Demand After Disaster: The Demand Letter After An Accident

Posted on: 3 March 2015

If you have been injured in an accident that another person is responsible for, you have to be demanding to get what you deserve. Your personal injury attorney will usually make these demands for you in the form of a personal injury demand letter. The letter is an official communication with the insurance company that represents the person responsible for your damages. Read on to learn more about how demand letters work, and how they can affect your case.

Understanding Demand Letters

The main reason your lawyer will draft a demand letter is to inform the responsible party's insurance provider that you are injured and intend to file a claim related to this injury.

The demand letter is, as the name implies, a demand for monetary compensation for your injuries. Personal injury lawyers often send these letters not only as a notice that you are pursuing compensation, but also as a notice that you will file a lawsuit to recover the damages you deserve if that becomes necessary.

Determining Demand Letter Amounts

The amount of money that your lawyer requests in a demand letter is usually based upon the amount of total financial loss you have suffered due to the injury. This may include:

  • Medical bills related to the accident

  • Amount of money lost due to missed work after the injury

  • Any other financial loss that could be associated with the accident

Alternatively, your attorney may send a demand letter that mentions no amounts. This type of letter will simply say that you are requesting "policy maximum." This means that you are asking for the full amount of the insurance policy because the policy may not be enough to cover all your monetary damages.

After Demand Letter Negotiation

After your demand letter has been received by the insurance company, they will normally have up to 45 days to consider the offer. This response may take several forms:

  • A "Yes:" The insurance company may agree to your demand. If so, they will cut you a check for the demanded amount.

  • A Counter-offer: This is the most common response to demand letters. The counter-offer is the starting point for negotiations. Your attorney can respond with another financial demand, and continue with negotiations until an agreement is reached.

  • A Refusal to Pay: If the insurance company disputes your right to any compensation at all, they may send your attorney a refusal to pay. This may necessitate the filing of a lawsuit.

The demand letter is an integral part of most personal injury cases. To be sure that you ask for - and get - what you truly deserve, an experienced injury attorney (or auto accident attorney) and a demand letter are essential!