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WHAT IS A DEMAND LETTER IN A CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM?

The history of the accident, medical expenses and other costs are voiced to the other party's insurance company in writing. This is called a demand letter.

After a collision causing injuries, it is always a good idea to seek the advice of a legal advocate who is experienced in personal injury claims. It doesn’t matter if it is a car accident or truck or motorcycle crash – the same basics apply.

When the wreck was caused by someone else’s negligence or deliberate action, it makes good sense to try to get reimbursed for medical and other expenses that were a result of his or her actions. A victim is entitled to seek compensation under the traffic and road laws of California. It doesn’t mean an excessive dollar amount is allowed. It means that with a careful review of expenses, lost earnings and other relevant amounts that are appropriately documented or projected, that figure can be presented to the party believed to be liable for it as a claim.

The history of the accident, medical expenses, and other costs are voiced to the other party’s insurance company in writing. This is called a demand letter. This document allows a victim the opportunity to explain to the insurance company all the circumstances of the incident. These can include a brief account of how the accident happened, referring to police reports, relevant laws such as distracted driving infractions and other pertinent facts. An explanation as to why the victim believes the policyholder was at fault should be made clear. No fault on a victim’s part should be admitted in the demand letter. If that is an issue, it can be addressed in settlement negotiations.

Injuries should be described in detail, including any long-term disability that resulted from the crash. A detailed list of medical expenses and wages for lost work time are important. Documentation to back up these figures is part of the demand. Any other losses or expenses can be included, even intangible things on which value can be placed.

All of this information leads to a calculation of the amount you believe is warranted. A reasonable increase in the dollar value claimed to allow for negotiating room may be added. The point of the letter is to reach a reasonable settlement without the need for litigation. Because wording can make a difference in perception and law, and a familiarity with personal injury legalities and third party assistance may be helpful.

Source: FindLaw, “Writing Demand Letters to Settle Personal Injury Claims,” accessed April. 01, 2015

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