If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you can seek compensation for your injuries from your insurance company or the other driver’s.
Ideally, you should follow the proper procedures to guarantee a successful outcome. This includes writing and submitting an effective demand letter to the insurance company.
What Is a Demand Letter for?
A demand letter is a document issued to an insurance company in what is considered the first step toward initiating a personal injury claim in Nevada. In other words, it is a document highlighting the basis of a claim for compensation.
What’s the Purpose of Demand Letters?
The demand letter is a formal, written document highlighting what the victim wants in compensation. In other words, it is a document that states the monetary demand of the victim and, at the same time, highlights the rationale behind the demand.
For this reason, the demand letter is often written clearly and concisely to explain to the adjuster the facts of the accident, the extent of the plaintiff’s injury, and why the defendant is responsible for the injuries.
What Information is Included in a Demand Letter?
Although the demand letter is imperative in the claim process, it doesn’t need to be lengthy. Instead, it should be factual and straightforward and make a strong case for the defendant’s liability from the onset. In addition, the demand letter should depict the extent of the plaintiff’s injury.
Some of the pertinent information which your personal injury attorney should include in the demand letter includes:
The date and location of the accident
Indicate when and where exactly the incident happened. Essentially, the date and location of the accident help the insurance company cross-verify the information and ensure that your claim is accurate. Often, the insurance company will rely on the police report to establish the accuracy of the information provided.
The parties involved
The demand letter should highlight all the parties involved in the accident. This information should include basic information such as the name of the parties, their background, and any other information deemed relevant at that particular time.
In addition to explaining the facts of the accident, you need to provide detailed information regarding economic and non-economic damages.
A summary of economic damages can include:
- Lost wages to date
- Car repair bills
- Estimates of future lost earning capacity
- Amount paid for medical bills and other expenses
Information on non-economic damages, on the other hand, should be provided succinctly. This information can include:
- Statements of family members or co-workers about activities the plaintiff can no longer engage in
- Photos of scars
- Any other information that explains past and anticipated future pain and suffering
You need to be truthful when providing all this information. It is imperative to avoid exaggerating any information since it may hurt the credibility of what you provide.
Contact information allows the insurance company to acquire feedback promptly and, at the same time, seek clarification whenever necessary.
Any factual information you provide in the demand letter should be backed up by evidence. Good practice requires claimants to include authentic documents such as medical records, a police complaint, photos, or any other relevant documentation that supports their claim.
When Can You Expect a Response to a Demand Letter?
After the demand letter has been filed and submitted by your attorney, the insurance company will need to go through the whole document in order to establish the validity and accuracy of the information provided.
This process can take several days or weeks, depending on the number of cases the insurance company is dealing with. According to NRS 690B.012(1), a Nevada insurance company has 30 days to respond to a demand letter.
However, if you don’t receive a response within a reasonable time, the insurance company may be acting in bad faith. You can file a lawsuit with the help of your personal injury attorney.
Possible responses to a demand letter
After a demand letter is sent, the insurance company will evaluate your claim by verifying the accuracy of the information provided in the demand letter. There are several possible responses to a demand letter. This includes:
- Denying the request for compensation
- Seek clarification by asking for more information
- Send a counteroffer of settlement
- Accept the demand and pay the claim.
What Should You Do If You Don’t Like the Demand Letter Response?
If the response you receive from the insurance company isn’t favorable, you can seek clarification from the insurance company. For example, if the insurance company denies the request for compensation, you can request them to provide a detailed explanation stating the reasons for declining your request.
On the other hand, if the insurance company sends a lowball settlement offer, you can send a counteroffer of settlement. When sending a counteroffer, you should have the help of a personal injury attorney to negotiate on your behalf.
Contact Our Nevada Car Accident Lawyers
If you or your loved one sustained an injury in an accident in Nevada, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Nevada Accident Injury Lawyers know how to make reasonable, effective demand letters to car insurance companies to improve the likelihood you’re compensated fairly. If a demand letter fails, we can go to trial on your behalf.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Car Accident Demand Letter FAQs
Should you ask for a specific amount of compensation in a demand letter?
You should be clear about your economic damages with the evidence of bills, lost wages, and other monetary losses you’ve sustained. Non-economic damages must be calculated independently, and the insurance company’s judgment on these values can vary.
Do you need an attorney to write a demand letter?
Although it is not a mandatory requirement, it would be best to have your demand letter prepared by a personal injury attorney. An attorney understands the substantive and procedural laws and can verify what needs to be included in the document. Further, it demonstrates to the insurance company that your demand should be taken seriously and that you are prepared to prosecute your demand through civil litigation.