Personal injury lawyers sometimes use demand letters, which are straightforward correspondence to the representative of the at-fault party that states what amount of money you will accept to resolve your personal injury claim.
Demand letters can be formal or informal and can be sent by email or mail. While most personal injury attorneys send demand letters, it is not always the best approach. Each case should be analyzed to determine whether a demand letter is appropriate.
In serious, catastrophic injury cases, sending a demand letter is not always a good idea.
What Is Included in a Demand Letter?
A demand letter’s principal objective is to outline the facts, proof, and legal arguments in support of the injured party’s claim while asking for a specified settlement sum to make up for lost wages and other harms.
A traditional demand letter will likely include these sections:
- The parties concerned are identified: the plaintiff (the injured party) and the defendant (the at-fault party), as well as their respective legal counsel and insurance providers, will be identified in the letter with their names and addresses.
- Accident description: A thorough account of the incident should be given, including the date, time, and place, as well as a description of the circumstances that led up to it and how the defendant’s negligence contributed to the damage.
- Summary of injuries and care: The letter should provide a thorough summary of the plaintiff’s injuries, the medical care they received, any current or future care they may need, and how the injuries have affected their quality of life.
- Damages documentation: A demand letter will include a detailed breakdown of the monetary losses the plaintiff is claiming to have suffered. This can include accident-related costs for pain and suffering, lost wages, property damage, and other losses due to the accident.
- The legal justification for the claim: The demand letter may briefly describe the legal theories and laws that the plaintiff claims to be supported by. Citing pertinent case law, state laws, or municipal ordinances that prove the defendant is accountable for the plaintiff’s damage can be part of this.
- Settlement demand: The letter will explicitly identify the amount sought in settlement of the claimed losses and injuries. This is often based on a careful examination of the plaintiff’s losses and a conservative estimate of what a judge or jury may decide in a case comparable to the one at hand.
- Response deadline: The demand letter should state a date by which the insurance provider or the defendant’s attorney must react in order to promote a prompt resolution.
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What Is the Goal of a Demand Letter in a Personal Injury Case?
The main objective of a demand letter is to prevent time-consuming and expensive litigation while still obtaining a fair and just settlement for the damaged party.
The demand letter establishes a basis for discussion between the parties concerned and frequently results in a successful settlement of the personal injury claim by making a compelling and convincing case.
The insurance company or adjuster could occasionally take longer than necessary to reply.
You’ll need to think about other possibilities in that situation.
What Happens If There Is No Response to Your Demand Letter?
You can take numerous actions to follow up and defend your client’s interests if the recipient of your demand letter does not respond promptly.
- Send a follow-up letter or email as a reminder of the demand letter and the required response deadline. This is the first step. Reiterate the necessity for a prompt response and make sure to include the date of the first demand letter.
- Get in touch with the receiver: If the reminder doesn’t yield any results, try getting in touch with the recipient via phone or email. This open dialogue can assist in figuring out whether there are any problems that have hampered their answer or whether they need more details.
- Evaluate your options: Speak with your lawyer about the case and potential future measures. You can decide to continue additional discussions, take into account alternate conflict resolution procedures like mediation or arbitration, or get ready to launch a lawsuit, depending on the situation and the merits of your case.
- Send a notice of intent to sue if the receiver continues to be unresponsive or uncooperative. This letter is a last-ditch attempt to tell the at-fault party and their insurance carrier that you are ready to file a lawsuit if they do not respond or negotiate.
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If Those Fail, File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
The final option is to commence a lawsuit against the responsible party if all efforts to elicit a response or negotiate a settlement have failed. Sometimes, you do not want to provide more time, and filing a lawsuit without delay is the appropriate option.
If you have a personal injury case and want to learn how to maximize your recovery, contact us at 855.CT.Legal.