Personal Injury Claims, Settlements & Lawsuits – Learn the Distinctions
In Georgia law, there are material distinctions between personal injury claims, personal injury lawsuits and personal injury settlements.
On a continuum, a personal injury claim (or, in the instance of a death, a wrongful death claim) arises before anything else happens. Specifically, when a wrong-doer (either intentionally or accidentally) causes another person harm, springing from that harm is the legal construct of what is known as a “cause of action”. In other words, the person harmed has a reason (a cause) to initiate legal action of some sort against the wrong-doer to secure a recovery for his/her loss. When a person asserts his/her right to recover for damages (either in or out of court), the person is asserting a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim. A claim is basically a person’s declaration that he/she has a right and is entitled to be compensated under the stated circumstances.
A personal injury claim/wrongful death claim can be asserted either in or out of the context of a lawsuit by way of a “demand to settle”. A personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim which is made before a lawsuit is filed in court is called a “pre-suit demand”. If a claimant’s demand is accepted under these circumstances, the parties will have reached a “pre-suit settlement”. However, a case need not be settled before suit is filed in order for a personal injury claim/wrongful death claim to be resolved. Once a lawsuit is filed in court, a claim can still be settled if the parties agree to end the case by way of a “litigated settlement”. In that situation, the parties agree that, despite the filing of the personal injury or wrongful death claimant’s lawsuit, the claim will be resolved without the need for a jury trial. The dispute will be terminated and the claimant’s case will be dismissed.
It should come as no surprise that most personal injury/wrongful death claims settle out of court before a jury renders a verdict in the case. This is true given (1) the uncertainty of litigation (where a case is determined by jurors who are virtual strangers to a controversy), (2) the costs of litigation (which encompass the opposing parties’ time, effort and money) and (3) the economy of litigation (which balance the costs associated with bringing a case to trial compared to the potential amount a claimant might recover).
The Dow Firm, P.C. is equipped to and does assert its clients’ claims in whatever forum necessary and pursues its clients’ personal injury claims and wrongful death claims in whatever manner necessary, including resolution via trial by jury if required. The Dow Firm, P.C. has secured over 50 million dollars ($50,000,000) in judgments and recoveries in serious injury and wrongful death cases in a little over a decade. You can contact The Dow Firm, P.C. at (912) 264-1919 or (800) 557-JDOW or receive a free case evaluation by accessing this page and filling out the 1 minute form.
The Dow Firm, P.C. is proud to offer services and represent clients with wrongful death and personal injury claims in Glynn County (Brunswick, Country Club Estate, Dock Junction, Everitt, Jekyll Island, Sea Island, Sterling, St. Simons Island and Thalman), Brantley County (Atkinson, Hickox, Hoboken, Hortense, Lulaton, Nahunta, Trudie and Waynesville), Camden County (Colesburg, Dover Bluff, Harrietts Bluff, Kings Bay Base, Kingsland, St. Marys, Tarboro, Waverly, White Oak and Woodbine), Wayne County (Jesup, Odum and Screven), McIntosh County (Cox, Crescent, Darien, Eulonia, Pine Harbour, Ridgeville, Shellman Bluff, South Newport, Townsend and Valona), Pierce County (Blackshear, Bristol, Mershon, Offerman and Patterson), Chatham County (Bloomingdale, Garden City, Georgetown, Isle of Hope-Dutch Island, Montgomery, Port Wentworth, Pooler, Savannah, Skidaway Island, Thunderbolt, Tybee Island, Whitmarsh Island, Wilmington Island and Vernonburg) and counties throughout the state of Georgia.
The Dow Firm, P.C. is located in Brunswick, GA, however, our firm is able to manage wrongful death claims and personal injury cases anywhere in Georgia.