judges or juries can also award punitive damages.
  • Public Accountability: A court case puts the details of the negligence or wrongdoing on public record, which can provide a sense of justice to the injured party.
  • Legal Precedents: Successful lawsuits can set legal precedents that help other injured individuals in similar situations.

Personal injury lawsuits also have inherent disadvantages. These include:

  • Time-Consuming: The legal process is long. It can take years before a lawsuit goes to trial, let alone reach a verdict.
  • Higher Costs: Legal fees, court costs, and other expenses can accumulate, especially if your case drags on for years.
  • Uncertain Outcome: You are not guaranteed victory in court. Even if you win, the amount awarded might not meet your expectations.

A skilled lawyer can help you decide whether pursuing a personal injury lawsuit is right for you.

How a Denver Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help With Your Case

Navigating a personal injury claim or lawsuit in Colorado requires knowledge and experience. 

A personal injury lawyer can offer invaluable assistance in several ways, including:

  • Evaluating Your Case: A lawyer can assess the merits of your case, estimate your potential compensation, and recommend a course of action.
  • Negotiating with Insurers: Lawyers are skilled negotiators who can advocate and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
  • Navigating Legal Procedures: An attorney can manage all legal filings and discovery if you file a personal injury lawsuit. They can also represent you at trial and work to ensure the best possible outcome for you.
  • Maximizing Compensation: An experienced lawyer knows how to quantify all damages to ensure you receive fair compensation. This includes economic damages like medical expenses and lost wages and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

These are just a few ways an experienced attorney can help with your case and maximize your compensation. 

Whether to pursue a personal injury claim or file a lawsuit in Denver is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Each route has different advantages and challenges. If you or a loved one has been injured, Zaner Harden Law can help you get the compensation you deserve.  Schedule a free consultation today with a personal injury lawyer in Denver, CO, or give us a call at (720) 613-9706.

Where We Are

We are located across the street from Union Station in downtown Denver and offer validated parking for all our clients. We also have offices in Boulder and Colorado Springs.