Choosing the Right Law School / Re: How to write a demand letter for personal injury without hiring a lawyer?« on: April 03, 2011, 03:47:57 PM »
I was recently involved in a car accident where the other person was at fault as determined by both insurance companies. They paid to fix my car already, but now I want to file a personal injury claim with the other persons insurance company without hiring a lawyer. Where can I learn the proper procedures and forms? Does any body have any sample demand letters I can use? Please help...
This isn't really an answer to your question but just some personal advice.
I deal with insurance companies and settlements every day. In addition to that, I was hit by a motorist while riding a bicycle when I was younger and sustained some injuries as a result.
Based on this experience, I will offer this: if you try to do this yourself, the insurance company will whip your ass. They have lawyers. They know the rules. They know their rights. They know what is a good settlement, what is a bad settlement and what is a fair settlement.
You don't know any of those things and they're not going to help you with any portion of your desire to get the optimal PI settlement from them.
Not only that, but the first person (and possibly the ONLY person) you will be dealing with is an adjuster. They're not that versed in the law. They don't know all that much about this. They DO know that they're measured on their average cost of claims and how long it takes to settle. So, they don't know enough to settle PI correctly, and their only incentive is to have measurements that look good to their boss. Draw your own conclusions about that. Me? I'd be thinking that their primary motivation will be to pay as little as possible.
The insurance company was so unreasonable with me in my accident that I ended up hiring a PI attorney who got me a much, much bigger settlement than anything I would have expected. It was settled without having to go to trial, so the insurance company obviously felt it wasn't that disadvantageous to them.
People may think little of PI attorneys, but frankly, I think they have their place. The insurance company has almost all the information and all the expertise on their side and they do this every day for a living. You, on the other hand are going to try and take them on based on free advice you're asking for over the internet.
Just think about that for a moment.