Q. Isn’t an insurance claim the same as a lawsuit?
A. No, although we might settle an personal injury insurance claim on behalf of a client, that claim is not a lawsuit.
Q. Can’t I bring an insurance claim on my own?
Sure you can, but your claim may not be treated with much respect. That’s often when the opposing insurance company has you right where it wants you. By the time that you get to an attorney’s office, you could have damaged a good case. Mistakes made can stay with you throughout your claim or lawsuit.
Q. Can I settle a personal injury claim and file a personal injury lawsuit after that?
A. The law only allows you one recovery. You’ll need to sign a release in order to fully settle an insurance claim. When you’re doing that you’re forever discharging the person who caused your accident and injuries from liability.
Q. What if an insurance company won’t settle, even when their driver was clearly at fault?
A. That’s when you exercise your second option and file a personal injury lawsuit. If the case doesn’t settle during that process, you have the right to a trial in front of a judge and jury.
Q. How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
A. The general rule is that you have two years from the date of your accident to file your personal injury lawsuit. If you fail to meet that deadline, it’s highly likely that your lawsuit will be dismissed forever.
Q. Will a lawsuit net me more compensation than an insurance claim?
A. We can’t predict the future. After we have all of your damages in front of us, we can establish a range of value on it. If your case is in the $30,000 range, you’re likely to derive higher net proceeds through an insurance claim rather than a lawsuit. That’s because lawsuits involve court and litigation costs that aren’t seen in an insurance claim.