If you are the victim of a careless driver, you would be wise to look beyond the at-fault driver's insurance carrier. While insurance compensation can be quick and cover some of your damages, it has its limits. Did you know that when you are injured by another's carelessness or negligence, you are entitled to be made "whole" again? To be fully compensated, you may need to take legal action. Read on to understand more about going beyond insurance and asking for what you deserve.

Not covered by insurance: Did you miss time from work? Most people who get injured in wrecks end up missing a great deal of work, and those missed hours can really affect your bottom line. You should not need to suffer financially as a result of someone else's bad decisions, and you also should not need to sacrifice your sick and vacation perks. Additionally, the emotional effect of the accident on you and your family is a legitimate damage, and you are entitled to be compensated for those damages. Insurance won't help you with these two forms of damage; only a personal injury claim will allow you to be fully compensated.

Before you head to court: Taking a case to court is a bold move, and it can be stressful and time-consuming. Fortunately, you may not even need to go that far. Once you have met with your personal injury attorney and provided them with the details of the accident, your attorney will prepare a special type of communication to send to the "other side"; the demand letter.

What is a demand letter? This important document summarizes your case and lets the at-fault driver's insurance carrier (and their lawyers) know of your demand. Your demand is the amount you are asking to be paid to end the case and settle outside of court. The summary must be detailed, complete and convincing enough to prompt the other side to offer you a decent settlement amount.

What should a demand letter contain? This letter is all about dollar amounts, so leave your emotional pleas and the drama out of it. A complete demand letter should have:

  • The dollar amount of your medical expenses, so far, and an estimate of any in the future. For example, if you know you will need continuing physical therapy or additional surgeries, you will need to state an estimate of the expense. You may be wondering why the actual dollar amount of your medical expenses is so important, since you are likely already having those expenses taken care of by the other side. This dollar amount has more far-reaching implications than you likely realize, since it forms the basis for how the insurance carrier computes your entire settlement. High dollar medical bills, even if you never pay a dime of it yourself, translate to higher settlement offers because the seriousness of the accident will correspond with higher numbers.
  • The dollar amount of your lost wages, so far and a prediction of any future losses.
  • The dollar amount of property losses (car, personal property).
  • Evidence that you will be presenting in court, if it comes to that. This includes witnesses, accident reports, photos and videos, and more.
  • A statement of why you are not at fault in the accident.
  • The dollar amount you are "demanding".

For more information, speak to your car accident attorney.