According to statistics, car accident cases rarely make it to trial. To avoid costly and lengthy litigation, parties usually settle out of court. To ensure that you get a fair settlement of your claim, you’ll need to present a solid case to the other party’s insurer through a demand letter and sound negotiations.
The Demand Letter
In the typical demand letter, an injured party lists the circumstances and facts of their accident and subsequent treatment, setting the stage for preliminary negotiations. Demand letters are your best opportunity before court to present your case to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
A properly drafted demand letter contains a detailed account of events before and during the accident, as well as information on the medical treatment you’ve received, including an accounting of lost wages and medical expenses. The letter should ask for an amount higher than you’ll accept, giving you and your Car Accident Lawyer in North Stonington, CT bargaining room during negotiations.
After getting your demand letter, the other driver’s insurance company will review it and your documentation, followed by a settlement offer. The first offer you receive will likely be low-;just as you set your initial offer high, insurers usually offer less than they’d be willing to pay. Because of this fact, you should not accept the first offer you receive.
In response, you and your lawyer should write a letter specifically declining the offer. The letter should list reasons for the decline, and it should remind the insurer about the key points contained in your initial letter. Negotiations will likely take a while, and if they stall, you may have to provide additional documentation such as letters from doctors and photographic evidence of your injuries.
If negotiations grind to a halt, you and the opposition may benefit from hiring a neutral third party, or a mediator that has personal injury experience. An unbiased person can offer a different perspective, pointing out each case’s weaknesses and strengths and encouraging a fair resolution.
Whether through negotiation or mediation, the insurer will eventually make a fair offer. Before accepting such an offer, you and your Car Accident Lawyer in North Stonington, CT should ensure that it covers unpaid medical bills and leaves you with just compensation after the lawyer’s fees are deducted. If you receive a verbal offer, follow your verbal response with a written letter that restates the offer and your acceptance.
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