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Monitoring your health and well-being after being involved in a car wreck is a critical step towards recovery. If your car accident results in you receiving medical treatment or filing a claim with an insurance carrier, understanding what a demand letter is and how to write an effective one is another instrumental part of the process.
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 details will provide you with a better understanding of the purpose and parts of a demand letter.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an insurance company after being injured in a car accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with our experienced car accident attorneys.
What Is a Demand Letter?
A demand letter is a document sent to an insurance company at some point following your automobile accident. After being involved in a crash, it is possible that you will receive medical attention or pursue filing an insurance claim. 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; and
- Propose your desired settlement amount.
Why Is a Well-Written Demand Letter Important?
A well-written demand letter can play an important part when it comes to receiving compensation for your claim. If written effectively, the demand letter can facilitate negotiations between you and the insurance company. This means increasing your chances of securing a fair settlement.
Drafting a thorough, well-supported, and easy-to-read demand letter may also prevent insurance companies and insurance adjusters from offering you less than what your claim is worth. It is therefore very important to understand how to properly draft a demand letter.
How to Write an Effective Demand Letter
Before Writing the Letter
If you're receiving medical care for your injuries, it is important to wait until the final stages of treatment before writing and sending your demand letter. Sending a demand letter too soon may lead to inaccurately calculated medical costs due to expenses that you did not or could not anticipate. If possible, wait until you have a concrete idea of what your final medical expense bill will be before drafting your demand letter.
You should also gather and organize all relevant documentation regarding your automobile accident prior to writing your demand letter.
If possible, you should collect:
- The police report;
- Photos of your injuries or property damage;
- Witness statements; and
- Medical records and bills.
Organizing all of this information into a neat and easy-to-access file will allow you to support your position in the demand letter.
Writing the Letter
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.
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.
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.
You may refer to your documentation such as police reports, witness statements, or photographs to support your statements. A well-written and supported account of the accident can show that the other party was at fault and could therefore be liable for your injuries and damages.
After explaining the facts and circumstances regarding your accident, you should provide a thorough description of your injuries and the resulting medical treatment you received. Explain the extent of your injuries by describing the pain you felt and the symptoms you experienced. Be sure to include any activities that you could no longer perform as a result of your pain. List any physicians who treated you as well as how often you were treated. Support your statements by referring to your medical records.
The final portion of the body section should list any and all of your expenses and lost wages that resulted from your car accident. This means including all medical expenses, property damage, lost income due to work absences, and any other miscellaneous expenses that come to mind. Again, be sure to support your claims with any relevant documentation.
Finish this section by making a specific monetary demand based on the expenses listed above. Although your demand amount may be high for negotiation purposes, it should be a reasonable figure.
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.
Our Car Accident 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 the concerns that come with being involved in a wreck.
Meetings with attorneys are by appointment only.