Nobody should be responsible for losses that came about because of an accident that someone else caused. If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you have the right to file a claim for compensation. You could recoup money for the cost of your medical treatment, wages you may have lost due to missing time at work, and any other expenses that have come about due to the accident.
One of the most important steps you and your lawyer must take to initiate the claim process is to send a demand letter to the insurance company from which you seek compensation. You might be unfamiliar with the concept of a demand letter, but understanding what it is and what happens after you send it can help you feel more confident as you begin your legal journey toward the compensation you deserve.
What Is a Demand Letter?
In the context of a personal injury case, a demand letter is a written document that an injured party (the plaintiff) sends to an insurance company. In it, the plaintiff informs the insurance company that they demand compensation for their losses received in an accident the insured caused.
The function of the letter is to convey the plaintiff’s reasons for requesting compensation and their specific demands. The document generally includes requests for money to compensate for medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. It may also outline requests for compensation relating to non-economic losses, such as the pain and suffering the plaintiff has endured due to the accident.
A demand letter is often divided into sections, which can include:
- The plaintiff’s identity
- The party to whom the demand letter is directed
- The plaintiff’s reasoning for why they’re owed money
- The nature of any accident-related injuries
- Evidence of the at-fault party’s responsibility for accident-related losses
- Specific demands for compensation to be paid within a reasonable period
After the Letter Is Sent
Once your lawyer has sent the demand letter, you may have to wait a few weeks or months before you receive a response. We can’t predict how long it will take the insurance company to respond, but your personal injury attorney will update you with any progress as they become aware of it.
Sometimes insurance companies take longer to respond because they are dealing with a high number of claims. Alternatively, companies sometimes need to investigate the claim more thoroughly before they are prepared to respond.
Some insurance adjusters, however, might not be operating in good faith. It is sometimes possible that agents might attempt to slow down the process as a tactic to get you to accept a lowball offer when they finally do respond. A good personal injury lawyer will not allow an insurance company to undervalue your claim, and they will fight to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
How Long After a Demand Letter Can I Expect Settlement?
The time you will have to wait to receive a settlement offer will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. Some injured people have their cases resolved two weeks to two months after their lawyer sends the demand letter, but this is rare and usually happens where the injuries are minor.
If the insurance company rejects or undervalues your claim, the process can become more protracted and complicated. In such circumstances, your lawyer will have to negotiate a better settlement. You may even need to take your claim to court if negotiations fail. Lawsuits can take several months, a year, or possibly even longer.
Having a seasoned personal injury lawyer on your side is crucial at every step in this process.
Contact an Experienced Lake Charles Personal Injury Attorney
Many people believe they can handle a personal injury claim independently. However, most are not prepared to counter the insurance companies’ tactics to undervalue their settlement.
If you have been injured in an accident in Louisiana, having a lawyer willing to fight for your best interests can make the most significant difference in getting the compensation you deserve. The Lake Charles personal injury lawyers of Veron Bice, LLC have the experience, knowledge, and skill you need on your side. Our legal team will take care of every aspect of your case so that you can keep your focus on your recovery.
Call us today at [phone-number linked=”true”] or contact us online for a free consultation and find out what your legal options are.