One of the most crucial steps in filing a personal injury compensation claim is writing a demand letter. It contains your demands regarding the injuries you’ve sustained and the amount you need as your compensation.
The fact that you’ve written a demand letter doesn’t automatically guarantee a prompt response from the insurance company you’ve written to. In some cases, you might have to wait for weeks or months or have them completely ignore it.
In such a situation, your chances of guaranteeing compensation are by hiring a professional personal injury attorney. Our attorneys at Morris Bart, LLC can help you craft the proper demand letter for your compensation claim and help you make the right decision in case of a delay or no response. Please keep reading to learn more about demand letters, how long it should take to get an answer, and how to respond to a delayed or no response.
What Is a Demand Letter in a Settlement Claim?
A demand letter is a formal settlement request an accident victim makes to the at-fault insurance company in a personal injury claim. The purpose of writing a demand letter is to present facts about the incident related to your injury claim and persuade the at-fault company to provide adequate compensation. Therefore, your demand letter should include the following:
- A detailed description of the accident
- Information about the accident liability
- Description of your injuries
- A detailed description of your medical treatment
- List of your medical costs and lost income
- Your injury settlement demand
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How Long Should It Take to Respond After Sending a Demand Letter?
In the best-case scenario, you’ll have to wait up to thirty days to get a response to your demand letter. However, you might need to wait between a few weeks to a couple of months since the law establishes no set deadline. The best way to guarantee a response within a specific period is by stipulating a deadline in your demand letter to ensure that the insurer responds as soon as possible.
The Typical Responses to a Demand Letter
Again, no law demands insurance companies to respond to a demand letter. However, if an insurance company decides to respond, the response will typically consist of any of the following options:
It’s common for insurance companies to reject valid claims to prevent claimants from pursuing compensation. Sometimes this can be intimidating and does work. However, this shouldn’t be a reason to give up. At Morris Bart, LLC, we will help you evaluate the response and determine whether you still have a case.
An insurance company can respond with a counter settlement, but with a significantly lower settlement amount than you had requested. You can accept their offer, counter it, or file a lawsuit.
Please note that this is a common tactic used by insurers. You can continue negotiating for a better offer, however, it might take a couple of counter-offers before you file a lawsuit.
An acceptance is a rare response to a demand letter. Still, an insurance company can accept it if there’s enough evidence showing that they are liable and if there is the possibility of getting a higher amount once the case goes to court.
Factors Affecting a Demand Letter Response Time
Several factors can affect your demand letter response time. These factors are as follows:
A Huge Workload
Sometimes insurance adjusters have a lot of work on their hands since they are tasked with investigating and managing claims made against their insurance companies. If you happen to write a demand letter to an adjuster with a lot of work, you might end up waiting for quite some time before you get a response.
The Amount of Evidence You’ve Documented in the Demand Letter
When an insurance company believes that a demand letter doesn’t have enough evidence or information, they might request additional information. This can delay the response time and settlement process.
The Amount You’ve Requested in the Demand Letter
When an insurance company believes that your demand includes a lot of money, they might delay their response or fail to respond at all.
The Number of Liable Parties Involved in Your Claim
Personal injury claims can have several liable parties depending on the nature of the accident. Therefore, by writing a demand letter to a specific insurance company, they might delay your demands as they shift or assign blame to the other liable parties.
Intention to Take the Claim to Court
When things seem to favor an insurance company, they might fail to respond to a demand letter and wait for a court case. This is particularly common when an accident victim’s demand letter isn’t convincing enough to warrant compensation without filing a lawsuit.
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What You Should do If There’s No Response to Your Demand Letter
If an insurance company still doesn’t respond to your demand letter, the next step is filing a lawsuit, assuming that you’ve been engaging a lawyer from the beginning. A personal injury attorney understands the state’s statute of limitations and wouldn’t allow much time to pass without filing a case. However, once this time runs out, you might lack the opportunity to sue.
The insurance company will be served with legal paperwork demanding that they respond to your demand letter. Alternatively, they might be served with paperwork informing them that you’re considering filing a formal court case, and they are required to respond as defendants.
This is just the beginning of a long legal process that might lead to a trial. That’s why it’s recommendable to retain the help of an attorney since it might be a frustrating process.
Write a Comprehensive Demand Letter with Morris Bart, LLC
A demand letter carries a lot of weight when proceeding with your injury claim. It would help if you guaranteed that you’ve written an effective demand letter and know what to do depending on the reaction from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
At Morris Bart, LLC, we can assist you in writing the perfect demand letter to your target insurance company and help you counter their response or take your case to court. With over 40 years of experience, there’s no better place to take your injury case than our firm. Contact us today so we can get you the compensation you deserve.
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