Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler August 23, 2016

When you’re injured in an auto accident, you ultimately will need a “demand letter” to claim payments for your losses. Such letters lay out the nature of the accident, the ensuing medical costs and your expectations for a settlement which can avoid litigation.

Most personal injury insurance claims are then settled out of court, with no need for a lawsuit. But victims need an injury attorney to handle the details, including organizing and composing the demand letter that is sent to insurance companies, and then negotiating with insurers to gain victims a fair settlement.

What Does a Demand Letter Say?

As for what a demand letter says, it can open by stating that it is a “good faith” attempt to resolve an insurance claim without need of litigation. The demand letter should present the evidence and facts of liability and details about the nature and extent of injuries, physical impairments, lost wages and other damages.

The demand letter then should demand a specific amount which you and your attorney determine is the cost and the worth of your injury. This amount may be stated in the letter as a demand for “no less than” than the amount you and your attorney specify.

Demand letters typically are sent to an insurance company after the victim has concluded medical treatment and exact figures are available on what his or her full treatment cost. In short, the demand letter should include all treatments — not just an initial emergency room visit, but also primary care from personal physicians and other costs.

The important thing is to make sure you have all of the information at hand to convey damages to the insurance company, which otherwise may try to settle for a far lower amount than you deserve. If a person accepts an insurance settlement only for their emergency room visit, they may shortchange themselves.

After receiving a demand letter, insurance companies then have a “window” to respond. An insurer or insurance adjuster customarily takes 30 to 45 days to respond with an offer to settle the claim. An adjuster also may ask for supplemental details, such as the amounts that health insurance already may have paid and a victim’s history in prior accidents.

The victim and his or her injury attorney then can assess the insurer’s response to the demand letter and accept it or, as in most cases, present a counter offer.

Injury attorneys advise victims never to accept an insurer’s first offer, which is highly unlikely to be their best offer. Instead they should negotiate — or, rather, let their attorneys negotiate for them.

Normally such negotiations will succeed in resolving a case via an out-of-court settlement for the client. In the minority of cases when that does not occur, the client has the option of seeking a more favorable resolution through litigation.

What Precedes a Demand Letter?

A demand letter isn’t the first contact made with an insurer. Other things precede a demand letter, such as victims making initial contact with their insurers to alert them about the injury accident.

Victims then are advised to engage an injury attorney who will notify insurers of the costs of the injury so the insurers can set their reserves — an accounting procedure — for such amounts. Then, throughout medical treatment, an adjuster may call to inquire about a victim’s treatment status in order to update and revise the setting of reserves.

When medical treatment has concluded, the victim’s injury attorney sends a demand letter to the insurer specifying all facts in the case and asserting the payment amount needed to cover damages.

Should You Send the Demand Letter?

You may wonder if, as a victim, you should send the demand letter yourself. But facts are facts: Insurance companies will not offer as much to individuals as they would to an attorney when facing possible litigation. Also, statistically injury attorneys are able to get two to three times as much money in a settlement than would an individual acting alone.

When an insurance company makes a bad low-ball offer to an individual, that person can protest, but he or she will be up against the insurance company’s defense attorneys. Victims are better advised to engage an injury attorney who can fight for their legal rights, including writing a demand letter and negotiating a settlement.

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Testimonials

Erick Becker
Erick Becker
01:20 06 May 17
I am a Patrol Deputy for the Sheriff Office and while working one night, a drunk driver crossed the center stripe on the highway and struck my patrol vehicle head on with his pick up truck. Needless to say we (the drunk driver and I) were both lucky to survive, as the accident occurred at highway speeds. Following my release from the hospital, I knew that I would need to have someone represent me. My employer was happy to represent me in regards to prosecuting the driver for criminal charges but, can do little in respect to the recovery of financial losses for medical bills, pain and discomfort, time lost from work etc... This is how my relationship with Jim Adler and Associates began. Yep, you probably guessed correctly when you think of what made me choose the "Texas Hammer" to represent me. Those half obnoxious, half way entertaining commercials and radio announcements most Texans have been seeing and hearing on the TV and radio for years instantly came to mind. Yes, I wanted to "hammer" this S.O.B. for trying to kill me but, more importantly I was worried about the costs associated with the life long injuries I had sustained as a result of this drunk driver's negligent behavior. I contacted Jim Adler and Associates and so began our relationship. I was immediately surprised by the prompt attention and the expression of genuine concern for my well being that I received from the employees of Jim Adler's office. Now as you can imagine, lawyers are not a breed that is held in very high regard by people in my profession but, my experiences with Jim Adler's office and his employees have forced me to amend my way of thinking, at least on the civil side of the house anyway. I have to chuckle when I say that because my experience as a client of Jim Adler's firm has been exceptionally pleasant. So before I venture down one of the stereotypical and infinite number of rabbit holes associated with the relationship between members of law enforcement and lawyers; I will do my best to stay focused on my experience with Jim Adler & Associates. Upon being informed that my case had been accepted by Jim Adler's office; I was contacted by Iris Sanchez who informed me that she was to be my case manager and any questions, comments and concerns could be directed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to receive regular calls from Iris assisting with my medical appointments and future follow up appointments. Iris had informed me that Jim Adler's son, Bill Adler would be handling my case and I was even more surprised to receive several calls from Bill to discuss my case. Now you might be thinking "what's the big deal" with the person who is representing you contacting you? In reality, you are correct in that it isn't a big deal but, what is noteworthy and what separates Jim Adler's Office from the multitude of other lawyers is the genuine expressions of concern and the desire Bill Adler conveyed to me to do their best to help me. I felt an immediate connection and instantly realized I had made the correct choice in contacting Jim Adler & Associates to handle my case. One thing I think lawyers and police officers can agree on is the proverbial wheels of justice turn very slowly. Months go by and our professional relationship is never neglected. Through the unwavering attention of Iris Sanchez and Bill Adler himself, I never felt "out of the loop" so to speak and always had a clear understanding of where my case was at in regards to the legal process. In conclusion, I know my brief description of my experiences with Bill Adler and, his assistant Iris Sanchez, cannot provide the credit they deserve. Together they have done an outstanding job representing their firm/employer. If you are seeking a great firm to represent your legal interests and, take comfort in establishing a professional relationship that feels more like a friendship than a casual business acquaintance, then I highly suggest Jim Adler & Associates.
Tierra Clark
Tierra Clark
18:52 19 May 17
My lawyer Bill Adler and case manager Iris Sanchez are amazing! They constantly call and check on you . They keep you up to date through the process. They care about you as a person and not just a client. The wreck was a life changing experience that I've never been through before. I'm just glad I had the right people like Bill Adler and Iris Sanchez to help me through it. Truly satisfied.Thanks and God bless y'all!
Lorenzo Preston
Lorenzo Preston
17:23 26 Jan 17
Jim Adler only offer nothing less than a great experience. They are a very well-established organization. They are outstanding on keeping you up to date with cases. There's no beating around the bush with this organization as they are only straight forward with the whole process. They treat their customers like family as well as go above and beyond to fight cases for you only leaving you with nothing but the best experience. Easy 5-star rated organization. I would highly recommend this one organization you not look over.
Tori Barroga
Tori Barroga
14:17 11 May 17
I was dropped from a previous law firm regarding my case before I called Jim Adler. They immediately took up my case and worked hard on it - I was always up to date with each step they took and the benefits or consequences of each. In the end, I am highly satisfied with the outcome and would not have it any other way. It took some time but I truly appreciate and want to thank everybody who helped me on this journey and worked tirelessly on it.
Bernard Orozco
Bernard Orozco
17:16 23 Feb 17
I am very happy with Jim Adler & Associates. I did not know anyone who has ever used the Law Firm before. The staff is very friendly and treated me as if I were family. At times it got very stressful being without a job. They helped me when I was confused about the process. Mrs. Theresa Rodriguez stayed in contact with me constantly. Checking on me to see how I was doing and to let me know how things were going on there end. The Attorneys that handled my case know exactly what they are doing to take good care of me. Thank You so much Attorney's Mr.Michael Gomez and Mr.Trey Smith.
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