A demand letter is a letter you write to the at-fault driver – or its insurance company – after being involved in a car accident. It formally tells your story of the accident and outlines your demand for compensation to cover the extent of your damages.
You may send a demand letter after you have received an estimate of all your costs. The key to writing a good demand letter is to be precise and to show support for all your facts. Good records are essential when writing the letter.
After the insurance company receives and reviews the letter, the next step is hopefully negotiating a settlement.
What Should a Demand Letter Contain?
A demand letter should be written for clarity. As such, the beginning of the letter should contain the names of the parties involved and the date of the accident. If you have one, also include the insurance claim number.
Even though you may have already discussed the accident with the insurance company, be sure to include every detail in the letter. Describe what happened, whether the police issued citations to any of the drivers involved, and any other pertinent information about the accident itself.
Also include information about the injuries you sustained as a result of the accident, as well as the costs and losses you’ve experienced:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
Make sure you consider all accident costs, including long-term and lifetime costs if you suffered serious injuries. You should also include non-economic damages like pain and suffering and mental anguish in your demand letter.
Your attorney can help you figure out how much to demand for pain and suffering damages. Make sure you provide a final amount of damages you are demanding to close the case.
Writing the Demand Letter
Make sure you have all your records and all papers pertaining to the accident in front of you while writing the letter. If it helps, tell the story out loud as you write so you don’t forget anything and keep the proper order to ensure the letter is clear.
You may require assistance from an attorney to write the letter, as it’s very important that it establishes your side of the accident and adequately accounts for all of the damages you’ve suffered as a result of the accident.
Your attorney can also help you collect the pertinent evidence and documentation so you have proper evidence of the other driver’s fault and the extent of your damages. This can only help you as you write the demand letter to the at-fault driver and their insurance company.
For a free legal consutlation after a car accident in Indiana, call Hensley Legal Group or contact us online.