What Is the Demand Letter Timeline to Get a Settlement?
Please Note: The Peace Law Firm is licensed to practice only in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Following a personal injury accident, you are likely struggling financially. Medical bills are stacking up, you are missing time from work, and now you're unable to pay other household expenses.
You will typically send a demand letter to the responsible party to initiate settlement negotiations if you’re pursuing a third-party liability claim.
Victims want to know how long after a demand letter does settlement take. Every case is unique, so the demand letter timeline will vary from case to case. Contact a South Carolina personal injury lawyer at the Peace Law Firm for assistance with your personal injury case.
How Long After the Demand Letter Can I Expect Settlement?
Once you send the demand letter to the negligent party, the demand letter response time will vary because you’ve involved the insurance company or its attorneys. If you have legal representation, your attorney will include verbiage that this settlement demand expires in a certain number of days.
Insurance companies need to be diligent in responding to your demand because they could potentially face a bad faith claim down the line.
South Carolina insurance laws require insurers to acknowledge claim communications, such as a demand letter, "with reasonable promptness." This requirement includes personal injury claims presented by third parties, such as a car accident victim. While the adjuster cannot delay the settlement process unnecessarily, they can utilize legal tactics to stall.
Examples of How Insurance Companies Delay Settlements
In some instances, the insurance company has a valid reason for delaying settlement talks. The following are examples of legal tactics that could affect the demand letter timeline.
Disagreement on Settlement Value
If your case is worth more than the available limits, the insurance adjuster might "tender their limits" to resolve all monetary claims related to your injury.
Otherwise, the insurance company is not likely to pay your demand outright unless you are asking for significantly less than your case is worth. Instead, they will say your case is worth less than you're asking. The adjuster hopes you will give up and accept the lower amount by delaying a potential settlement.
Mistake or Missing Information
The adjuster might delay settlement by claiming you made a mistake on documentation or they are missing information. Perhaps you sent the release of all claims back and didn't sign it. Promptly filling out the requested information puts the onus back on the insurance company to respond timely.
Need More Evidence
Sometimes, your case may not be ready for settlement talks because there’s not enough evidence to support discussing a settlement. You might still be treating, or the adjuster needs medical records and other documentation before the insurance company is willing to resolve your case.
How Long Does It Take to Receive the Check After I Settle?
Once you resolve your case, you will need to sign legal paperwork, usually a release of all claims. Once the adjuster receives the release, they will send the settlement check. If you hire a lawyer, the adjuster will send the settlement check to your attorney. Your attorney will pay any outstanding costs and take their contingency fee first. They will send the remaining amount to you.
The timeline for this process can also vary significantly. Cases with liens and numerous costs can take longer to resolve. Your attorney legally must satisfy all liens before paying you. In a simple matter with no liens, you might receive your check within two to four weeks.
I Received No Response to a Demand Letter. What to Do Next?
While the demand letter response time will vary in each case, insurers still need to respond to the demand. If you don't receive a response, your next step is to contact a South Carolina personal injury lawyer.
Hiring a lawyer can help you determine the best course of legal action. When you hire the Peace Law Firm, we will review your case and help you understand the demand letter timeline in your case.
Contact a South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you sustained injuries due to another party's negligence, you might be entitled to compensation. Hiring a skilled South Carolina personal injury lawyer right away can help tremendously. Your attorney will gather all evidence and ensure you fill out all documentation correctly.
At the Peace Law Firm, our priority is to help you settle your case as quickly as possible without sacrificing the compensation you’re entitled to receive.
Contact the Peace Law Firm online or call (864) 298-0500 to schedule a free consultation when you need legal assistance after an accident. We have years of experience assisting injured victims just like you.