Were you recently involved in an accident that was caused by a commercial truck? Do you believe the truck's driver was negligent? If so, you may be able to recover damages from either the trucking company or the company's insurance company. The first step in doing so is to send in a demand letter. A demand letter is a letter from you to the insurance company stating the facts of the accident and the damages that you suffered. In the letter, you should make a demand for payment. The company will then likely counter and hopefully you will reach a fair settlement amount through continued negotiation. Here are three tips to start the process with a strong letter:
Stick to the facts. Remember that the person reading your letter is an experienced insurance adjuster. They've likely seen and heard it all and can probably spot exaggeration and dishonesty from a mile away. Resist the urge to play up your injuries or your damages. Exaggeration could undermine your credibility and hurt you in later negotiations.
Instead, simply state the facts as they happened. If the truck driver truly was negligent, then the facts should convey that point.
Include documentation. Any documentation you can include will only strengthen your claim. Your medical records and bills should always be included in the demand letter. Also, if you missed time from work and lost wages, include a wage statement showing how much money you lost. If your insurance company or Medicare is seeking reimbursement, be sure to include that documentation. Police reports can also be helpful as they can bolster the validity of your accounting of the situation.
You also want to make it easy for the adjuster to review the information. Don't make them dig through all of your paperwork to get total numbers. Instead, include a summary sheet that breaks down every cost and provides a total. That will help the adjuster make you a counter based on accurate information.
Don't use the word accident. It's common to refer to all vehicle collisions as accidents, but in this case, that's a word you want to avoid. The insurance company may take your use of the word for its literal meaning. That is to say, if you use the word accident, they may choose to understand that it truly was an accident with no one at fault. That's obviously not the message you want to send.
Instead, use words like incident or collision. Use the words negligent or negligence to describe the truck driver's behavior. But don't imply that, even unintentionally, that the truck driver is without fault.
For more information, talk to a trucking accident lawyer. They can help you write a successful demand letter and even assist you in negotiations.Share
5 August 2015
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