Human Rights

How to Write a Demand Letter in a Car Accident Case

If you have been involved in an auto crash, you may be trying to solve your personal injury claim with the at-fault motorist’s insurance company. Maybe you were rear-ended or T-boned while stopped at a light.

These cases can be resolved without filing a lawsuit, but it will likely take some effort on your part. The first step is to write and send a demand letter to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

This article discusses everything you need to know about writing a demand letter in an auto accident case.

What Is a Demand Letter?

A demand letter is a formal notice stating your intention to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. The letter details the injuries and damage you suffered in the accident and how much compensation you seek.

The demand letter will be the first step in negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company.

How to Write a Demand Letter

There are several key pieces of information that should be included in your demand letter. Here are some tips to get you started.

1.   Request Your Medical Records

One of the first things you need to do when writing a demand letter is to request your medical records from all the providers who treated you for injuries related to the accident.

These records will document the nature and severity of your injuries and the treatments you received. This information is critical in determining how much compensation you should seek from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

2.   Get an Accident Report

If the police responded to the accident scene, you should request a copy of the accident report. This report will contain important information, such as the names and contact information of all the parties involved, insurance information, and a description of what happened.

The accident report can be used to support your claim that the other driver was at fault for the accident.

3.   Determine a Settlement Amount

Once you have gathered all the necessary information, you’ll need to determine how much money you are seeking in damages.

Compensation for an auto accident can include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. It’s essential to be thorough when calculating your damages to make a realistic settlement request.

4.   Include Any Supporting Documentation

Your demand letter should be as detailed and thorough as possible. This means including any relevant documentation to support your claims, such as medical bills, records of lost wages, photos of your property damage, and more.

5.   Do Not Exaggerate Your Injuries

It’s important to be honest about your injuries and damages in your demand letter. If you exaggerate your injuries or losses, the insurance company will likely be less inclined to take your claim seriously.

Being too greedy and outrageous in your request for compensation can also backfire, so it’s best to be realistic when setting a settlement amount.

6.   Understand Policy Limits Before Writing

The insurance company doesn’t have unlimited liability. Instead, the insurer can only be required to pay out up to the policy limits.

For example, if the at-fault driver has a $100,000 liability policy and you are seeking $150,000 in damages, the insurer will only be on the hook for $100,000. It’s essential to be aware of the policy limits before writing your demand letter.

Once you have written and sent your demand letter, the insurance company may reach out to you to negotiate a settlement amount. If they don’t respond or offer an unreasonably low sum, you will likely need to file a lawsuit in order to obtain fair compensation.

7.   Keep the Tone Professional

It’s important to remember that the demand letter is a formal notice of your intent to file a lawsuit. As such, you should keep the tone professional and avoid sounding angry or threatening.

You want the insurance company to take your claim seriously, so it’s best to stick to the facts and avoid inflammatory language.

8.   Don’t Offer a Recorded Statement

The insurance company may try to get you to give a recorded statement about the accident and your injuries.

Don’t do this because anything you say can be used against you later. So, it’s best to avoid giving a statement altogether. If the insurer persists, you can politely decline and reiterate that you will not be providing a recorded statement.

9.   Get Help from an Attorney

Even if you are fully confident in the demand letter you have written, consider speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer before sending it to the insurance company.

A lawyer can review your letter and offer advice about how best to negotiate a fair settlement amount. They can also provide representation if you need to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation.

You should always speak with an attorney as soon as possible after suffering an auto accident, so that they can advise you of your rights and help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Summary

If you have been involved in an auto accident, it is crucial to take steps to protect your rights and seek compensation for your damages.

One of the first steps you should take is to write a demand letter to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

This demand letter should include information about the accident, your injuries, and your damages. It is essential to be thorough when writing your demand letter, as this will increase your chances of obtaining a fair settlement amount from the insurance company.