What You Need to Know About Car Accident Claim Demand Letters

After sustaining serious injuries in a wrongful auto accident, you may be entitled to pursue legal action against the negligent party to obtain compensation for medical bills and similar economic damages.  If you obtain a settlement or judgment against the negligent party, their insurance carrier will pay the settlement of judgment, up to the negligent party’s liability insurance limits. 

The best strategy for obtaining a full and fair car accident injury settlement is to hire a licensed and experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in motor vehicle accident claims. From there, they may implement an effective strategy to support the full value of your claim that involves creating a solid letter of demand to the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. A demand letter is a formally written document that becomes the basis for negotiating compensation for your resulting damages and losses.

Continue below to learn what you need to know about car accident claim demand letters, including what they entail, why most cases require one, and why you should never attempt to write your own.

Personal Injury Claim Help Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Personal Injury Claim Help Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

The General Template for a Demand Letter

Demand letters are written with a strict focus on facts first, followed by opinions. Facts that are generally included in a demand letter are as follows:

Description of why the claimant believes the other party is to blame. Did they run a red traffic light? Or maybe they neglected to stop at a stop sign?  Whatever the violation or cause may be, it should be included in the demand letter.

Description of ALL injuries sustained by the claimant, how they were sustained, how they are being treated, and how the injury or wound is healing or is healed.

A breakdown of all medical-related financial losses associated with the accident, including hospital bills, medical expenses, and any other evidence and documents showing missed time at work, physical therapy, counseling, medical equipment and supplies, fuel costs traveling to and from medical appointments, and similar losses.

Information about an IUM claim, if applicable.  This is when the other person does not have insurance, or their insurance wasn’t enough to cover the medical expenses and other damages and losses.

This typically completes the introduction of a demand letter. Next is the actual demand section. The demand segment of the letter requires a different set of guidelines that should be followed by the claimant and their legal team. In this section, claimant’s demand compensation for:

Medical Expenses – The hospital can provide documents proving a claimant’s injuries and the treatments that followed.  Claimants can also provide bank statements, invoices, and other forms of billing evidence that shows the dollar amount associated with the medical treatment.

Liability – Description of how the accident happened and why the other driver was at fault.  This should include police reports, photos and witness statements to support the allegations.

Lost Income – All information on the total amount of lost wages incurred because of the injury.  Description of how the injury affected the victim’s ability to work and make money, plus proof on how much time they had to take off from work.

Comparative Negligence – If the defendant’s insurance company attempts to argue comparative fault on the party of the plaintiff/claimant, the plaintiff/claimant’s attorney can argue the facts to the insurance adjuster on why such an argument is without merit.

Emotional Distress and Pain and Suffering – Description of injuries sustained and how they have affected the victim’s everyday life, including pain and suffering and relationships, and more.  Also, a detailed description of the injuries and accident and how they have caused the victim suffering and trauma. 

What to Keep in Mind as You Proceed With Your Auto Accident Claim

Demand letters are important ways to begin the negotiation process of a car accident claim.  They can be complicated and could possibly make or break your compensation claim all together.  It is strongly encouraged to hire a seasoned Indiana personal injury law firm to navigate all elements of your claim, including writing your demand letter.

Are you looking for a qualified Indiana auto accident lawyer who can represent your best interests in a car accident claim? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free consultation with a seasoned car accident attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana who knows how to obtain the maximum settlement or verdict for your claim. We represent victims all throughout the state and Indiana residents injured in other states.

Related Posts:

What is a Reservations of Rights Letter?
The Difference Between a Reservations of Rights Letter and a Demand Letter
The Importance of Documentation in a Personal Injury Case

Questions and Answers About Personal Injury Negotiations

If you are entering into a personal injury claim, it is wise to educate yourself on the developments and procedures that are to be expected. One important matter to better understand for your personal injury case is the process of negotiations and settlements. After all, this is the part that affects you the most in terms of financial recovery or restitution.

Continue below to review some common questions and answers regarding this topic, as well as, where to get started learning more about your personal injury claim.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys 317-881-2700
Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys 317-881-2700

What is the Purpose of Personal Injury Negotiations?

Personal injury negotiations are meant to provide injured victims with the opportunity to demand the full and fair compensation from their accident and subsequent injuries. The process is sadly sometimes similar to haggling over the price of a commodity at your local city market; the seller knows how much they are willing to sell it for, and the buyer knows how much they are willing to spend on it, but neither party knows the other party’s limits, so a bargaining process commences. In the case of a personal injury claim, the injured victim and the insurance adjuster will go back and forth until they agree on a fair settlement.  What one side believes is fair usually does not match what the other side believes is fair.

What is a Demand Letter?

An accident victim may need to take action in order to receive compensation for their damages by developing a letter of demand to the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. Basically, a demand letter is a formally written memo that becomes the catalyst for negotiating full and fair compensation for an accident. They can be highly complex, so retaining an experienced Indiana personal injury lawyer to write a demand letter is strongly advised. 

What are the General Steps to the Negotiation Process?

The process of personal injury negotiations between claimant/attorney and adjuster often begins with the claimant’s attorney sending in a demand letter with the requested amount of compensation. As a response, the insurance adjuster usually tries to find problems or gaps in the claim, and possibly even question liability or deny benefits altogether. From there, the claimant will respond to the adjuster’s arguments. Then the adjuster might offer a low-ball settlement to see how eager the claimant is to settle. The claimant may respond by slightly conceding from their original demand, but still demanding a fair settlement. From there, the adjuster might deliver another offer that is higher than their previous one. At this point, the claimant can either accept the offer or make a counter-demand.

Of course, this is just a generalized example of the negotiations process; there is much more to the strategy of dealing with insurance adjuster ploys to get claimants to settle fast and low. For these reasons and more, you must have a personal injury lawyer on your case, managing the negotiations process for you.

When Do Personal Injury Negotiations Begin?

Shortly after an insurance adjust receives a demand letter, the process of negotiations will begin. Claimants usually get a phone call within 7 to 14 days, but this can vary depending on the traffic of the office, the adjuster’s schedule, and how much investigation the adjuster chooses to do. The entire process from start to finish can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, depending on the circumstances of the case. Talk to a licensed personal injury attorney to learn how long your claim might take.

What is a Reservation of Rights Letter?

After a claimant sends in a demand letter, it is fairly common for them to receive a Reservations of Rights letter from the insurance company. This letter is meant to inform the claimant that the company has begun investigating the claim, but at the same time, reserving the right to not pay the claimant anything at all if the investigations reveal that the accident is not covered under the policy. See our blog, “What is a Reservations of Rights Letter?” to learn more.

How to Make a Personal Injury Claim in Indiana

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700
Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Call the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial consultation with a licensed personal injury attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana. Seasoned lawyers, Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek, can help you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve after being seriously injured in an accident. Call 317-881-2700 to get started today.