When injured folks choose to go to a law firm, one of the biggest reasons is to make sure the demand letter for the case is polished. A demand letter is a legal instrument that gets a claim moving, and it satisfies the law's requirements that you file a claim within a certain time after an incident.
However, a demand letter needs to make a rock-solid case to an insurance company that you deserve to be compensated for your situation. Here are four things personal injury lawyers include when they send a demand letter to a defendant and their insurance provider.
Outline of What Happened
A good demand letter will include a short narrative that explains what happened. This should include the names of the defendant and the claimant. Likewise, it should include details about where the event occurred.
If a claimant suffered a slip and fall on an icy sidewalk in a poorly maintained shopping complex, for example, the demand letter should state the location of the complex, the name of the company that owns it, and what date and time the fall occurred. The letter will also discuss the subsequent injuries the victim suffered, who responded to provide treatment, and how long recovery has taken.
Personal injury attorneys are relentless at documenting details. A complete demand package should include copies of incident reports, eyewitness statements, medical records, evidence of wages, and photos. Lawyers often include small annotations that explain what the documents correspond to, and some will use these annotations in other parts of the demand letter for speedier referencing.
Statement of a Formal Demand
Medical bills will be presented, and most personal injury lawyers use these as the centerpieces of their cases. The statement will include an itemized list of surgeries, medical care expenses, and even projected long-term care costs.
It's also normal to include a demand for compensation to cover pain and suffering. Similarly, if the state allows it, there will be a demand for damages for emotional trauma.
Ultimately, everything should add up to a single figure. That figure represents your total demand for compensation.
Personal injury attorneys always make it as easy as possible for insurance claims adjusters and defendants to get in touch. All communication will go through your lawyer. However, your attorney does have a legally binding responsibility to share any offers or responses that the defendant or their insurer might send. Also, your lawyer will explain if they believe a settlement is fair or if you should negotiate.
To learn more, contact a personal injury lawyer.