Suffering injuries in an accident can be both painful and expensive. When you file a personal injury claim, you can recover compensation for losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and even pain and suffering.
Handling an accident claim without any assistance can be challenging. The process of requesting compensation from an insurer is full of pitfalls and confusion. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney can help make your claim go more smoothly. A seasoned lawyer will also know the best way to pursue maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
One of the key steps in filing a personal injury claim is sending a demand letter. Learning more about what you should include in a demand letter and why it is important can help you understand the process of filing an injury claim.
What Is a Demand Letter?
A demand letter is a document that a personal injury lawyer sends to an insurance company on behalf of their injured client. The demand letter will inform the insurer that you are taking steps to seek compensation for the losses you suffered in an accident that was another party’s fault.
The purpose of the letter is to convey your reasons for requesting compensation. The demand letter will also communicate the nature of your specific demands, including requests to cover financial losses such as:
- Your medical expenses
- Wages you have lost due to missing time at work
- Property damage you sustained in the accident
- Pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of your injuries
Sections of a Demand Letter
Your Washington personal injury attorney will divide the demand letter into several sections, including information about:
- Who you are
- The party to whom your attorney is sending the letter
- Your reasons for sending the demand letter
- The nature and extent of your accident-related injuries
- Evidence demonstrating the at-fault party’s liability for your accident-related losses
- A list of your medical expenses and other financial losses due to the accident
- Specific demand for compensation the insurer should meet within a reasonable timeframe
What Should I Expect after My Attorney Sends the Letter?
Once the insurance company has received the demand letter, you might have to wait a few weeks or months before you receive a response. The precise amount of time can be difficult to predict, and it will depend on the details of your case. Your attorney will keep you updated with any new information they receive.
Sometimes, the long wait might be attributable to the fact that the insurance company is processing many claims. They will also do some extended due diligence to be certain of the truth of the facts you have submitted.
Yet some insurance adjusters will take their time responding because they recognize that it makes the plaintiff impatient. This can give the insurer an advantage if you accept whatever amount they finally offer. However, your personal injury lawyer will ensure that you do not accept a settlement that is considerably less than what you require to cover your losses.
How Long After a Demand Letter Can I Expect Settlement?
The time you have to wait to receive your settlement package will depend on the unique circumstances of your accident claim. Many plaintiffs can expect to receive their compensation between two weeks and two months after their lawyer send the demand letter. Others with more complex cases may have to wait longer. Similarly, if unexpected complications arise, the process can become lengthier.
One such potential complication is that the insurance company might undervalue or reject your claim. In such a case, your attorney will negotiate with the insurance adjuster to help them understand why your request for compensation is reasonable. If the insurer refuses to offer you the money you deserve, filing a lawsuit might be the only way to recover it. Your attorney can represent you in a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact an Experienced Washington Personal Injury Attorney
Attempting to navigate the personal injury claims process alone can lead to confusion and may ultimately lessen how much compensation you are likely to receive. If you have suffered an injury in an accident in Washington, you need a lawyer who can fight for your best interests every step of the way.
The seasoned attorneys at Tamaki Law have been successfully fighting for the interests of injured Washingtonians since 1994. Our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys will handle every aspect of your claim, so you can focus on recovering your health. Call us today at (800) 801-9564 or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help.