What to do about submitting a demand letter for an auto accident?

When submitting a demand letter for an auto accident (not at fault), should I include the amount of damages expected (non-economic, pain/suffering). I included details of all medical costs, current and future or should the adjuster make an offer based on data submitted?

Asked on September 20, 2012 under Accident Law, Louisiana


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

In the demand letter, under Special Damages list each medical provider and the amount of each medical bill.  List wage loss.  You might also want to list transportation (number of visits to the doctor multiplied by a rate per mile based on roundtrip mileage to the doctor).

Your pain and suffering  compensation is a multiple of only the total medical bills; not the other items I have mentioned.  You can write the amount of compensation you are seeking in a separate sentence in the demand letter.  It should be a sufficiently large figure so that there is room for negotiation because the adjuster will respond with a much lower offer, and you can continue negotiations to try to increase the adjuster's offer.

If the case is settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the at-fault party's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party/registered owner of the vehicle (if the registered owner is someone other than the at-fault driver).  If the case is NOT settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.