Important Factors in Getting Personal Injury Cases Settled
Be sure to send organized copies of your medical bills and reports with your settlement demand letter. Arrange them in chronological order, beginning with the ambulance bill, the emergency room bill and report, the bills and reports of your primary physician, followed by the bills and reports of any specialist that you have seen. After this comes the physical therapy bills and reports, and then any bills and prescriptions for medical equipment you have received. You should send the property damage appraisal, your wage loss proof, original photographs of the property damage and/or of cuts, abrasions, scars, etc., on your face or body. You should also forward any other documentation that helps to prove the losses and damages you have suffered.
Getting a Response
It usually takes an insurance company a minimum of two weeks to review settlement demand letters and come up with a settlement offer. Frequently, your settlement letter and supporting documents are reviewed by various employees at different levels of authority of the insurance company. The larger the case, the more layers of review you can expect-and accordingly, the longer the delay before an offer is made.
Within a few days after you mail the settlement demand letter, contact the company to make sure they have received it. It is not unusual for important documents to get lost in the mail. This follow-up phone call can save you some aggravation down the road. Nothing is more frustrating than waiting two or three weeks for a settlement offer, only to discover that the insurance company claims that it never got your letter. If you send the letter by certified mail, you will have proof that it was received. Overnight mail ensures prompt delivery.
Within a couple of weeks after you have confirmed that the letter was received, it is wise to call the insurance company to see if they have a settlement offer for you. If you do not call, you may never hear from the insurance company. Many insurance companies simply put settlement letters on the back burner and wait for the follow-up call from the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s lawyer.