After a car accident, you may need to send a demand letter to the insurance company to recover the compensation you deserve. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for insurers to not respond to these demand letters.
Thankfully, when you have an experienced car accident lawyer working for you, you can figure out your next steps and show the insurance company you are taking your case seriously. Here is more about what to do if you have yet to receive your demand letter response from the insurance company.
Insurers Do Not Need to Respond to Demand Letters
It should be noted that insurance companies are not legally obligated to respond to demand letters they receive after a claim is filed. Even though Georgia law states the insurance company must process your claim in a reasonable amount of time, there is no significant penalty when demand letters go unanswered.
However, your attorney will be ready to take action against the insurance company if they refuse to give your claim the attention it deserves. This might be by filing a civil lawsuit against the insurance company if they continue to handle your claim in bad faith.
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Potential Responses to Your Demand Letter
There are several ways the insurance company could respond to your demand letter once they have completed their investigation into your claim. These potential responses include:
- Making a counter-offer
- Rejecting your claim
- Accepting your demands as described in your demand letter
After receiving your demand letter, the insurance company may make a settlement offer. Although this offer may be significantly less than you initially demanded in your letter, it is a good start as you attempt to get the most out of your car accident claim.
The insurance company will lose money by paying out on your claim, so you can expect the insurance adjuster to do what they can to reduce this loss. If they can offer significantly less than your claim is worse, they could protect their profit loss.
However, the insurance company’s profits are not your problem. Your car accident lawyer will be ready to continue negotiating with the insurance company until we reach a reasonable settlement that sufficiently meets your needs.
If you receive a quick counter-offer to your demand letter, this may be a sign that the insurance company recognizes the value of your claim. If the insurer can tempt you into accepting less due to your need for financial support, they could get away with settling for less than the value of your claim. For this reason, never accept a settlement offer from the insurance company without first reviewing it with your car accident attorney.
Rejecting Your Demands
The insurance company could reject your demand letter altogether. If the insurance company sends you a rejected letter, you may initially feel defeated and have little desire to move forward with an appeal. However, with help from your car accident lawyer, we can send the insurance company a counteroffer, complete with additional supporting evidence and other information that could result in a decision reversal.
One of the top reasons car accident demands are rejected is because the liable party argues the injury victim shares the blame for their damages. However, since Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, sharing fault does not prohibit you from recovering compensation through an insurance settlement. It will reduce the compensation you can win, but the insurance company should not reject your payment demands.
Accepting Your Demands
In rare instances, the insurance company may accept your demands as outlined in your demand letter. However, insurance companies are profit-driven and can only pay out on your claim if they are explicitly required. Generally, your attorney can secure a reasonable settlement offer after negotiating back and forth.
Suppose the insurance company does accept your demands. In that case, this may be a sign that your claim is worth substantially more or the amount you request is significantly less than the insurance company expected to pay.
Factors Impacting How Long It Takes the Insurance Company to Respond
Multiple factors could influence how long the insurance company responds to your demand letters. Some insurance companies respond to demand letters within one week. Others take several months before receiving a response.
Some factors that determine how long it takes the insurer to respond to your demand letter include:
- The insurance company’s resources
- The amount of compensation you are seeking
- The details of the policyholder’s insurance policy
- Whether you have previously corresponded with the insurance company
- The evidence included in your demand letter
- Whether multiple parties share liability
The insurance company may attempt to delay the processing of your claim by refusing to respond to your demand letter, only to turn around and make an insulting settlement offer. They may do this to tempt you into accepting less than your claim is worth.
If you receive a settlement offer from the insurance company, be sure to discuss the offer with your car accident attorney before you accept. This way, you can gain insight into the actual value of your claim and avoid being tricked into being taken advantage of by profit-driven insurers.
What to Do if the Insurer Does Not Respond
In the event the insurance company does not respond to your demand letter, there are some steps you can take to take action. Including:
- Keeping an open line of communication and continuing to reach out to the insurance company at least once every week
- Contacting your insurance adjuster supervisor
- Mentioning to the insurance adjuster that you have concerns they are handling your claim in bad faith
- Filing a complete with the Georgia state office of insurance and fire safety
- Contacting a car accident lawyer for help holding the insurance company accountable
Contact a Car Accident Attorney for Help Today
Unfortunately, car insurance claims can be notoriously tricky. This is partly because insurers lose money by settling claims and think they can escape their financial obligations by ignoring or not responding to demand letters.
Take action against the insurance company and be proactive with your claim. Reach out to a dedicated car accident lawyer at John Foy & Associates for the legal support you need when you need it most. Please fill out our online contact form or call us to get started on your insurance claims as soon as today.