How to Use a Demand Letter to Start a Car Accident Settlement
One of the most crucial steps to take after being involved in a car accident is writing a demand letter to the car insurance company. Generally speaking, car insurance companies are for profit companies; meaning that they would like to settle all their claims for as little money as possible. That’s why people hire experienced attorneys in these cases. So that even if the insurance company does not have your best interest at heart, your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf and secure a fair compensation.
Sending out a well-crafted demand letter presents all the facts and circumstances of the accident and sets the stage for the settlement negotiations that will often lead to a successful resolution of your claims and a fair compensation.
Components of a Successful Demand Letter
- Clearly and accurately stating:
- The facts of the accident.
- The reason(s) the other party is liable for injuries.
- Clearly listing all:
- Injuries and losses suffered because of the accident.
- Medical payments incurred because of the accident.
- Calculating all the wage/salary lost due to an inability to work.
- Providing copies of all documents related to the case.
- The total amount of compensation demanded.
Before you begin writing your demand letter, make sure to gather every single piece of information you will need in order to craft a persuasive argument for why you’re entitled to a fair compensation. Important documents to obtain include the police report, witness statements, detailed medical records, information about any lost wage, and any additional notes taken during or after your recovery period.
If you had to speak to the insurance adjusters, Richard Traulsen, a Phoenix personal injury lawyer argues that you should never say anything that indicates you accept fault for the accident. Speak matter-of-factly and do not offer personal speculations when answering the claims adjuster’s questions, he adds.
The Format of a Successful Demand Letter
The general format for a well-drafted demand letter must include the following information in order:
- The Heading
- Name, Address, and Contact Information at the top of the letter.
- Insurance company’s info for both parties involved in the accident.
- Include the date you’re sending the letter out on.
- For settlement purposes only.
- The Body
You want to begin your demand letter by introducing yourself and stating your contact info and the insurance company’s info for both parties involved in the accident.
Next, the body of the letter. This section should be given extra focus and attention as it is the most important part of the argument.
The body of your demand letter should focus on presenting a detailed recount of the entire incident including the reasons why the other driver should be liable for the accident and your injuries. Be sure to include what specific injuries you have endured, and the associated medical bills incurred.
Relevant evidence such as emails, pictures, notes, phone calls should all be included within the demand letter to further support your argument.
Finally, you need to specifically point out the damages you seek for the injuries you incurred. Keep in mind that the number you provide needs to be backed by an explanation and evidence.
Get Help From an Experienced Lawyer
It’s true that writing an effective demand letter isn’t the toughest task, but you should not underestimate the help of an experienced lawyer. A personal injury lawyer that has tried and settled hundreds or thousands of cases would have the necessary experience to guide you through the process making sure you don’t make any mistakes along the way. This will boost your chances of securing the fair compensation you deserve.