Every successful insurance claim starts with a demand letter. After you suffer serious injuries or other losses in an unexpected accident, you must seek restitution from an insurance company – either yours or the at-fault party’s. Requesting financial benefits from an insurance company takes writing and submitting an official demand letter. The strength of your demand letter can determine the outcome of your claim.
What Is a Demand Letter?
The demand letter is the catalyst to the insurance claim negotiation process. It outlines the most important details of your accident, lists the value of your damages, and states the compensation you are demanding from the insurance company for your injuries. It is a written letter that explains why you have grounds to make the claim, and the lump sum it will take for you to drop the claim and settle. Once the insurance company receives your demand letter, it has 45 days to issue a response. The insurance company will either accept your letter and offer a settlement, or deny your claim and send the case to court.
When Should You Write a Demand Letter?
It may be appropriate for you to write a demand letter if you believe someone else’s negligence caused your recent personal injuries. If you were in an car accident with a drunk driver, for example, you may write a demand letter to the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company demanding adequate compensation for your medical bills and property damage. Demand letters are common in all types of civil claims, including product liability and premises liability cases.
If you suffered real, compensable losses because of another person’s negligence or recklessness, you have grounds to file a demand letter with the at-fault party’s insurer. Real losses include physical injuries, emotional distress, the death of a loved one, property damage, lost wages, and other economic or noneconomic damages. Your damages will be the centerpiece of your demand letter. You have the right to demand an amount appropriate to cover your accident-related losses.
What Are the Components of a Demand Letter?
Crafting a strong and effective demand letter takes experience. For this reason, many plaintiffs hire attorneys to draft demand letters for them. Your demand letter must be professional and concise. It should be as convincing as possible, since the desired outcome is to have the insurance company accept your claim and offer the desired amount. Do not discuss any of the weaknesses of your case in your demand letter. Save them for negotiations. All demand letters should include certain pieces of information.
- How your accident occurred
- Why you believe the defendant is liable
- A description of your injuries
- Medical treatments you underwent
- The total cost of accident-related medical bills
- How much income you lost
- A list of other damages the accident caused
- Why you qualify to make the claim under Nevada law
- Your settlement demand figure
- Supporting documents
Your Las Vegas accident attorney can make sure you include all relevant information in your demand letter for a timely claims process. Your lawyer can also help you calculate an accurate demand amount. Insurance company estimates are often lower than the full value of your claim. An attorney’s estimate, however, will be its maximum potential value. They will also attach any required supporting documents, such as police reports, medical records, letters, and bills.
Sample Demand Letters
Start your demand letter by using a few examples as models. The tone and layout of your letter may vary depending on your type of personal injury case and the legal issues involved. Google search “sample demand letters” to see a few basic examples. You can also browse through templates available online. The best way to craft a successful demand letter, however, is to hire a knowledgeable Las Vegas personal injury attorney to do the job for you.