In a personal injury case, the injured party’s attorney typically sends a demand letter to the other side or their insurer outlining the basis for the claim and the compensation sought. The demand letter is intended to open settlement negotiations before a lawsuit is filed. Marasco & Nesselbush are Rhode Island personal injury attorneys who have won over $100,000,000 for their clients. Contact us today for a free review of your case.
Many people may have heard of a demand letter but don’t know its role in the legal process. For people injured in a car accident or victims of negligence, a demand letter is an essential first step toward a fair resolution to their legal case.
The demand letter begins the conversation between you and the other party or their insurance company. The point of a demand letter is to put the other party on notice of your claim and open negotiations to settle before filing suit. A demand letter can initiate a back-and-forth, leading to a fair settlement without filing a lawsuit.
So, what’s the next step after a letter of demand? It depends on whether the other side denies your claim or accepts it and wishes to engage in negotiations. Your lawyer can help you decide the best strategy to respond to the other side’s actions.
If you are a victim of someone else’s negligence, work with a legal team with your best interests as its number one priority. Contact Marasco & Nesselbush for a free case review today.
What is a Demand Letter From an Attorney?
A demand letter is a formal notice a lawyer sends to the other side or its insurance company before filing a lawsuit. It provides the basic facts of the case, the theory of liability, and the damages sought.
What’s the Purpose of a Demand Letter?
There are a few purposes of a demand letter:
- To provide an insurance company or other party notice of your claim
- To give the other side the details of your position
- To present your demands for compensation to the other side
- To open a dialogue with the other side and begin settlement negotiations
- To fulfill legal notice requirements under contracts or warranties
What Information Is Included in a Demand Letter?
In a personal injury claim, you or your lawyer will include information about the details of your legal issue. If you are recovering from an accident, your demand letter might outline:
- Details of the accident, such as the time, date, description of what happened)
- The legal theory for why the other side is liable
- Description of the injuries you experienced
- Medical treatments for those injuries
- Economic losses, such as medical costs, lost wages, and property damage
- Settlement demand
The demand letter can also include evidence to support your demands. You might attach income statements, medical bills, and photos of injuries.
A personal injury attorney from Marasco & Nesselbush can help you gather the necessary evidence to craft a strong demand letter.
How Does an Attorney Send a Demand Letter?
Your attorney will want to prove the other side received the demand letter. This stops your insurance company from saying they never received your demand.
A demand letter might be sent electronically, but there is a risk that the recipient’s email program might delete all messages with attachments. Often, lawyers use the following methods to ensure the demand letter is received:
- Certified mail
- Fax, if privacy and confidentiality concerns permit
- Courier services, including FedEx and UPS
Your lawyer will keep confirmation the document was received, specifically:
- Fax confirmation notice
- Courier receipts
- Certified mail tracking number or postmarked mailing receipt
These confirmations can prove the insurance company got your demand letter in case of a dispute.
What Happens After an Attorney Sends a Demand Letter?
The next stage is to wait for the other side to respond to the letter. This might take a few weeks. An insurance company will usually send a response to the demand. This response often takes one of three forms:
- Denial of the demand
- Acceptance of the demand
A counteroffer means the other side does not agree to your proposed settlement but proposes another amount. If the insurer accepts the demand, their response normally includes a settlement agreement. If you receive such a document, you should review it with your attorney before you sign.
If the insurer denies your demand or sends a counteroffer, you and your lawyer can discuss the next steps. In the case of a denial, you might want to proceed to a lawsuit. If there’s a counteroffer, you might want to accept it or continue to negotiate.
The car accident lawyers at Marasco & Nesselbush are experienced negotiators and can help you pursue a fair settlement with your insurance company.
What Happens if the Insurance Company Doesn’t Agree With the Demand?
In most cases, the insurance company will not agree with your demand. This does not mean a fair settlement is not possible. It is common for lawyers on both sides to continue to negotiate. If an agreement can’t be reached through the exchange of letters, you can file a lawsuit.
A lawsuit can also be settled out of court, but sometimes it is in a client’s best interest to proceed with litigation. To best advocate for your interests, your attorney should have experience with personal injury claims, negotiations, and litigation.
Marasco & Nesselbush have proven case results, obtaining over $100,000,000 for our clients. Speak with us about your legal needs by scheduling a free case review.
How Long After Sending a Demand Letter Can You Expect a Settlement?
Reaching a settlement agreement can take weeks or months after sending a demand letter. If the insurance company accepts your demands, it can take a few days for you and your attorney to receive the settlement agreement. This agreement is a legal contract between you and the insurance company and will end your case.
If you and the other side keep negotiating, it can take several months before a settlement is agreed on.
However, litigation is often necessary and may take months or even years to conclude. Working with the right attorney can increase your chances of getting the maximum compensation in the least amount of time.
How We Can Help
A demand letter is an essential step in pursuing a personal injury claim. You need a skilled and experienced attorney to ensure the demand letter in your case has the best chance at success. The personal injury lawyers at Marasco & Nesselbush will provide comprehensive representation throughout your case. We know the tactics insurers and large companies use to dodge paying fair compensation for injured victims’ losses. We have the resources and strategies to counter those tactics and get you the maximum compensation.
Contact us today for a free case review.