Are insurance companies ignoring your attorney's demand letters?
Seeking compensation for one’s personal injuries after an accident can be challenging. That’s why demand letters exist; they are prepared by one’s attorneys and are typically issued to at-fault parties and their insurance companies. In these letters, they contain information such as the circumstances of the accident; reasons that explain why the insurance company’s client was at fault; financial losses caused by the accident; the cost of treatment for one’s injuries and more.
Unfortunately, some cases do not go according to plan. An insurance company may decide to ignore these letters or drag out the settlement process for as long as possible. In other words, their move is to not play at all. As demand letters are designed to initiate negotiations over injury settlements, the absence of a response leaves your case in limbo. How does your attorney handle such issues?
Check in Directly with the Insurance Provider
Your attorney may consider checking in directly with the insurance provider if his or her demand letter has been met with stony silence. Your attorney will contact the insurance provider to see if they have successfully received the correspondence. In some cases, demand letters can get lost in the office mailroom. This type of scenario, however, is rare. If the insurance company’s claims department informs that the letter did not reach their premises, your attorney will send another copy of the letter. This time around, one must verify the mailing addresses, claim numbers, and other administrative details, to confirm receipt of the letter.
Let’s say that the demand letter has now been collected. Your attorney will ask the insurance provider for an estimated time frame by which they will provide a response. If the other party’s reply is evasive or sets an unreasonably long deadline, you and your attorney need a Plan B.
Follow Up with a Final Demand Notice
If the insurance company deliberate ignores the demand letter again, your attorney may respond by sending a final demand notice. This notice informs the uncooperative insurance company that they have X number of days to respond before you file a lawsuit against them. For this to happen, however, the initial demand letter should include a statement of the intent to sue if the other party refuses to pay proper compensation for the personal injuries you sustained.
Wait and Stand Your Ground
After initiating civil court proceeding (tort cases), an insurance company can suddenly become responsive. The company may realize that they want to negotiate with your attorney after all. That’s why it is important to stand your ground and show the at-fault party that no one is going anywhere until they provide a valid response. By forcing the insurance company to recalculate their minimum-cost assessments, they may realize that it is not worth allowing the jury to decide how much compensation you get. They want less risk on their part.
If the other party reaches out at this point by offering to negotiate, it is good news. In addition, your attorney can begin negotiating your settlement. Remember that one does not have to resolve every matter in court just because he or she started a lawsuit. Every party has the power to agree to a settlement and drop the lawsuit any time before a jury decision is rendered. In order to avoid losing one’s right to sue for compensation, the individual must initiate the lawsuit before the statute of limitations lapses. There is usually a two-year time frame for injury claims.
Important note: Each case is different with various dynamics, injuries, and facts at play. Trust the attorneys at Team Law to get you the maximum compensation for your personal injury case, whether it be for injuries stemming from a car accident, a motorcycle accident, medical malpractice, dog bite or slip and fall accident.