Insurance companies are private corporations that operate for profit. When there is a claim against them, they have every incentive to deny that claim or stall you for as long as possible.
Nonetheless, they are beholden to the law when it comes to paying off claims against their clients. They will pay an injured party the maximum agreed to by the policy when forced into that position. In some instances, they will be forced to by an arbitrator or the courts.
This is largely why many injured parties elect to retain counsel throughout the process. An effective personal injury attorney can help you secure the maximum possible settlement in your auto accident. They will litigate your case if need be.
It’s important to remember that you’re only going to get one chance collect for your injuries.
Here we’ll talk about the insurance demand letter. It’s the first step in filing your claim with an insurance company. We’ll discuss what needs to be in one and why it’s important to the claims process.
What is an Insurance Demand Letter?
An insurance demand letter states the nature of your injuries and how much money in damages you seek. You are not just entitled to medical expenses and property damage. You are also entitled to loss of work and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.
When Should I Write the Insurance Demand Letter?
You’ll want to wait until you’re nearing the end of your medical treatment. You won’t necessarily know the extent of your injuries and the number of ways that they’ll limit you until you’ve completed a rehabilitation period.
For instance, you may suffer permanent damage that can only be partially rehabilitated. If this costs you the ability to enjoy leisure activities and sports that you once enjoyed, then you are entitled to collect on that loss of enjoyment.
What Should I Include in My Insurance Demand Letter?
You should include any of the following that is relevant to your claim.
- A statement of the facts concerning your accident
- A statement indicating why the insured was liable
- A list of your medical injuries and out-of-pocket expenses related to them
- The number of days lost from work and your anticipated wage for those days
- A statement indicating lingering physical pain and/or emotional distress
- A statement describing why these injuries limit your ability to enjoy things you once enjoyed
- Copies of any documents that support your claims
- The total amount of your settlement demand
You’ll want to ensure that at the top of the letter it says: “FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY”. This will ensure that if the suit appears before a judge the defendant cannot introduce it as evidence.
You Only Get One Chance to Settle Your Lawsuit
Insurance companies have every incentive to shortchange you on a claim. For the best results, you should strongly consider retaining the aid of a skilled personal injury attorney. Kapuza Lighty PLLC of Yakima, Washington has handled cases like this throughout Eastern Washington, including Grant County, Benton County, Kittitas County. Give us a call or contact us online and we can ensure that the defendant’s insurance company pays you the full value of your claim.