When you are injured in an accident, there is a good chance that there is an insurance company involved in the claims process. If you can convince the insurance company to fairly compensate you for your losses under the terms of the insurance policy, you can settle your case without having to take your case through formal litigation.
One of the critical components of negotiating your settlement is writing a demand letter. Your best chance of obtaining the compensation you need to recover is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney when writing your demand letter. Here’s what you need to know about writing a formal demand letter.
What is a demand letter?
A demand letter is a letter that you send to the insurance company. State your claim in simple and unambiguous terms. The letter says what type of payment you are seeking and details some details to justify your settlement demand.
What should I include in my demand letter?
- Background: Begin by saying that an accident occurred. Briefly describe when and where the accident occurred. Identify the parties involved.
- Failure: State that the other party is at fault for the accident . Say why they are to blame.
- Your losses: List all your losses by category. Include your medical losses, lost income, and property damage. Your attorney can help you determine what types of damages you can claim.
- Insurance Policy: Identify the applicable insurance policy. Please indicate why it applies.
- Lawsuit – Clearly state the amount of money you want as a lump sum payment to settle the case.
- Supporting Documents – Attaching documents that support your claims can be helpful in making a compelling case. An attorney can help you determine when it is best to attach documents and when to save the information for later.
How can I make sure my letter is effective?
To ensure that your letter is effective, it is crucial to have a clear picture of your damages. You should be aware of all the different types of damages that you can recover in a Nevada injury case. That way, you can ensure that you don’t leave valuable money on the table when starting negotiations.
It is also important to keep your letter organized. Helping the insurance representative understand your position with a clear and concise letter can allow them to see things from your point of view.
How do I hit the correct pitch for my demand letter?
Your demand letter should be formal and professional. He shouldn’t be angry, and he shouldn’t be friendly. Even though your accident is emotional for you, the insurance company sees it as just another day at work.
Try to give a professional tone with your demand letter. Avoid name calling and anger, but don’t apologize or apologize either.
What if I may have been partially at fault?
Even if you think you may be partially at fault for your accident, do not admit it in your demand letter. What you say in your demand letter may be a statement against interest and admissible in court. If you say things that are detrimental to your case, the insurance company may be eager to use your comments against you.
In Nevada, comparative negligence rules apply to personal injury claims. If you did something to contribute to the accident, your recovery could be reduced. However, you may still be able to get something back. It is best not to mention comparative negligence or shared fault in your demand letter. Let the insurance company come to its own conclusions and decide what you are willing to pay. Simply state the fault of the other party and the amount you are seeking in recovery.
Should I exaggerate my demands?
Sometimes it helps to ask for a little more than you really expect. Typically, the insurance company assumes that you are willing to settle for less than what you ask for at first. However, don’t overdo the amount you are looking for.
Asking too much can lead the insurance company to assume that negotiations are going to be pointless. Your attorney can help you find the right balance between asking for too much and asking for too little when writing a demand letter.
What is the purpose of a demand letter?
The goal of a demand letter is to resolve your case as quickly as possible. It is a tool that you can use to approach the insurance company and ask them to resolve the case. Although it is titled a demand letter, it is actually a piece of formal negotiations between you and the insurance company.
Insurance companies carefully weigh your options. If the litigation is going to be expensive and you have a strong case, the insurance company may conclude that it is in your best interest to pay you fairly for your losses. When the insurance company can see what you are requesting and why, they may agree to pay you an amount they consider fair.
What are the possible results of a demand letter?
The insurance company receives and reviews your demand letter. They can respond to the letter in a number of ways. They can not do anything. If they don’t respond at all, your attorney can help you make follow-up calls to the insurance company. It may also be time to formally file your claim with the court .
On the other hand, the insurance company may agree to pay you what you are requesting. If that’s the case, your attorney works with the insurance company to write the final documentation to collect your payment and release the claim. Your attorney works carefully to ensure that your interests are protected during the finalization process of your payment.
Another way the insurance company responds is by sending a counter offer . They may agree to pay you something, but less than what you are looking for. Sometimes your counter offer will be much less than what you can get by going through the formal legal process. In other cases, the counter offer is a reasonable way to resolve the problem quickly, given the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Your injury attorney can help you evaluate a counter offer to see if it is in your best interest to accept the offer or proceed with the case.
How an Injury Lawyer Can Help
A demand letter is a critical piece of settlement negotiations with the insurance company after an accident. Your attorney can help you review your personal injury claim to determine the best strategy for success. They will help you to carefully draft your demand letter in a complete and calculated way to be effective.
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