When Being Demanding Is Good: What You Should Know About Demand Letters In Personal Injury Cases

When you get hurt in an accident caused by someone else, getting properly compensated for your injury is one of the top priorities. Your personal injury lawyer is an invaluable partner in this process, and, in fact, much of the work will be done by the attorney. One of the first jobs that the lawyer will typically do on your behalf is the drafting of a demand letter. The purpose of this letter is to officially inform the responsible person's insurance company that you intend to pursue compensation. The personal injury demand letter is often the best way to get the case started right, and to help you get the maximum compensation. Read on to find out what you should know about demand letters in personal injury cases. 

Why Do You Need a Demand Letter?

You need a demand letter for a couple of reasons, but the most important of these is to make sure that the case is pursued to the letter of the law. When you plan to pursue compensation in a personal injury case, you are legally required to inform the other party involved before you file a lawsuit. A demand letter informs the responsible party that you plan to pursue compensation for your injuries, and it tells them approximately how much your damages amount to.

While a demand letter does not explicitly state that compensation will be pursued in court if the demands are not met, the implication is usually there. This is one important reason to work with a lawyer. When a demand letter comes from a personal injury lawyer, the insurance company will be well aware that they need to offer a fair settlement. Personal injury lawyers are experts in the courtroom, and the insurance company usually wants to avoid dealing with an expensive court battle.

How Much Should You Request in a Demand Letter?

The amount of money will depend on exactly what your injuries and other damages are. The lawyer will work with you to decide an appropriate amount in most cases. The damages will usually be loosely itemized into a couple of different categories:

  • Medical Bills
  • Estimated Ongoing Medical Treatment Costs
  • Missed Work Costs
  • Pain and Suffering Costs (Compensation for physical and emotional pain and distress)

In some cases, the best choice may be to ask for the full policy amount instead of a specific amount. If the total amount of all injuries and damages is close to or exceeds the total value of the insurance policy, your lawyer may simply state that the damages are extensive and that the entire amount of the policy is requested as compensation. 

Being demanding is actually a good thing when it comes to getting fair compensation for your injuries. While negotiations may take a while, a good demand letter can get things off to the right start. Talk to a personal injury attorney (such as Norris, Gary G. Attorney) about how a demand letter can help your case today!