How To Write A Settlement Demand Letter

In personal injury cases, attorneys use settlement demand letters to initiate the negotiation process.

What Do I Need to Include in a Settlement Demand Letter?

Your settlement demand letter must contain all pertinent information necessary for the insurance company to decide on your claim.

Generally, settlement demand letters contain the following:

  • A heading identifying the parties in the lawsuit, including the plaintiff and the defendant (the insured)
  • The number of the insurance policy and the claim number
  • A concise description of the accident or incident that caused your injury (e.g., the date, time, and location of the accident that caused your injury)
  • A legal analysis of why the defendant is financially responsible for your damages, including the elements of negligence or other legal causes of action
  • A discussion of your injuries, including their severity, permanent impairments, treatment, and so on.
  • An overview of your damages, including both economic and non-economic losses
  • The demand for resolution (the amount you are willing to accept to settle your claim)

Each settlement demand letter is distinct due to the case-specific facts and circumstances. Let’s examine some writing tips for settlement demand letters.

What Are Some Tips for Writing a Settlement Demand Letter in New York? 

Five things to keep in mind when composing a settlement demand letter are as follows:

Adjusters of insurance claims handle hundreds of cases per year. They investigate numerous settlement demand letters. Your settlement demand letter must therefore stand out.

You should never exaggerate your damages, but you should emphasise anything that makes your case unique. For instance, if you were an avid cyclist or tennis player before sustaining an accident-related injury, you should emphasise this fact.

Use boldface, underlining, and italics to highlight distinctive details. However, avoid emphasising every point. Instead, select the most persuasive details that will make your case stand out to the insurance adjuster.

Include no information or details that could be used to attribute blame for your injury to you. Contributory fault rules can reduce the value of your damages if you are found partially liable for your injury.

Setting a deadline that you do not intend to meet can damage your credibility. For instance, it is unwise to threaten to file a personal injury lawsuit if the insurance company does not respond within 30 days. If you fail to file a lawsuit within 30 days, the insurance adjuster will assume you are full of hot air.

Numerous variables affect how long it takes to receive a response to a settlement demand letter. For instance, insurance companies receive thousands of claims annually, so the caseload of the adjuster affects response time. Additionally, the response time will be affected by the difficulty of your case and the amount of damages you seek.

Instead of establishing a deadline, follow up with the claims adjuster after 45 days to confirm that the company received your demand letter. Consider consulting a lawyer if the insurance company refuses to respond or fails to acknowledge receipt of the demand letter after sixty days.

The statute of limitations in New York establishes deadlines for filing lawsuits. The deadlines vary based on the type of personal injury claim. Some insurance companies may delay claims in the hope that you will not file suit before the statute of limitations expires.

The claims adjuster must provide a justification for the amount paid to settle your claim. Include specific justifications for why your claim deserves maximum compensation.

For instance, you have sustained a permanent disability that prevents you from performing certain activities. Your injuries necessitated multiple operations and months of rehabilitation. Detail the severity of your injury, your medical expenses, the time you missed from work, and your pain and suffering to support the amount you are requesting.

Unless the policy limits are demanded, refrain from requesting a specific amount to settle your claim (unless you understand how to value damages). You could demand a lower settlement amount than the insurance adjuster was willing to pay.

Calculating the value of damages for pain and suffering can be difficult. Unlike financial losses, the value of pain and suffering damages cannot be determined by receipts or bills. Therefore, allowing the insurer to make the initial offer can prevent costly errors.

Avoid using aggressive or inciting language. If you rant and rave about how the accident was not your fault, the adjuster will disregard your demands.

Instead, be concise and clear. Provide your legal arguments for establishing liability. Your credibility with the insurance adjuster is harmed by excessive exaggerations.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm

Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.

Abrams Law Group
104-70 Queens Boulevard, Suite 502
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 997-9797

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