After a car accident, a claim should be sent to the insurance company representing the at-fault party as soon as possible. Many insurance companies require this be done within 24 hours of the collision. This is often the initiating action in negotiating a settlement with an insurance company. In response, insurance agencies often send a reservation of rights letter indicating the insurance company admits no fault but will investigate. Once an individual has sufficiently recovered from whatever injuries were incurred, a demand letter may be sent to the at fault individual’s insurance company. A demand letter explains the extent of damages incurred and to outlines the compensation requested. Dealing with insurance companies can be a nightmare! The best thing to avoid any stress and frustrations is to speak with an accident attorney in Sacramento CA.
Negotiating a settlement is almost always a part of the personal injury claims process. As insurance companies are for-profit organizations, they are not eager to offer large sums of compensation.The insurance agency is usually represented by a claims adjuster, whose job is typically to get you to settle for the least amount of money possible. Demand letters are usually sent after the receipt of an unsatisfactory initial offer of compensation. Demand letters allow an individual to explain the circumstances of an incident and to itemize associated costs. Some individuals multiply the sum of the actual costs by a factor of 2 to 5 to indicate pain and suffering.
Insurance companies often take a long time to respond to demand letters as they know you need the money as soon as possible and they have all the time in the world. Keep in mind that they also aren’t actually required to respond at all. If an insurance company is taking an inordinate amount of time to respond, it may be wise to follow up with the insurance company to be sure they received your demand letter. It’s possible it was sent to the incorrect place or that some of the contact information was incorrect (e.g. policy number, date of accident, name on the policy, etc.) This follow-up should be done on the phone with a claims representative and not through another letter.
If there is still no response, the next step may be to contact a legal representative and file a lawsuit. Be sure to understand the statute of limitations for your case. Once those run out, you could lose the right to sue. When you file a lawsuit, the insurance company is served paperwork that legally obligates them to respond. This does not require you to go to court later – it just gets the ball rolling on reaching a settlement. Because there are so many steps to take and a multitude of factors, have an accident attorney in Sacramento CA handle this frustrating process for you.
When you send a demand letter, the responses can vary. Some of the more common ones are: rejection, counter and acceptance.
Do you have a claim to make against an insurance company? Having knowledgeable and motivated legal representation can help guide you through a complicated process and lend strength to your case. Contacting an accident attorney in Sacramento CA as soon as possible is likely to help you get the compensation you deserve. Give us a call or send us an email for a free consultation.