Posted on: 26 January 2022Share
If you have been hurt by another driver and have never heard of a demand letter, that is probably because you never had to know about it. Demand letters are requests for payment sent by your personal injury lawyer to the at-fault driver and their insurance company. Demand letters must contain all the pertinent facts about your case. Read on for a summary of what a demand letter usually contains.
- It alerts the other side. Demand letters are a common way for one side to communicate with the other and are not usually unexpected. However, insurers may never see a demand letter unless the victim takes action and demands to be paid more than the insurer is offering. When used, both sides benefit from a demand letter because it can help avoid the long process leading up to an expensive and time-consuming trial. The ultimate goal of a demand letter is to start the negotiations between the parties to settle out of court.
- Demand letters need facts. Once you make an appointment with your lawyer, gather as much information as possible about the case. You probably already have an accident report that can get your lawyer started, but you can obtain one by contacting law enforcement authorities if not. Your medical treatment and medical bills are also needed to create the demand letter.
- You must say you are not at fault. You likely won't get paid anything other than what your own insurer pays unless you are completely not at fault. Even partial fault is a problem in personal injury cases. A demand letter often begins by denying fault and explaining why that is the case. For instance, you might say that the other driver ran a stop sign and crashed into your vehicle as you crossed the intersection.
- Let them know about your damages. Damages are how you get paid and they encompass all the negative things about the wreck. Common car accident damages include medical treatment costs, lost wages from a job, the wrecked vehicle, and pain and suffering. Along with a listing of damages should come a calculation of the dollar amount of these damages.
- Your demand is the key ingredient. A demand letter usually ends with your monetary demand for compensation that includes all your damages added up. Most personal injury lawyers advise adding a bit to the total to allow for negotiations. Often, the damage category of pain and suffering is flexible in what is owed and can be subject to a lot of give and take with negotiations.
Don't expect to be paid what you deserve without a demand letter. Speak to a personal injury lawyer to find out more.
For more information, contact an auto accident lawyer like the Law Office Of Timothy M. O'Donovan.