A demand letter is your way of stating your case to the insurance company when you request that they pay you the full amount of your claim. The demand letter will comprise multiple parts:
- The most important part of the demand letter is your description of the accident and your explanation of why the insurance company will owe you money for your claim.
- Your letter will describe the full extent of your injuries as a basis for a potential settlement.
- You may ask for a specific amount in damages if you know how much you are due. Otherwise, you can simply send the letter to the insurance company and let them make you a settlement offer. Most plaintiffs do not include a specific number in their damages claim, opting to allow the insurance company to open negotiations. However, your demand letter can state that you are seeking the policy limit maximum when you are certain that your case is worth at least that.
Call our Beverly Hills personal injury lawyers today to discuss drafting up a demand letter.
A Demand Letter Is Your Statement of the Case
Your demand letter will include both your statement of the facts and any supporting documentation that you have. It can include information that can prove that someone else was liable for the accident, along with medical records that show the full extent of your injuries.
You will not send a demand letter to the insurance company immediately after your accident. It may take some time for the full scope and extent of your injuries to become apparent. Usually, you will begin the claims process after you have reached the point of maximum medical improvement.
Demand Letters Must Be Professional and Well-Written
A demand letter is a sign that you are serious. It is a formal way of handling the informal claims process. If you write the letter well, it is a sign that you have done your homework and are ready to fight for what you deserve.
Although anyone can send a demand letter to an insurance company, it is better to have an attorney draft one for you. The insurance company will pay close attention to both the language of your letter and your statement about the accident. They will usually reach conclusions about the strength of your case based on the letter.
If your demand is professional and persuasive, the insurance company will be more likely to try to settle your case. On the flip side, if your letter appears to be self-written, the insurance company will take more liberties in dealing with you.
Consider Hiring an Attorney for Your Demand Letter
The insurance adjuster will probably read your demand letter first when they are looking at your file. When they see an attorney has accepted your case, it is a sign that your claim potentially has merit.
Since an attorney is not paid when you do not win your case, a demand letter written by an attorney shows that an attorney at least believes that you will receive compensation (so they can get paid).
Ideally, you will have hired an attorney right after the accident, so this will be part of their legal representation. You must be careful about what information you put in a demand letter because it can be used against you. The insurance company may refer to the language in the letter in the future if they think that they have contradictory evidence.
Demand Letters Can Add Time to Your Case
Personal injury demand letters often mean that the insurance company will take longer to respond to you than they will have if you filed a claim. They know exactly what a demand letter means – you have hired an attorney, and you are considering the legal process. The insurance company may wait to respond to a demand letter to drag out your case, or their own lawyers are reviewing your claim to help determine the response.
Usually, you will want to make some attempt to settle your case with the insurance company through a demand letter before you go to court. Your credibility can benefit if your case reaches a jury because you have at least made some effort to resolve the dispute. However, nothing requires you to go through the claims process. Still, you must send a demand letter first if you intend to file a lawsuit in small claims court.
The insurance claims process can take some time. It may take months before you get down to the nuts and bolts of settlement negotiations. Therefore, you must act quickly to hire a personal injury lawyer to give yourself time to negotiate a settlement if it is possible.
Contact a Beverly Hills Personal Injury Lawyer
The attorneys at the One Law Group can help you deal with the insurance company, including drafting a persuasive demand letter that can put you in a stronger legal position. We will work to investigate your accident and build the facts necessary to prove your case.
First, you must reach out to an attorney to discuss your case. You can send us a message online or call us at (844) 626-1529 to set up your free initial consultation.
Personal Injury Case FAQs
What if the insurance company denies my claim?
They do not get the final say. You can file a lawsuit against the responsible party in court, and the jury can decide the matter.
Will a lawyer charge me to write the demand letter?
Like the rest of your personal injury representation, your lawyer’s services are free unless they can help you win your case.
What is the point of maximum medical improvement?
Reaching maximum medical improvement means further medical treatment will do nothing to improve your condition. At this point, you should file your personal injury claim.