Morgan Gaynor | December 10, 2021 | Personal Injury
If you were injured in an accident in Florida, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills and other losses. You can pursue compensation by filing a claim with an insurance company in most instances.
The specific insurance company you work with will depend on the nature of your accident. For instance, maybe you were injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property. Perhaps the accident occurred because the property owner failed to address a fall hazard. In this case, you would likely pursue compensation by filing a claim to collect from the property owner’s insurance.
The situation may be somewhat different if you were injured in a car accident. Florida is currently a no-fault state. In a no-fault state, car accident victims can typically seek compensation from their own insurance — even when accidents are the result of someone else’s negligence.
Regardless, an initial step in the process of seeking compensation involves writing a settlement demand letter. This is a letter describing the nature of your accident, providing documentation of your losses, and asking the insurance company for a certain amount of money. Tips to keep in mind when drafting a settlement demand letter include:
The word “demand” can give off the impression that a settlement letter should be angry and confrontational in tone. Don’t make the mistake of writing this type of letter. Your tone should be professional and formal.
Angrily demanding a certain amount of money could have the opposite effect of what you intended. Over-the-top demands can indicate that you’re bluffing and won’t sue if they offer a low settlement. The insurer will likely conclude that you will settle early and are just trying to see if you can scare them into giving more than they’re willing to offer.
Mention Unique Details of Your Case
It’s acceptable to account for and touch on unique details of your case when writing a settlement demand letter. For example, it’s common for a typical settlement demand letter to mention and provide evidence of medical bills and lost wages. You should certainly include these details in your letter.
However, there may also be other factors worth touching on. For instance, perhaps you were driving to see your child get married when you were involved in a car accident that prevented you from doing so. This could cause emotional distress. You may want to mention it in your settlement demand letter.
Mention All Damages
Damages after an accident can be wide-ranging. You should mention all your damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Your odds of adding more damages to your settlement request after your initial demand letter will be very low if you didn’t mention them from the beginning.
Consider Hiring an Attorney
That last point brings up an important step to take before sending a settlement demand letter: calculating all your damages. You may not even know that you are eligible to be compensated for certain types of losses that you failed to mention in your letter.
This is why you should consider reviewing your case with an attorney before filing a claim. If an attorney agrees to work with you, they can handle the task of writing and sending a settlement demand letter on your behalf.
This offers two advantages. It relieves you of a tedious task during a time when you should be recovering from your accident. It also reduces the odds that your demand letter will omit necessary information.
A proper settlement demand letter can play a tremendous role in determining how much you actually settle for. Consider optimizing your chances of recovering a fair payout by hiring an lawyer to write a demand letter instead of writing it on your own.
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