If you are seeking to be compensated for an accident that was not your fault, you should be aware of a key step in the personal injury process that could, if successful, greatly impact your chances of success. The letter of demand, or demand letter, is an important piece of correspondence; it sums up all the crucial facts of your case and makes clear what you are seeking in compensation, and why. Read on to find out what a demand letter should include, and how it could benefit your case.
1. Many attorneys advise their clients to begin keeping a journal of the events that follow an accident. For those who took that excellent advice, the time to use it is now. Look back over your notes to remind yourself of how the accident has impacted your life. An overall viewpoint of this traumatic event will assist both you and your attorney in crafting a good demand letter.
2. A well-done demand letter could allow you to avoid time-consuming and costly litigation. If the evidence listed in the demand letter is convincing enough, the other side's insurance company (the recipient of the demand letter), could offer you a fair settlement right away.
3. Be sure to include mention of important supporting documentation and evidence, such as witness statements and police or accident reports.
4. If you are sure that you are not at fault, make certain to include that opinion in the demand letter. Include your reasoning behind your opinion as well. Leave out any mention of your suspicious of being partially at fault. The time to discuss fault further is during settlement negotiations.
5. A demand letter should be persuasive, but avoid emotional statements and pleas; just stick to the facts of the case.
6. A good demand letter will include the following aspects:
- A summary of all medical treatments and procedures to date, including medical expenses.
- A summary of injuries you have suffered as a result of the accident, including your pain and suffering and how the accident has affected your life. Try to use as much correct medical terminology as possible.
- How much income loss you have suffered, and how much more you expect to suffer in the future.
- Any losses of personal property, such as a vehicle, child car seats, cell phone, etc., including replacement costs.
- The amount you are willing to accept if the case is settled immediately. This figure should be slightly higher than your bottom-line amount to allow room for negotiations.
- The actions that you will take if the demands are not met, and when these actions will occur. This is actually a threat to file suit. Keep in mind that you can specify when you want a response to your demand letter, but the insurance company is under no legal obligation to comply with your time-line.
Following the above guidelines could make a positive impact on your personal injury case. Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to get stared on getting the compensation that you deserve.