If you have been injured by another parties' negligence and are seeking monetary damages, the demand letter is a vital part of the personal injury process. This legal document puts the at-fault party on notice of your injuries and how you expect to be compensated for them. Whether you are pursuing your claim using professional legal help or are on your own, learning more about demand letters and how they can lead you toward personal injury success is key. Read on for more information about how to pave the way personal injury success with a demand letter.
1. The most useful aspect of a demand letter is the potential for triggering a settlement offer from the other side. The other party will gain useful information about what a courtroom trial could entail.
2. If you have not already begun keeping a written record of events surrounding the accident, do so now. A complete chronological recounting of the day of the accident and all events that followed is vital in the construction of a convincing and compelling demand letter. Refer back to accident reports, medical records and photographs to refresh your memory.
3. The letter should include a list of evidence that is likely to be presented to a judge or jury should the case come to trial such as witness statements, police and/or accident reports, photographs, video recordings and other important physical evidence.
4. A major aspect of the demand letter should be a clear statement denying fault for the accident. You may share fault in some cases, but that issue should be left for settlement negotiations. For example, you may have been driving a vehicle without working tail or brake lights when you were involved in a rear-end collision, leaving you potentially at least partially at-fault.
5. Keep a professional, unemotional tone when crafting the letter. Stick to factual information and be polite and respectful. You should, however, give a full accounting the ways that the accident has impacted your life.
6. A successful demand letter should include the following points:
- A summary of your medical condition including injuries that continue to affect you and a list of all medical procedures, tests and treatments. Be sure to include the dollar amount of medical expenses so far.
- An accounting of lost wages and future estimates.
- The heart and purpose of the letter; your demand. You should list the dollar amount you feel you are entitled to receive and your reasoning for that specific amount. Settlement calculators are helpful in reaching an amount. This figure should be inflated slightly to allow for future negotiations.
- Finally, the actions possible if demand are not met (such as a lawsuit). You can also include a time-line for a response to the demand.
While a demand letter can certainly be written by anyone, personal injury attorneys are skilled and experienced in the creation of this powerful tool. Let a legal professional, like the ones at Risley Law Firm, P.C., take this burden from you and help you get the compensation to which you are entitled.