What Is the Difference Between a Claim and a Lawsuit?
Many people when they come in to meet an attorney do not understand the difference between a lawsuit and a claim. They assume, once you make a claim, you have a lawsuit. And that is not necessarily true. A claim is a way to settle your claim through an informal process. We gather up your medical records and your medical bills. We gather your lost wages and submit everything directly to the insurance company. After doing that we will contact the insurance company and begin negotiating your damages. If the insurance company does not make a reasonable offer, then you have the right to file a lawsuit.
In a lawsuit, the process if more formalized. Subpoenas and depositions are used to gather information. And your claim is either resolved by going to trial and having a jury determine the value of your case or maybe settling it through a process called mediation.
There is a significant difference between a claim and a lawsuit. A claim is an informal process that can be resolved within a few months after you finish treating. A lawsuit is usually reserved for more serious injuries and can take more time because the person injured requires more treatment and time to heal.