Matthew B. Troutman
What should an Auto Accident Lawyer include in the Demand Package on Your claim?
If you have been injured in an auto accident, truck accident or motorcycle accident, your attorney will submit a group of documents, called a "demand package," to the insurance company and the insurance company will use these documents to evaluate your claim. Therefore, it is very important to include the right documents in your demand package to increase the amount of money you will recover from the insurance company. In this article we will discuss what should be included in the demand package and how it should be prepared.
First of all, it is important that the attorney review with the client what is contained in the Demand Package before it is submitted to the insurance company to make sure that he has included everything that needs to be there. If your attorney is part of a high volume legal practice like most practices that advertise on TV and billboards, it is unlikely that he or she called you to discuss your demand package before mailing it to the insurance company. The reason for this oversight is that the high volume law practice does not have time for this process because they are managing a large number of claims and they are focused on turning cases over quickly to be able to process them all. Even many smaller firms fail to consult with their clients about the demand package because they act like the case is theirs and not the client's. It is important to review your case with the attorney to make sure that he has all of your medical records, photograghs, off work notes and anything else that may need to be included in the demand package. Also, it is important that you come to an agreement with the attorney on the amount of money to demand from the insurance company. Most attorneys think they know what to demand from the insurance company, but they forget that the case does not belong to them and the client has a right to be invloved in determining the amount of the demand.
After you have spoken with the attorney about the demand package, what should he or she include in the demand package. The list of items normally included in a demand package include the following - police report, police photos, client photos, medical records, medical bills, off work notes, wage documentation, health insurance liens and videos. In addition to these items, the attorney will include a "demand letter" that describes the details of the claim. The demand letter is usually 2 -3 pages long and includes a list of the injuries, list of the medical bills and a description of the course of medical treatment, lost wages and the permanency of any injuries. My strategy in preparing the demand letter in an auto accident claim is to make it easy to read and as short as possible, because insurance adjusters are reviewing many demands and they need to get the main points quickly and easily. Photos are very important if they help the claim such as in a case of permanent scarring.
An effective auto accident lawyer will be thorough and pursausive in what he includes in the demand package and he will involve his client in the process.