What Happens After My Lawyer Sends a Demand Letter?

PUBLISHED ON: April 30, 2024    LAST MODIFIED ON: May 3, 2024

A personal injury case really takes off after your lawyer sends a demand letter to the responsible party’s insurance company. Understanding what comes next is the key to demystifying this important step in the legal process.

Lawyer sitting at desk with demand letter in hand

What is a Demand Letter?

A demand letter is a formal and strategic document that initiates negotiations between you and an insurance company. It outlines your legal claim, specifies the damages or conditions you are demanding, and serves as a warning that legal action may follow if the terms are not met.

A demand letter typically includes a description of the incident, the legal basis for your claim, a detailed listing of the damages or injuries suffered, and the monetary amount you are seeking as compensation. The primary goal is to resolve disputes before escalating to a courtroom, saving both parties time and money.

What Happens After a Demand Letter is Sent?

The recipient of your letter may take their time reviewing the terms your personal injury lawyer submitted. All you can do is wait for a response. The three possible outcomes include:

  • Settlement offer: The best-case scenario is that the at-fault party agrees to your demands or proposes a fair settlement to avoid further legal action.
  • Negotiations: More commonly, the demand letter sparks a series of negotiations between your lawyer and the letter recipient, aiming to reach a mutual agreement.
  • No response or denial: If the opposing party ignores the demand letter or denies liability, your lawyer might recommend litigation.

How Long After the Demand Letter Can I Expect Settlement?

The timeline from the demand letter to settlement varies widely. Often, your lawyer will ask for a response by a specific date, such as 30 or 45 days from the time they receive the letter. However, since there is no legal timeframe for responding to demand letters, many insurance companies don’t comply with this request. Some don’t reply at all. So you can’t expect to settle your case within this short period.

The length of time from sending the demand letter to settling your case depends on several factors:

  • Complexity: Simple cases with clear evidence typically settle quickly, while more complex disputes could take months to resolve.
  • Willingness to cooperate: Insurance companies open to negotiation shorten the timeline, while reluctant parties delay the process.
  • Legal strategy: Your lawyer’s approach, such as following up and maintaining pressure, also helps shorten the demand letter timeline.

Trusted Legal Guidance from Nava Law Group

Legal disputes following a personal injury can be stressful. That’s why you need an experienced legal professional by your side. Nava Law Group has over 150 years of combined legal experience, with a team of highly qualified attorneys who have successfully recovered over $1 billion in compensation for our clients. Whether your case is settled inside or outside the courtroom, our goal is to help you secure the best possible outcome. Call us at 713.661.9900 to schedule a free consultation at one of our personal injury law offices in Houston, Bellaire, Edinburg, or Austin, TX.

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