When a car accident puts you in the hospital with injuries, you might be owed compensation by the driver. Seeking compensation means getting paid for all the ways the accident has affected you, and medical treatment costs are only the beginning. Accident victims can take action quickly by having their personal injury lawyer send the other side a demand letter. To find out more about this powerful letter, read on.
Where does the demand letter fit in? Once you speak to your personal injury lawyer about your accident and they evaluate your chances for a case, the demand letter comes next. In most cases, the letter is the first notice the other side receives of your intention to take action. The letter goes to the other driver and their insurance carrier.
What goes into a good demand letter? The basics of a letter include a summary of how the accident happened along with a denial of fault on your part. Then comes a list of all evidence you have proving fault along with a list of damages. Finally comes the amount of compensation you are demanding to be paid.
What is the purpose of the demand letter? In addition to the notification of your intent to take action, it also signals the other side that you intend to file a lawsuit should your demands not be met. Some demand letters give the other side a time limit by which they must respond. In most cases, the demand letter results in the beginning of negotiations between your personal injury lawyer and the other driver's insurer.
How much compensation are you owed? Your lawyer will carefully evaluate your losses and come up with a suggested figure that is somewhat higher than the minimum you are willing to accept. That leaves room for negotiations. The figure is based on medical expenses, lost wages, car repairs or replacement, and pain and suffering.
What is pain and suffering? As you may have noticed, all of the above forms of damage can be associated with economic factors except pain and suffering. In most cases, pain and suffering is calculated using the dollar amount of your medical expenses. That number is multiplied by a factor to arrive at a pain and suffering damage amount.
What happens next? Demand letters let the other side avoid going to court. If your letter contains enough convincing evidence and facts, the other side will be dissuaded from letting a lawsuit happen. Taking cases to court is expensive and time-consuming for both sides. That is why almost all personal injury claims are settled outside of court.
To find out more about if you have a case or to learn more about demand letters, speak to a personal injury lawyer.