When you try to settle your personal injury case, the demand letter is very important. In many cases, it is the centerpiece of the entire negotiation process. This is a correspondence in which you highlight the strongest arguments you have in regards to very important things, like:
- The medical treatment you go through and the associated costs
- The injuries you suffered and still suffer from
- The reasons why the other party stands out as legally responsible for the injuries you suffered
- The income loss you suffered
- The other damages that you suffered
- The reason why your claim is legit against another party when no-fault insurance is applicable
The letter needs to conclude with a lump sum demand to settle the personal injury claim.
To write the best possible demand letter, Mike Morse law firm highlights the following tips.
Things To Emphasize Inside The Demand Letter
Even before you start to write the demand letter, it is important to review all the notes you took (hopefully) after the accident. This helps you to remember all details like disruption of life, inconvenience, medical treatment, discomfort, and pain. After you review the notes, focus on these elements as the letter is drafted:
Describe as many accident details as possible with the purpose of highlighting fault. Use plain language to briefly describe what you did after the accident, how the accident happened, and where you were when the accident took place. Mention outside support that you have for your reasoning, like police reports, building code sections, and eyewitness statements.
- Comparative Negligence
There are always questions about your own carelessness and whether or not it did contribute to the outcome. This is taken into account even when it is clear that the other party was at fault. You need to meet this issue in the demand letter and deny your fault. This is true even if you think that you were partly at fault. Never admit something like this inside a demand letter.
Obviously, you have to think about what you did to determine the fair settlement. However, it is not up to you to make the comparative negligence arguments. The insurance company has to highlight these. Only discuss comparative negligence when you meet with the insurance adjuster.
- Treatment And Injuries
Do not be shy when you describe your treatments and injuries. You have to emphasize the pain, difficulty, and length of the recovery, together with all negative effects of the injuries. When you have a permanent or long-term injury, this is particularly important.
Make sure to never make anything up or be too dramatic. The insurance company will never listen to claims if they think they are false. Appropriate medical terms should be used whenever this is possible.
- Medical Expenses
List every single medical provider you visited for treatment, together with the amounts that were charged by every single one.
- Lost Income
Briefly state how much time you ended up missing work due to the injuries. Also include information from the employer to verify pay and how much time you missed.
- Other Losses
When there are unusual or extra embarrassments, discomforts, losses, or inconveniences, add them to the demand letter.