Illinois is an at-fault state for car accidents, which means the negligent driver who caused your crash will be liable for your injuries and other damages. You will likely file a claim through their insurance to recover compensation.
However, insurance companies can be a headache to communicate with. You may need to send a demand letter after a Chicago accident that wasn’t your fault. Learn what a demand letter can accomplish and how to write one to another driver’s insurance company.
A demand letter is a document that “demands” compensation from an insurance company after an accident. As the victim of a crash, you can send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company, requesting their policy limit as compensation in exchange for settling your personal injury claim.
For example, suppose you are involved in an accident where another party is at fault. Their policy limit is $25,000. A demand letter to their insurance company explicitly requests $25,000, and you agree to drop your claim if they give you that amount.
Common personal injury cases that involve demand letters are:
Here are a few elements you should include in your demand letter to an at-fault driver’s insurance company:
The most effective demand letters are concise. They allow the facts to speak for themselves.
While it may be tempting, avoid threatening the insurance company in your demand letter. Refrain from mentioning a lawsuit, going in-depth about the other driver’s negligence, or using intimidating language. You can get your point across more effectively if you present your side of the accident clearly and professionally.
Many accident victims believe demand letters should be lengthy, detailed, and passionate to be effective. But the most effective demand letters are concise. It’s unlikely an insurance company will praise your remarkable writing skills, much less read everything.
Before you begin drafting a demand letter, you should already have a car accident attorney working on your case. It is imperative to hire a seasoned Chicago personal injury attorney immediately after a crash in Illinois before you attempt to handle the legal process yourself.
You deserve full compensation. Insurance companies want to avoid paying more than the bare minimum. They may try to manipulate and take advantage of you, thinking you’ll be an “easy target” after an accident. Show them you’re serious by hiring aggressive legal representation.
As experienced attorneys, we understand what goes into a successful car accident claim, how to resolve insurance issues, and whether a demand letter would be sufficient at covering your losses. Let us help you pursue maximum compensation so you can focus on recovery.
After your motor vehicle accident, you can send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance with the following steps in mind:
It’s important to seek out an attorney after your accident, rather than wait until you send a demand letter to hire one. Your car crash attorney can help you throughout the recovery process.
Your attorney can help you identify the at-fault party’s insurance company, draft and send the letter to the correct address, and ensure it meets and outlines the standards of Illinois law. If necessary, we can take your case to court to help secure the compensation you deserve from the negligent party.
Your lawyer will gather crucial evidence after your accident to build your claim. If you choose to send a demand letter, however, they can use copies of evidence to supplement your letter. Evidence of your accident and injuries can include:
Attaching these documents and other relevant information to your demand letter can reveal more about the extent of your damages. It can also demonstrate to the insurance company why it’s in their best interest to pay you the maximum now and avoid a lawsuit later.
The at-fault party’s insurance company should respond to your demand letter within 30 days. If they do not take appropriate action, your attorney can file a lawsuit against them for bad faith practices. A trial attorney will defend your right to compensation in court.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, communicating with insurance companies can only add to your stress. Find an attorney who can aggressively negotiate with them to get the maximum amount of compensation you need. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., our Chicago car accident attorneys are here to tackle the challenges of your case and fight for you to make a smooth, complete recovery.