After a car accident, you are going to need to work with an adjuster to determine what your settlement should be. Before a settlement is offered, you can present an insurance claim letter. In this letter, you are letting your insurance agency know what happened and what you want to get as a settlement offer. There are four different elements you should stress in your insurance claim letter.
#1 Car Accident Liability
The first thing that you need to cover in your insurance claim letter is who is liable for the accident. Make sure that you clearly state the make, model, and year of each vehicle involved and who was driving it. From there, state who was at fault for the accident. Be sure to back up this claim with evidence, such as a witness statement or a police report.
#2 Car Accident Expenses
Second, go into the expenses that you incurred as a result of the accident. Start out with any cost that you had to pay to fix up your vehicle or to replace your vehicle, including the cost of a rental vehicle. If your vehicle has to be towed from the accident site, include this information as well.
From there, go into detail about the medical care that you and your passengers sustained. The more detailed you are with medical care and expenses the better.
Make sure that you include any other way the accident impacted you financially. For example, if you had to miss work, include the cost of your lost wages. If you had to reschedule a trip, include that cost. If you needed extra help or were not able to do things you normal do, include that impact as well.
#3 Car Accident Injuries
Separate from detailing your medical expenses, you also need to detail the exact injuries that you sustained. Doctors notes can be helpful to provide this information. Do not just state that you hurt your back; use the precise, medical language that describes the injuries that you sustained.
#4 Make Your Demands
Finally, at the end of the letter, you need to make your demands for compensation. The key to making your demands is to start with a higher number than you will actually settle for. There is a very low chance that your car insurance company is going to accept your first offer; more than likely, they are going to engage in some back and forth offers, whittling away until a number is reached that both of you can agree on. Make sure that you build negotiating space into your demands.
Have your attorney help you write and draft this letter. Your attorney should have extensive experience insurance claims letters and will be able to let you know what language to use as well as what to include or exclude from your letter. For more information, contact a law office like Kaston & Aberle.