If you have been injured in a car accident, motorcycle crash, slip and fall, or another type of accident, you will need to file a claim with the negligent party’s insurance company. A crucial step in settling your claim is to write an effective demand letter. You need to understand what should go into a strong demand letter because it may be one of the keys to winning your case.
Who Should Write Your Demand Letter?
While you can write your demand letter and settle your claim with the insurance adjuster on your own, it is best to hire a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to draft it for you. They will know the essential points to include in the letter. They will also help you avoid making mistakes (such as agreeing to give a recorded statement that could hurt your case) and will fight with the insurance company so that you receive the maximum recovery in your settlement.
What Information Should a Demand Letter Contain?
A demand letter is a document that informs the insurance company that you are filing a claim for covered, accident-related damages. Before writing this letter, your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of your accident and your injuries. They will also collect evidence to support your claim. Key points that should be covered in the demand letter include the following.
Details About the Accident
Your demand letter should outline the details of how your accident occurred. It should explain:
- Where your accident occurred
- The date and time of your accident
- How the accident occurred
- Other parties involved in the accident
Negligence of Insured
In New Mexico, you are only entitled to compensation for your injuries if you prove an individual or business was negligent. Your demand letter should explain how the negligent party’s actions or failure to act caused your accident and injuries. Your lawyer will attach documentation, such as a police or incident report, photos, and witness statements that prove the other party’s negligence.
Your demand letter should explain what injuries you suffered in the accident, how serious they are, and the medical treatments you need. Your attorney will also discuss whether you will make a full recovery or need medical care for your injuries for the rest of your life. They will attach your medical records and other documents, such as a statement from your doctor, that establishes the seriousness of your injuries.
The next section of your demand letter will outline the compensation you are entitled to in your settlement. You can recover your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and pain and suffering. Your lawyer will itemize each type of damages and attach documents, such as your medical bills and pay stubs, that support your claim. They will also place a monetary value on the pain and suffering you endured due to the accident.
Demand for Payment
At the end of the demand letter, your attorney would state the amount of compensation you would be willing to accept to settle your case. They would also summarize why the insurance company is responsible for paying you the amount you seek.
What Happens After the Insurance Company Receives Your Demand Letter?
If the insurance adjuster has not already begun an investigation into your claim, they will do so after receiving your demand letter. They may also request additional documents from your attorney.
Once they complete their investigation, they will send a written response to your lawyer’s demand letter. You should not be surprised if they refuse to pay the damages you requested. The insurance adjuster and your lawyer may go through a series of offers and counteroffers before your claim is settled. If the insurance company refuses to be reasonable, your attorney will file a lawsuit and litigate your claim.
Were you injured in an accident in Roswell or Southeast New Mexico? Start a live chat, call our office at 575-300-4000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our experienced personal injury lawyers to learn about your rights and how we can assist you.