Demand Letter Response Time in Florida
Bill Allen | November 24, 2023 | Personal Injury
Nevertheless, you will probably need to negotiate for weeks or months to reach an acceptable settlement. A demand letter is a letter you send to the insurance company to kick off the negotiation process.
Contents of a Typical Demand Letter
Here are some of the key contents of a personal injury demand letter:
- Introduction: Briefly introduce yourself and state the purpose of the letter.
- Description of the accident: Provide a detailed account of the accident, including the date, time, location, and how the accident occurred.
- Liability statement: Clearly state why you believe the other party is to blame for the accident and your injuries. Include any evidence to support your claim, such as police reports or witness statements. Police reports are not admissible evidence in court but can be used in settlement negotiations nonetheless.
- Description of injuries: Describe the injuries you sustained as a result of the accident. This should include a detailed medical report from your doctor outlining the nature of the injuries, the treatment you received, and the prognosis.
- Medical treatment: Detail the medical treatment you have undergone, including dates of treatment, types of treatment (e.g., surgery, physical therapy), and the names of the medical providers.
- Medical expenses: Provide an itemized list of all medical expenses incurred as a result of the injury. This can include hospital bills, medication costs, and any other related medical costs.
- Lost wages and employment impact: If you missed work or were unable to perform your job duties due to the injury, include documentation of lost wages and any impact on your employment.
- Other damages: Mention any other damages suffered, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, or damage to property.
- Demand for compensation: State the total amount of compensation you are seeking. This should be a sum of all the medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Some commentators believe that you should refrain from stating a specific amount and let the insurance company make the first offer.
- Supporting documentation: Attach or reference any supporting documentation, such as medical bills, photographs of injuries, witness statements, and a police report.
- Set a deadline for the insurance company to respond.
- Closing statement: Conclude by reiterating your demand for compensation and stating your willingness to pursue further legal action if necessary.
- Signature: End the letter with your signature and contact information.
Remember, a personal injury demand letter should be clear, concise, and factually accurate.
There are three possible responses to your demand letter:
- A rejection: An insurance company will reject your good-faith offer to settle if they think they can get away with it. This is most likely to happen if the insurance company believes you are representing yourself.
- A counteroffer: An insurance company’s most likely response to your demand letter is a ‘lowball’ counteroffer.
- An acceptance: If the insurance company accepts your first offer, you probably asked for far too little.
The fourth possible “response,” of course, is that the insurance company ignores your demand letter.
Factors That Influence Response Time
The following factors will probably exert a decisive influence on how long it takes the insurance company to respond:
- Previous discussions you might have had with the insurance company.
- Whether your medical expenses exceed the policy limits of the at-fault party.
- The volume and intricacy of your medical documents and charges.
- Your medical history.
- The size of the insurance company.
- The workload of the insurance adjuster.
- The total amount of your claim.
The larger your claim, the longer it is likely to take to resolve.
How To Speed Up the Response Time
Set a reasonable deadline for the insurance company to respond to your demand. How long does an insurance adjuster have to respond? Your demand letter timeline might, for example, assert that the insurance company has 30 days to respond. Whatever deadline you set, stick to it, because the insurance company won’t respect you unless you do.
Playing Hardball: Filing a Lawsuit
Actually filing a lawsuit should light a fire under the insurance adjuster. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go to trial; you can always withdraw your lawsuit in response to an acceptable settlement. But filing a lawsuit will give both sides access to the powerful pretrial evidence-gathering process.
It’s Best To Have a Florida Personal Injury Attorney Draft Your Demand Letter
It is tricky to produce a well-drafted demand letter. Quite literally, every sentence has consequences, and an experienced personal injury lawyer should understand these consequences better than you do. As a result, it’s likely in your best interest to hire a lawyer for help.
Contact Our Gainesville Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida
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