A demand letter is the first major step in negotiating a personal injury claim, and is the central document in the claim itself. All negotiations of a settlement revolve around the details put forth in the letter.
This document must therefore be packed with excellent information and arguments, outlining the damages you are seeking and the reason your claim is valid. Specifically, the demand letter must include details of your injuries, how they happened, why the defendant is responsible, and all the costs and other losses you have experienced as a result.
A well-written demand letter that covers all the essential details can make a settlement negotiation go smoothly and much faster. If the letter is well done, a settlement may be agreed on within just a few rounds of negotiations.
Many people seek the help of a legal professional when drafting a demand letter. A personal injury lawyer is a useful resource to those who want to file a personal injury claim. They have the training and the expertise to get the most out of your personal injury claim. Make sure you contact a lawyer before writing a demand letter.
Purpose of a Personal Injury Demand Letter
If you have been involved in an auto accident, and you want to file a claim against another party’s insurance, there are benefits to sending a demand letter. The demand letter lets them know that you are holding them responsible for your damages. It allows you to present the details and evidence to support your claim.
When you send a demand letter, you are establishing a foundation for a lawsuit. However, if you are convincing and provide adequate evidence to indicate the other party is liable for your damages, then you may be offered a settlement out of court. You don’t want to settle too quickly or for too little, so be sure to talk with a personal injury attorney before reaching an agreement with the insurance for your auto accident injury claim.
The purpose of a demand letter is to show the other party and their insurer that you are serious. It will give them the opportunity to consider the options and to make up their mind about what to do regarding the situation. Sending a demand letter isn’t intended as an opportunity for you to insult the other party, or to create a bad relationship between you. Remember that the demand letter should be professional and to the point because if your claim ends up as a lawsuit in court, the presiding judge will read the initial demand letter that you sent.
Your demand letter is the first step in filing a personal injury claim. And, as it is often said, the first step is often the most important. The demand letter is your legal complaint. You explain the dispute, what you want, and why you want the matter resolved in court. In the letter, be sure to include a dollar amount for which you are asking to cover your damages and be specific about the relief that you are asking.
The letter is sent to the party that you have a dispute with, and if the claim isn’t resolved, you will submit a copy of the demand letter to the clerk of the court. Any demand letter must be neat, well organized, and specific. You want to get your point across in a professional manner.
How To Prepare a Demand Letter
You will want to make sure that your demand letter is prepared properly. Your demand letter is how to get negotiations started, and it is designed as the best way to start a discussion between the involved parties. When you write your demand letter, you can tell your side of the story, the amount of expenses and bills that you have incurred, and the total settlement amount you are asking.
After your demand letter has been sent, you may move on to mediation if your efforts to resolve the matter haven’t succeeded. If you choose not to try mediation, then you can file a claim in court to try to settle the matter.
A clear and concise demand letter that has evidence and details can often help you get an issue resolved without it having to advance to court. When you lay out the reasons in the letter, it shows you are serious and mean business.
The letter allows your letter to assume seriousness. The other party must accept the fact that you aren’t going to give up until you are compensated for your losses. They may even come to face the reality that this problem isn’t going away and that you are going to advance to court if the issue isn’t resolved.
What to Include in Your Personal Injury Demand Letter
When you're drafting your demand letter for your personal injury claim, there are a couple of things that you need to include. The most important thing is to make sure that your demand letter is well organized and that the language is professional.
You should make sure that all you state all the facts that are pertaining to the case, which includes your information, the date of the accident and what injuries you sustained. When you explain the facts of the case, make sure they are specific, but concise.
In your personal injury demand letter, you should also include any medical evidence, such as bills that help further describe the amount of treatment that you received. Lastly, you should set a demand for damages that takes into consideration your medical bills and any lost wages.
A personal injury lawyer will be able to help you craft your demand letter for your personal injury claim.
Example Demand Letter
Dear Mr. Smith
I am writing in regards to the accident in which you rear-ended my vehicle on Adams Drive in Morristown on October 19, 2018, at 4 p.m. I was stopped at a stop sign when your pickup truck struck my car in the rear. In that accident, I suffered a variety of damages.
Enclosed are copies of the repair estimates for fixing the damages to my vehicle along with copies of medical bills and a detailed list of my lost wages. I ask that you compensate me for those losses. As you can see, the cost to repair my vehicle adds up to $4,900. It will be in the shop for a week, and a rental vehicle will cost $458 including tax during that time. My medical bills add up to $2,100, and I missed two weeks of work, which add up to $1,150 lost wages. Therefore, my total loss is $8,608.
I ask that you cover these losses within the next 30 days. I ask that you respond to my letter and tell me how you wish to proceed with my claim within the next 15 days. If I do not hear from you, I will file legal action in court. Thank you for your prompt attention.
You will want to be sure to provide your contact information, including an address and a phone number in the letter. However, you should let your personal injury attorney do all the talking with the other party’s insurance company. After all, the liable party’s insurance company will have legal representation, so you will want to make sure you have a lawyer looking out for you.
Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney
While you could write your own demand letter, your personal injury attorney could handle that for you to get the ball rolling and to make sure your claim is on the right track. Every state has a statute of limitations for pursuing a personal injury claim, and your lawyer will make sure your claim is filed in a timely manner. Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket.
Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share the details of your case. A law firm that represents clients in your area can help you decide how to get your personal injury claim underway after an auto accident.
There are many examples of demand letters specific to your claim. Some demand letters include:
General Demand Letters
Accident in a Parking Lot Demand Letter
ATV Accident Demand Letter
Auto Accident Demand Letter
Boat Accident Demand Letter
Bus Accident Demand Letter
Construction Accident Demand Letter
Cruise Ship Accident Demand Letter
Defective Drug Demand Letter
Dog Bite Demand Letter
Food Court Demand Letter
Hazardous Conditions at a Ski Resort Demand Letter
General Liability Demand Letter
Medical Malpractice Demand Letter
Roller Coaster Demand Letter
Slip and Fall Demand Letter
Sample Demand Letter – Wrongful Death
Swimming Pool Accident Demand Letter
Water Park Demand Letter
Workplace Injury, No Worker’s Compensation
Case-Specific Slip and Fall Demand Letters
Slip and Fall on Ice or Snow outside a Building Demand Letter
Slip and Fall at a Private Home Demand Letter
Slip and Fall at a Hotel Demand Letter
Slip and Fall at a Local Restaurant Demand Letter
Slip and Fall at a Large Chain Restaurant
Slip and Fall At a Mall
Slip and Fall at a Retail Store
Slip and Fall at a Supermarket
Slip and Fall in McDonald's
Slip and Fall in Walmart
Case-Specific Auto Accident Demand Letters
Auto Accident Involving a Driver on a Cell Phone
Auto Accident Involving a Truck Demand Letter
Auto Accident - Accident with Lyft
Auto Accident - Accident with Uber
Auto Accident - Accident with UPS
Auto Accident - Accident with USPS
Auto Accident - Brake Damage
Auto Accident - Car Damaged By Tow Truck
Auto Accident - Car Damage From Fallen Debris
Auto Accident - Car Frame Damage
Auto Accident - Car Totaled by FedEx
Auto Accident - Driven off the Road
Auto Accident - Engine Damage
Auto Accident - FedEx Hit Parked Car
Auto Accident - Head-on Collision
Auto Accident - Hit As a Pedestrian Demand Letter
Auto Accident - Hit at an Intersection
Auto Accident - Hit at a Stoplight
Auto Accident - Hit by a Drunk Driver
Auto Accident - Hit by a Drunk Driver Wrongful Death
Auto Accident - Hit by Uninsured Motorist
Auto Accident - Hit While on a Motorcycle Demand Letter
Auto Accident - Hit While Riding a Bicycle
Auto Accident - In Parked Car
Auto Accident - In Snow
Auto Accident - Involving a Minor
Auto Accident - Multiple Drivers
Auto Accident - Phantom Driver
Auto Accident - Rear-Ended
Auto Accident - Side-Impact Accident
Auto Accident - Slashed Tires
Auto Accident - UPS Hit Parked Car
Auto Accident - USPS Hit Parked Car
Case-Specific Medical Malpractice Demand Letters
Case-Specific Product Liability Demand Letters
Getting Help with a Personal Injury Claim
Keep in mind the demand letter is only the first step in filing a claim. It is a crucial document that will drive all other negotiations. It must be well constructed and serve you well throughout all negotiations.
The letter presented here is only an example. Composing a letter for your specific injuries and circumstances can be challenging. A personal injury attorney can help you build a strong case for a settlement, including a powerful demand letter.