When a car accident involves injuries and property damage, a letter requesting a settlement may be required to make certain the insurance company gets a complete detailing of the expenses the insured party has incurred. An accident settlement letter, whether written by an attorney or the claimant personally, should contain several important pieces of information to help make certain the insurance company is clear about what it will take to settle a case with expediency.
Detail the Accident
The first thing to cover when writing an accident settlement letter is the accident itself. Even though an adjustor assigned to the case should be fully aware of the circumstances, it is important to provide a brief refresher. Be sure to include:
- The date the accident occurred
- The vehicles, makes and models involved
- How the accident happened
- What the accident reports say and any charges that were filed
Also be sure to acknowledge payments made by the insurance company already to cover property damage, medical bills and so on.
Give an Accounting of Post-Accident Occurrences
Make sure the insurance company is given a full detailing of events that have followed the crash. An accident settlement letter should detail:
- Medical expenses
- Prescription expenses
- Testing costs
- Lost wages
- Incidental expenses, such as cancelled plane tickets, house cleaning
- Medical prognosis
Provide documentation for all expenses, medical reports, lost wages and so on and add them as attachments to the accident settlement letter. The more proof of costs and medical status that can be provided generally the better. If future expenses related to the accident are anticipated, be sure to include them in the accounting, as well.
About Pain and Suffering
It is not out of the question to request payment for pain and suffering. This amount can vary based on the policy limits and the extent of injuries involved as a result of the accident.
Other Points to Consider
When it’s time to submit an accident settlement letter to an insurance company make sure to write it in a professional and clear manner. Take the time to be polite, but firm. Include any and all documentation that is available to back the claim request. Also, do set a time limit for an anticipated response from the insurance company. It is not uncommon for them to come back with a lower offer, which may require some negotiating.
An accident settlement letter is one of the final steps involved in resolving a crash claim. To make sure this letter is written appropriately or that a claim is being handled properly, it is advisable to contact a legal professional. An automobile accident attorney can provide the advice injured parties need to get the most out of their accident settlements.