At some point during the course of any personal injury claim, you and your personal injury attorney will make an attempt to settle the matter with the other party. A demand letter constitutes this attempt to reach a settlement with the other party. Educate yourself on the demand letter and what its implications are for your case.
What Is a Demand Letter?
A demand letter is a letter that is sent to a defendant, their insurance company, or both, in which the general facts of your legal claim are outlined, and the recipient is given a monetary demand that you are willing to accept in order to settle the case. Demand letters are typically written in formal business letter format.
Your attorney will write up a demand letter and then have it delivered to the defendant. It begins with a brief summary of the situation, continues by stating that you are considering taking legal action, and concludes with a demand for the matter to be resolved amicably.
The demand for a settlement in a personal injury case is typically monetary in nature; however, it may also include other items, such as the payment of certain medical expenses or the repair of your vehicle, depending on your preferences.
What Do Demand Letters Consist Of?
There is a significant amount of variation in demand letters due to the fact that each circumstance is different, and each attorney has their own distinct writing style.
In order to be effective, demand letters need to include the following component:
- Whether or not your injuries have affected your family
- Information regarding the circumstances of the accident
- Why you believe the other person is at-fault
- Why you believe you are entitled to money
- Any legal arguments that apply to your situation
- How exactly your injuries and damages have affected your life
- The amount of damages and losses that you have suffered
- A summary of how the damages will affect you in the future
- A specific demand that could settle the case
Because there is so much information that must be included, demand letters have a reputation for being rather lengthy. However, some demand letters do not contain all of this information because some of it has not yet been made available.
For instance, because you are still recuperating from your injuries, you probably do not know how much money you will have to pay for future damages. You are more than welcome to elaborate on this point in your letter; however, in order to arrive at a conclusive total, it is necessary to assign a monetary value to each factor. In order to create room for negotiation, initial demands are frequently set at a higher level.
Your legal representation will assist you in formulating a demand letter that takes into account all of these aspects. Because it serves as notice to the defendant that you have a genuine and legitimate legal claim that you intend to pursue, this letter can be of great assistance to the defendant. This letter can be the deciding factor in whether or not a defendant takes you and the injuries you sustained seriously.
When to Send a Demand Letter
Demand letters are frequently the initial step in the process of filing a claim, and they are frequently dispatched before the legal process has even begun.
It is possible for attorneys to resolve a dispute through the use of an initial demand letter and subsequent negotiation without ever having to resort to filing a lawsuit on the client’s behalf. Because the process of discovery and going to trial is so time-consuming and stressful, many people who have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence prefer this type of approach.
Demand letters are frequently useful, but sending one to the other party before initiating legal action is never required. It’s possible that in certain circumstances, your lawyer will advise you to skip sending a demand letter in favor of immediately filing a case instead. This is due to a wide range of factors, including, but not limited to, time constraints and judgment calls based on strategy.
How to Use a Demand Letter?
When communicating with your own insurance company, demand letters are sometimes and often used as a communication tool. For instance, if your insurance provider has rejected your claim for uninsured motorist coverage despite the fact that you are entitled to receive coverage, your attorney may begin by sending a demand letter to the insurance provider in order to demand coverage before taking any other legal action. In this kind of letter, you will explain the reasons why you think you should be covered and ask that certain bills or expenses be addressed right away.
Demand letters are a common means by which businesses communicate with one another in order to address a potential issue that may result in legal action. Until they receive a demand letter, a company may not even be aware that they have done anything wrong or breached a contract in certain circumstances until the letter arrives.
Contact an Attorney to Help With Your Demand Letter
A demand letter can be a very useful tool, but it can also be used against you if you make admissions that you didn’t mean or even offer to accept a lower settlement than you should. If you do either of these things, it can be used as evidence against you. It is recommended that you ask your attorney for assistance in putting together this document so that you can make sure it contains everything that you require and nothing that you don’t.
It may be tempting to use a demand letter template that you find on the internet; however, these letters rarely cover everything that needs to be covered, and they may end up doing more harm to your case than good. Avoid making this common oversight that could put your legal claim at risk before you’ve even begun.
Our firm has decades of experience drafting demand letters. If you were injured because of someone else’s negligent or careless actions, we will draft a demand letter that is perfect for your unique situation.
Contact our firm to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can best assist with your case.
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