What Happens After Your Lawyer Sends a Demand Letter?
Posted on Tuesday, November 1st, 2022 at 1:54 pm
On the surface, filing an insurance claim may seem easy. However, recovering the fair compensation you deserve can be challenging. Drafting a strong demand letter can increase your chances of getting the money you deserve after a significant accident that wasn’t your fault.
At Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC, our legal team wants to support you through the accident claim process. That means helping you understand how a demand letter can impact your claim and what happens after your attorney sends the letter to the insurer.
What Is a Demand Letter?
A demand letter sounds like an aggressive legal tactic. However, a demand letter is a document your attorney sends to the at-fault party’s insurance company. It serves more than one purpose: it highlights the facts surrounding an accident and lets the insurance company know how much money you and your lawyer have determined is a fair settlement.
This document contains crucial information that lays out the merits of your claim and outlines your expectations for a resolution. A compelling demand letter can put you in a better position to negotiate a fair settlement.
An attorney will generally include the following vital information in a formal demand letter:
- The facts of the accident
- Information about your injuries
- An estimate of the value of your accident-related losses
- A deadline to reply to the demand letter
- The steps a claimant is willing to take if an acceptable resolution cannot be reached
A demand letter is your chance to lay bare the strengths of your claim. In addition to outlining the facts, a demand letter should include information about your expectations for a suitable resolution. Allowing an experienced attorney to draft a demand letter for you can increase your chances of gaining a prompt response from an insurer. It may also help you achieve a more favorable outcome when it comes time to negotiate a fair settlement.
How Long After a Demand Letter Can I Expect a Settlement?
A reasonable demand letter will include a deadline for a response. That deadline is typically 30 business days. However, you should not expect an insurer to come back with a settlement figure in that timeframe.
After an insurer receives a demand letter, they will mount an investigation into the cause of the accident, comparing your information with their findings. How long it takes an insurer to reply with a settlement offer depends on several factors, including:
- Insurer Workload – Insurers with fewer cases may be able to move through your claim promptly. Insurers with large caseloads may need more time to review your claim and respond to the demand letter.
- Lack of Information – A poorly drafted demand letter can work against you. If you fail to include vital information, an insurer will need to contact you requesting further clarification. The subsequent back and forth of exchanging information and documentation can slow down the claim process.
- The Complexity of an Accident – Not all accidents are created equal. Some accidents are complex, involve multiple parties, or deal with extensive injuries. The higher the volume of information, the more time it will take for an insurer to propose a resolution.
Insurance companies bank on speedy resolutions. The faster they can close a claim, the faster they can move on with other claims. However, accepting a hastily made initial settlement offer is seldom in your best interest. A speedy offer is typically a lowball offer that will save the insurance company time and money. Rarely will it account for all your financial losses.
It is never easy to wait for the money you deserve. However, exercising patience and letting the negotiation process play out with an aggressive attorney on your side increases your chances of recovering a higher settlement. Are you concerned about the settlement timeframe? Discuss your fears with an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can review the circumstances of your claim and give you a clearer picture of when you may expect a settlement.
Be prepared. If an insurer is unwilling to negotiate in good faith, you and your attorney may need to discuss the potential of filing a lawsuit. Your demand letter should advise the insurance company that you are willing to file a lawsuit if necessary.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
Have you been injured in an accident caused by someone else? Don’t settle for less than what you deserve. Discuss your situation with an experienced personal injury attorney today and let a skilled lawyer help you draft a compelling demand letter. At Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC, our Cincinnati personal injury lawyers will do the legal work for you so you can focus on your recovery.
Call our office today at (513) 351-5997 and request a free initial consultation.