If you’ve been injured in an accident, monitoring your health and well-being can be like a second job. It’s well within your rights to demand compensation for damages inflicted upon you by an accused party; this comes in the form of an Insurance Demand Letter. While insurance companies deal with these types of claims on a daily basis, it can be frustrating trying to figure out what exactly an agency will need in order for you to successfully recoup compensation. This is just one reason why it’s advised you secure an attorney for this process to increase your chances of reward.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an insurance company after being injured in an accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312. An experienced personal injury lawyer can begin to discuss your legal options during your free case evaluation.
Writing An Effective Insurance Demand Letter
Before writing and sending your demand letter, it’s important to wait until the final stages of your medical treatment. Sending a demand letter too soon may cause you to inaccurately calculate your medical expenses. Because medical care and expenses are often unpredictable, it’s important you wait to send your demand letter.
If possible, wait to send your demand letter until after you have a firm idea of what your final medical costs will be. The reason that you should wait to send your demand letter is that the insurance company will use it to determine how much money they potentially owe you. If you send your letter too soon and leave out critical information or details about your medical expenses, you are essentially opening the door for the insurance company to underpay you or contest your demands.
After you have a better understanding of what medical care you will need in the future, you should begin to draft your demand letter. Having this information will also help with writing a well-organized, brief letter that will be easy for the insurance company to follow. If the insurance company contests certain aspects of your demand letter, keeping it organized will better help you understand what amendments or clarifications must be made.
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The Purpose Of A Demand Letter
Writing a proper and effective demand letter to an insurance company may increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your losses and injuries. The following information will provide you with a better understanding of the purposes for each part of your demand letter.
The primary purpose of a demand letter is to commence the negotiation process between you and the insurance company. In some circumstances, this leads to a resolution of your legal claims before having to go to court or seeking some alternative solution. Additionally, the demand letter is an opportunity to explain your side of the accident, and to influence the insurance companies’ decision to dispute certain legal matters relating to your claim.
In general, the demand letter functions as a formal notice that you are asserting your rights and requesting compensation for the losses you’ve suffered. Sending a demand letter is a show of good faith, indicating that you are willing to work with the insurance company to resolve your legal disputes. This attempt to resolve your claim outside of court will show your willingness to negotiate what is fair and reasonable compensation.
What Should I Include In A Demand Letter?
A demand letter is a document sent to an insurance company at some point following your automobile accident. Most people who require medical attention because of an accident pursue compensation by writing a demand letter. A demand letter is meant to:
- Inform the insurance company of your accident
- Provide the insurance company with the facts and circumstances regarding your accident and subsequent medical treatment
- Explain why the insured party is liable for your injuries or losses
- List any out-of-pocket expenses or lost wages that resulted from the accident
- Supplement the insurance company with any supporting documents
- Propose your desired settlement amount
It’s important to recognize that these are factual claims that must be substantiated by evidence. For this reason, it’s important to include information that supports each one of your claims. Evidence that is included in successful demand letters often includes:
- Police reports
- Photos of your injuries or property damage
- Witness statements
- Medical records and bills
Contents Of The Demand Letter
The necessary contents of the demand letter will be different depending on the facts and circumstances of your accident. However, there are some components of the demand letter that commonly appear in successful demand letters, including the following:
- Heading. The heading portion of the demand letter should include the date, your address and contact information, and the address and contact information of the insurance company. The heading should also include a subject line that refers to your claim number.
- Introduction. This section of the demand letter should outline the letter’s purpose. You can start by briefly informing the insurance company of your accident as well as your current medical situation. You should then let the insurance company know that you are ready to begin the claim settlement process.
- Body. The body section of the demand letter will be the bulk of the document. You should begin this section by giving a detailed account of the circumstances that led to your automobile accident. Be sure to include as many details as you can recall, including the parties involved in the accident, the date and location of the accident, and how the accident occurred.
- Conclusion. You can bring your letter to a close by thanking the insurance company for its help with your claim. Let the insurance company know that you are expecting a response within a reasonable time. Finally, provide the insurance company with your best contact information.
Among these various sections, it is difficult to say which of them is most important. For example, if there are mistakes in the heading or introduction of the letter, it may indicate that the person who drafted the letter is inexperienced in handling legal claims. For this reason, it is important to have a professional review your letter before sending it to the insurance company.
The car accident attorneys from Zinda Law Group are experienced in drafting demand letters. If you would like assistance with your demand letter, contact a personal injury lawyer today at (800) 863-5312. After one of our personal injury attorneys evaluated the facts of your case, we can help determine what must be included in your demand for compensation.
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Sample Demand Letter For Car Accidents
From an organizational standpoint, there are many ways that one can build a demand letter. However, keep in mind that the letter needs to be easy to follow. While each demand letter will be unique in some respect, you can help the reader follow the demand letter by covering the elements of your letter in a concise order.
Consider organizing your demand letter in the following order:
- A Statement of Facts section discussing who, what, where, and why.
- A brief synopsis of why the insured is at fault.
- An Injuries and Treatment section where you provide a detailed description of any injuries you suffered along with any medical treatment you received.
- An Out-of-Pocket Expenses section where you list expenses relating to your injury, such as property damage, vehicle repair expenses, medical bills, etc.
- A Lost Wages section where you list a total amount of wages you lost as a result of your injury (if applicable).
- A Pain and Suffering section where you describe the impact that the accident has had on your life thus far and the impact you believe it will have in the future.
- A Relevant Documents section including copies of any documents supporting your claim.
- A Demand section where you provide a total dollar value for your settlement.
Regardless of what order you list this information, the most important thing is that all of your factual allegations are true or at least reasonable. Furthermore, these allegations must be substantiated by some form of evidence. This evidence should be referenced throughout the demand letter. However, for clarity’s sake, it may be best to compile all relevant evidence into one section.
Documents You Should Add To Your Demand Letter
As mentioned, there is certain information that you ought to gather before drafting and sending your demand letter. The information you include should substantiate your claims and help establish that the relief you seek is reasonable and just.
Although each case and controversy is different, some documents are necessary to include in every demand letter. Prior to writing your demand letter, you should gather and organize all relevant documentation regarding your accident.
If possible, you should collect:
- The police report
- Photos of your injuries or property damage
- Witness statements
- Medical records and bills
Organizing all this information into a neat and easy-to-access file will allow you to support your position in the demand letter. In addition, a well-organized, evidence-backed demand letter will make it more difficult for the recipient of the letter to deny your claims.
How Long Does An Insurance Company Have To Respond To A Demand Letter?
If 30 days pass without receiving a reply from the insurance company, it would be wise to obtain legal counsel and have them contact the insurance company on your behalf. A personal injury lawyer can use their knowledge of the claim handling process to snuff out what may be causing the delay in response.
Additionally, the attorney can help you understand the statute of limitations and whether your right to sue still exists. To this point, if the statute of limitations has expired, you may be able to sue on the basis that that insurance company’s delayed response was an act of bad faith. To talk to a bad faith insurance lawyer for free, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 today.
How Our Lawyers Can Help
At Zinda Law Group, our car accident attorneys have the experience needed to assist you in case of a car accident. Our lawyers have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you address all the concerns that come with being in a wreck.
Meetings with attorneys are by appointment only.