When Do You Get a Settlement After a Demand Letter?

March 11, 2024
Savage, Royall & Sheheen

There are various ways to communicate with the insurance company during the personal injury claims process. At some point, the insurance company would need to be persuaded that they have liability. They would also need to know exactly what you are seeking in a settlement.

You may need to show the insurance company that you mean business. You may accomplish that through a demand letter to the insurance company. This is a concrete step in the direction of litigation that is intended to push the settlement process forward.

The personal injury attorneys at Savage, Royall & Sheheen, LLP, can help you with all aspects of your civil case.

What Is a Demand Letter?

A demand letter is a formal statement that you make to the responsible party’s insurance company that they owe you a certain amount of money. The demand letter briefly lays out your case and why the insurance company owes you money.

Essentially, the demand letter says to the insurance company, “Pay me or else.” Here, the “or else” is that you would file a lawsuit against the responsible party that the insurance company would be obligated to defend.

Why Would You Send a Demand Letter?

Your lawyer can help you figure out the best tactics and strategy in your personal injury case.

There are some times when you can file an insurance claim that could open settlement negotiations that resolve your case. In other instances, you may need to escalate matters and file a more formal demand letter.

In most cases, you would send a demand letter after the insurance company has already accepted liability, but they have made you an insufficient settlement offer. In other cases, especially those that involve more money, your lawyer may believe it to be best to open the process of dealing with the insurance company by sending them a demand letter.

How Long It Takes for the Insurance Company to Respond to a Demand Letter

The insurance company usually takes longer to respond to demand letters than they do to claims. They know that there is a greater probability that a case where a demand letter is written will end up in court. The insurance company may have already made a settlement offer that you rejected.

The insurance company is not under any deadlines to respond to a demand letter. They are bound by the legal principles of good faith when it comes to a claim.

They may want to delay their response for as long as they can, so they can improve their negotiating position. They understand that you need the money, and they are prepared to extract a price from you any way that they can get it.

Further, the insurance company may take more time to respond to certain demand letters.

Those that demand a large sum of money, or involve cases with more complex facts, may require more time for the insurance company to investigate or formulate a response.

How the Insurance Company May Respond to Your Demand Letter

The insurance company may respond to your demand letter in the following ways:

  • They may accept your demand and pay what you seek (but this is relatively rare).
  • They may deny your claim entirely and not offer you anything.
  • They may make you a counteroffer to settle your case for less than you are seeking (which is the most common scenario).

Do Not Try to Follow an Online Template for a Demand Letter

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to writing an effective demand letter to the insurance company. The strongest approach is the one that is best suited to your case.

You should be wary of online templates for a demand letter that some purport to be helpful. The insurance company will see right through it and know that they do not have to take you seriously.

You should always have an experienced personal injury lawyer draft your demand letter. This document is highly legal, and you should have someone write it who is intimately familiar with the legal process. The stronger your demand letter is, the better position you will be in for settlement negotiations.

Remember that the purpose of the demand letter is to persuade the insurance company that you have a strong case, and they should pay you what you are seeking in damages.

What is Included in an Insurance Company Demand Letter?

Your demand letter may include the following:

  • A statement of the case and the dispute between the two parties
  • A brief recitation of the facts that would entitle you to financial compensation
  • The person who is responsible for paying for your damages
  • The value of your claim (potentially including a breakdown of what you believe that you are due)
  • A threat to file a lawsuit if the insurance company does not meet your demand

Your demand letter should stick to the facts of the case, and it should avoid venturing into what you feel are more personal issues than legal ones. These letters must be professional and put your best foot forward.

Contact a Camden, SC Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you have been injured in any type of accident, you need help from an experienced lawyer to put you in the position to obtain the best possible result. The attorneys at Savage, Royall & Sheheen, LLP, have a track record of getting results for our clients when they place their trust in us. We put pressure on the insurance companies that otherwise would not do right by you.

To schedule your initial consultation, you can call us at 803-432-4391 or send us a message through our website.

Savage Royall & Sheheen Logo


Available 24/7

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.