The demand letter you send to an insurance company after an accident is possibly one of the most important components of your case. The letter is your opportunity to state why the insurance company should pay for your injuries and how much you expect to receive. It is important that your letter strikes the right note and includes the right information.
What Information Should Be in the Letter?
Your demand letter needs to explain why the insurance company's client is responsible for your injuries. It also needs to detail your injuries, the treatment you have received, and other damages you have suffered. At the end of the letter, you need to state exactly how much you are willing to settle your claim for.
The demand letter is considered more of an opening shot in the negotiations process. It is possible that the insurance company will pay up after receiving your letter, but do not become discouraged if your offer is rejected or the company counters with a different offer.
Should Your Letter Include Evidence?
A demand letter helps to sum up your case. However, it is important that you also include the appropriate amount of evidence with your letter. How much is considered to be appropriate depends on the details of your case and what your attorney recommends. For instance, if you were hurt in a car accident, your attorney might recommend including the police report, witness statements, and copies of your medical records that pertain to the treatment you received.
When Is the Demand Letter Sent?
Although you might be anxious to get the ball rolling on the negotiations process, it is important that you time the delivery of the demand letter just right. Ideally, you should send the demand letter after you have gathered the evidence that is needed to prove your case and after you have completed medical treatment. By waiting until that point, you have a clear picture of exactly what your damages were and what you are owed for them.
If you send the letter too early, you could potentially put your case at risk. The insurance company might demand evidence that you have not had the chance to collect yet. There is also the possibility that you do not know the full extent of your injuries yet and might shortchange yourself if you send the letter too early.
The attorney usually makes the decision as to when the appropriate time to send the letter is and what it should contain. If you do not have an attorney yet, consult with one before attempting to compose the letter. It might be in your best interests to retain an attorney to assist you with the letter.
To talk to a professional, contact a law firm such as Campbell Law Group PLLC.