What is a Demand Letter?

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If you or somebody you love is involved in a personal injury lawsuit, then you likely know that there are various steps involved in these cases. If the careless or negligent actions of somebody else have caused you harm, you will likely be entitled to various types of compensation for your losses. However, securing this compensation can be challenging, particularly when dealing with aggressive insurance carriers. One of the steps involved in securing this compensation is sending a demand letter to the insurance carrier and at-fault party.

What is a Demand Letter in a Personal Injury Claim?

A demand letter is going to be part of the preliminary process of securing compensation on behalf of an injury victim. After an injury victim and their personal injury lawyer have an understanding of the client’s total losses, they will be able to assess the entire claim and send a letter to the at-fault party’s insurance carrier asking for full payment of the claim.

A demand letter will be clear and concise, and it will be professionally written. Any personal injury victim who is not working with an attorney should consider doing so, particularly because an attorney will have experience writing and sending these letters. A demand letter will typically contain all of the following:

  • A brief summary of the injury incident
  • All of the facts of the case
  • A description of all the injuries
  • Information regarding the medical care and any necessary ongoing treatment
  • Copies of all medical bills
  • Proof of other losses, including income, out-of-pocket costs, etc.

Additionally, the demand letter will ensure that the other party knows exactly how much compensation is being requested. There will also be a clear date by which a response is expected by, along with a concluding statement letting the other party know that a personal injury lawsuit could be forthcoming should the demand not be met.

How Will the Insurance Carrier Respond to a Demand Letter?

Insurance carriers and at-fault parties could respond to demand letters in various ways. In general, injury victims can expect one of three responses:

  • The demand is accepted. The best possible scenario descending a demand letter will be the insurance carrier or at-fault party accepting every part of the demand and making full payment. This is not likely to occur.
  • A counter-offer. What is much more likely to happen is that the insurance carrier or at-fault party will send back a counter-offer in response to the initial demand. This means that the other party did not agree with all the demands or the monetary amount requested, but this does indicate that they are willing to pay something for the claim. Counter-offers do not have to be accepted, and this should be the starting point for negotiating towards a higher amount.
  • A demand denial. In some cases, the insurance carrier or at-fault party could deny a demand altogether. In these cases, the injury victim will likely have to move forward with filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.

Any person who knows they will need to draft a demand letter in order to recover compensation from another party should work with a skilled lawyer in Long Beach as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to handle every aspect of the personal injury claim, including writing the demand letter and handling all negotiations on behalf of their client.