When you must assert your right to compensation for injuries in an auto accident in Henderson, you may hear many legal terms that you do not understand. Two words that are sometimes used frequently are “claim” and “lawsuit.” These are very different proceedings and it is important to understand the differences so that you can protect your legal rights.
Filing an Insurance Claim in a Henderson Car Accident Case
Filing a claim is a process of notifying the negligent driver’s insurance company that you have a claim for compensation following a car accident caused by their insured. It is a somewhat informal process to obtain the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It is best to let your attorney contact the insurance company to file a claim on your behalf and to negotiate your settlement.
Your lawyer most likely will start the process of filing your claim by sending the insurance company a demand letter notifying them of your claim and the amount of damages you should receive. The insurance company would investigate your claim and either deny it or contact your attorney to make a counteroffer of a monetary settlement. Settlement negotiations could go on for some time, and your attorney may have to provide additional documentation regarding the accident and your injuries to convince the insurance company to be reasonable.
What Is a Lawsuit?
A lawsuit is a legal proceeding that is begun by filing a complaint against the negligent driver with an appropriate court. Your attorney would file a lawsuit against the at-fault party if he was unable to settle your claim or the statute of limitations was expiring soon. The statute of limitations is the time period that you have under Nevada law to file your lawsuit. If you fail to file it within this deadline, your complaint would most likely be dismissed.
Filing a lawsuit is a formal legal process. Once your complaint is filed, a judge would be assigned to oversee the progress in your legal case and to decide disputes. Your attorney and the lawyer for the insurance company would litigate your case. This can include sending each other written questions to answer, requesting production of documents, taking depositions, which is testimony given under oath, and retaining expert witnesses. If your case is not settled, it would be scheduled for a jury trial where an official decision would be made by the jury on what, if any, compensation you should receive.
An experienced car accident attorney can help you decide whether you can settle your claim informally with the insurance company or you need to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will guide you through the process of reaching a settlement. To learn about our years of fighting for the rights of accident victims and how we can assist you, contact us online or call our Henderson office directly at 702.405.6000 to schedule your free consultation.