What if you were injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence? You may be able to collect monetary compensation to help pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. In this situation, it’s important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options. Whether you decide to file an insurance claim or end up needing to file a personal injury lawsuit, an insurance demand letter is an important next step that an attorney can assist you with.
What Is an Insurance Demand Letter?
An insurance demand letter is sent to the insurance company by the victim or attorney after an accident. It requests a certain amount of compensation for injuries sustained and other expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
The purpose of the demand letter is to resolve the issue without having to file an official lawsuit. You may be able to reach an agreement with the insurance company by sending the letter. This can save you significant time, stress, and money, as it’s almost always more favorable to settle a claim outside of court than to take it to trial.
What Happens After a Demand Letter Is Sent?
Once the demand letter is sent, the insurance company has a few different options.
- Demands are accepted. The insurance company can accept the terms of your demand letter and moving forward with a settlement. You would be required to sign a release of liability―meaning you can’t sue them― in exchange for receiving your demanded compensation.
- The insurance company can also make a counteroffer. If the insurance company wants to negotiate but is not satisfied with your requests, it will come back and tell you what it is willing to pay. You can decide to accept the counteroffer, or you and your attorney can continue negotiating. If you are not able to reach an agreement after a few rounds of negotiation, you can to file a personal injury lawsuit.
- Demands are denied. Finally, the insurance company can deny your request and claim it will pay you nothing. However, most insurance companies would prefer to settle outside of court, so claims are rarely denied without any further discussion.
How Long Does an Insurance Adjuster Have To Respond?
Insurance companies do not have a deadline for responding to demand letters. It could take a few weeks to a few months to receive a response., if at all, as insurance companies are not required to respond to demand letters at all.
Keep in mind that you can set a timeline in your demand letter. For example, you can warn the insurance company that if you do not receive a response in 30 days, you will file a personal injury lawsuit. This may not expedite your response time, but it is worth trying.
Factors That Influence Insurance Demand Letter Response Time
It can take anywhere from two weeks to one year for an insurance company to respond to your demand letter – if they ever respond. Typically, the more complex the case, the longer it will take for the insurance company to respond. Factors that influence the case complexity and response time include the severity of injuries, the number of medical bills, the size of the insurance company, the amount of money requested in the demand letter, and the limits of the insurance policy, among others.
The insurance company will have to investigate and make its own determination of how much you are entitled to. To do this, they need to spend some time thoroughly looking into what happened.
What To Do if the Insurance Company Ignores You
If you send a demand letter to the insurance company and they ignore it, you still have options. The first thing you should do is collaborate with your attorney to come up with a plan. Next, your attorney can send a follow-up letter stating that if no response is received within X number of days, you will be filing a lawsuit. You want the insurance company to respond because it’s easier than having to file a lawsuit, which is why it’s so important to consult with an attorney instead of sending a demand letter on your own.
Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys For Help
The lawyers at Gomez Trial attorneys understand the importance of obtaining the compensation you deserve to help you pay for medical expenses and lost wages. We have experience handling all types of insurance claims and will do whatever it takes to help you get what you deserve.
Drafting a perfect demand letter is very nuanced, so it’s important to hire a firm with experience. If you need assistance, contact us today to schedule your free consultation by calling (619)-237-3490 or by contacting us online.