What is a Demand Letter in a Personal Injury Case?

legal documents on tableAfter suffering a personal injury in an accident, one of the steps when seeking compensation is sending a demand letter to the insurance company. Having an experienced lawyer draft and send this letter often makes a significant difference in the outcome of your claim, particularly the value of the settlement you may receive.

If you or someone you love was injured in an accident, contact a Sacramento personal injury lawyer at the Arnold Law Firm for legal guidance, including help with drafting an effective demand letter. We do not charge for your initial consultation, and are only paid if we secure funds for your claim.

Read on to learn more about the importance of writing an effective demand letter and how it could help you get the compensation you may need to pay for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other financial losses related to your injury.

The Purpose of a Demand Letter

The purpose of drafting a demand letter in a personal injury claim is to explain to the at-fault party’s insurance company the amount of damages you sustained in the accident and how much compensation you will need to cover those damages. Since the insurance company must approve these damages, they need to be provided with important details about the accident, such as:

  • A detailed explanation of how the accident occurred
  • Reasons why the insured is at fault
  • Injuries and other financial damages you have sustained
  • Total amount of compensation you need to cover your damages

Your lawyer will include important to support your claim and increase the likelihood of your demands being approved by the insurance company.

Important Factors to Consider When Drafting the Letter

When drafting a demand letter, there are some important factors to consider, such as:

  • Being honest about your side of the story – It is important to be truthful and consistent in any statements you make about the accident and your damages. Keep it simple and stick to the facts. Avoid using inflammatory language and describing your emotions.
  • Do not admit fault – Avoid admitting any wrongdoing. Your lawyer can review your case to determine if you may bear any responsibility and work to try to prevent the insurance company from assigning you more fault than you deserve.
  • Include supporting documentation – Your demand letter should include any supporting documentation that can verify your accident and damages sustained. Such documentation could include medical records and bills, pictures of your injury, property damage assessments, loss of income from missing work and police/accident reports.

Do’s and Don’ts

There are some things you may want to do to improve the effectiveness of your demand letter and there are some things you may want to avoid:

  • DO include unique facts – If there are any unique facts about your case, be sure to include them in your demand letter. If your lifestyle was negatively affected by the accident, be sure to state this. For example, if you were an active athlete and can no longer participate in your sport because of your injury, this is an important detail.
  • DO NOT make demands on your own – It is important to go over your demands with your lawyer before sending them to the insurance company. You could be either selling yourself short or your demands could far exceed your damages. An experienced lawyer from the Arnold Law Firm will know how to accurately assess your damages.
  • DO demand the limits of the policy – If your damages are near the insurance policy limits, it is important to demand a little more to leave some room for negotiation. Your lawyer can review the at-fault party’s policy to learn these limits and negotiate on your behalf.
  • DO NOT require a response within a certain time frame – If you try to set a time limit for a response from the insurer, it could backfire. This could hurt your credibility if something changes and causes a delay on your end. The insurer may not take you seriously going forward, and it could result in a lowball offer.

Reach Out to a Qualified Attorney from Our Firm

If you were hurt in an accident, contact the Arnold Law Firm today to discuss your claim in a Free Case Evaluation. The Arnold Law Firm has been protecting the rights of injury victims in California for over 40 years. Our team of dedicated lawyers has over 200 years of combined legal experience.

There is no cost to you to discuss your case. Your information is kept confidential, and there is no obligation to hire us.

Call the Arnold Law Firm at (916) 777-7777 with your questions.