If you have been involved in a car accident in Atlanta, you have probably suffered losses in the form of damage to your vehicle and physical injuries. An Atlanta car accident lawyer can help you recover compensation for these losses. However, you must make the right decisions when filing a claim to improve your odds of success.
One of these decisions involves drafting an effective demand letter. A demand letter is one of the most important steps in filing a car crash claim. Here is a quick look at what this letter is and how best to draft one.
What is a Demand Letter?
A demand letter is a letter you send to the insurance company of the at-fault driver. In this letter, you lay out the facts and circumstances of the accident. You also share a formal figure which embodies your demand for damages. This figure is typically a starting point so that the insurance company may reciprocate with its own figure and begin the process of negotiation.
In many ways, a demand letter is the starting point of your car crash claim. If it is drafted poorly, the insurer gets the impression that you don’t know what you are about. As a consequence, the insurer may try to make lowball offers. On the other hand, a well-drafted letter that lays out all the facts in a formal and effective way tells the insurer that you know what you are doing. This reduces the chances of any foul play on the part of the insurer.
Drafting the Demand Letter
When you start drafting a demand letter, it is important to follow these steps.
Gather Relevant Information
You will need to include the relevant information and cite relevant evidence in order to make your demand letter effective. Relevant evidence for a car crash claim includes medical bills and records, police report about the crash, evidence of lost wages, witness statements, and any other evidence of the accident such as CCTV footage. At this stage, you are not required to provide the evidence but simply point out its presence and availability.
Present the Facts
It is important to share the facts of the accident from your point of view. When doing so, make sure you thoroughly narrate the chain of events that led to the crash. Facts of the crash may include your direction and speed at the time of the crash, the direction and position of the other vehicles, location details, and so on. In this section of the letter, you should also formally state that the other driver was at fault in causing the crash, thereby entitling you to damages.
Talk About Your Injuries
Your injuries, related symptoms, the medical treatment you have received, and the overall costs of the injury are central to the demand letter. Give a detailed account of these and use the relevant medical terminology where possible. An insurer will assess your description of the medical costs to determine how strong your claim will be in front of a jury. Make sure your description is truthful yet effective and convincing. This will persuade the insurer to try and seek a settlement before you take your claim to the jury.
Provide Details of Lost Wages
A car crash may also result in lost wages which you are entitled to receive as a part of compensatory damages. When drafting the demand letter, it is vital that you also provide details about the lost wages. This should include your wage rate at the time of the crash, the time you were forced to take off, and an estimation of the wages you lost. You should also mention the opportunities, such as promotions, that you have been forced to miss due to crash-related injuries.
Make a Formal Demand
Towards the end of the letter, it is time to make a formal monetary demand. This demand effectively sums up all the losses you have suffered. The amount you demand should be significantly higher than the actual amount you expect to receive. This gives you room to negotiate as the insurance company will likely haggle and try to bring down the amount.
Hire an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you have suffered a car crash in Atlanta, we can help you draft a very effective initial demand letter. Here at the Greene Legal Group, our aim is to open a damages claim from a position of strength. This allows us to help you get the maximum amount of compensation. Message us today for a free consultation.