What You Should Know About Demand Letters in a Personal Injury Case
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Feb 26, 2021 in Personal Injury
When you file an insurance claim for an injury caused by the negligence of another, you may be required to send the insurance company a written statement in which you list what your demands for compensation are.
Below, the South Bend personal injury lawyers from Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak discuss demand letters and what goes into them. If you have questions about your claim, give us a call to see how we can help you.
What Goes into a Demand Letter?
A demand letter is meant to inform the liable party, like an insurance company, that you are taking legal action to pursue compensation for your damages. In an injury claim, this typically means compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, damage to property, and more.
The introductory portion of the letter generally provides information about you and who the letter is directed toward as well as why you are writing the demand letter. This is where you get the opportunity to discuss what led up to the accident that caused your injuries in as much detail as possible.
In the next section of the letter, one typically describes the extent of the damages caused by the accident. This is generally where you outline all the economic damages – like medical bills, lost wages from missing work and property damage – and non-economic damages – such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium and emotional damages.
Next, you can outline the evidence from your claim that proves the other party is liable for damages. This could be a description of any police or medical reports that support your claim that the other person acted negligently.
Lastly, your letter should end with your specific demands for compensation. It is important that your demand letter is courteous and professional when stating these demands as well as when asking the insurance company for a response within a reasonable time.
Who Writes the Demand Letter?
Typically, a demand letter is written by an attorney representing you during your injury claim. The reason for this is because an attorney understands how to lay out the basic facts of a claim and outline the demands for the type of compensation in a particular case. You may be more likely to get a settlement offer from an insurance company that better fits your needs if you have an experienced attorney handling this for you.
What Happens After the Demand Letter is Sent?
After your attorney writes your demand letter and sends it to the appropriate party, there is typically a waiting period until you receive a reply from the insurer. That reply could go one of several ways.
The first, and the most unlikely, outcome is that your demands are accepted by the insurance company, your settlement is paid out and the case is closed.
A more likely outcome is that the insurance company rejects your demand and sends back a counteroffer, which is typically far below your desired compensation. When this happens, your attorney will likely help you write another demand letter with an adjusted compensation amount. These negotiations typically carry on until a deal is made between the two parties and both sides are content with the outcome.
However, if the insurance company outright denies liability or fails to meet your demands despite numerous counteroffers, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit to recover the compensation you need. Although this outcome is more likely than the insurance company agreeing to your initial demands, it is still less likely than the second option, as most personal injury claims are settled before going to trial.
Unsure What Your Case is Worth? Call Today
Our experienced attorneys have helped many injury victims recover compensation after an accident. There are no upfront fees and no obligations to work with our attorneys. That means no risk to you.
We are prepared to manage each step of the process on your behalf. That includes drafting a demand letter and negotiating for full compensation. We are also ready to go to court if necessary.
Have more questions? Call us today: (844) 678-1800