Writing A Settlement Demand Letter To Resolve Your Florida Personal Injury Case
Filing a personal injury claim and recovering compensation from an at-fault party’s insurance company usually involves writing a settlement demand letter. Just as the name suggests, a settlement demand letter is a formal payment request. A settlement demand letter can be addressed to the person who caused your accident, their insurance company, or both.
A settlement demand letter does not only contain a demand for payment as most people think. There is a lot more you need to include in your settlement demand letter. When writing a settlement demand letter, you need to compose a letter that clearly outlines your case. Your demand letter should contain all the crucial information the defendant and/or the insurance company needs to decide whether they will compensate you. Fortunately, an attorney can help you write a settlement demand letter. In fact, it is advisable that you avoid writing a demand letter on your own and allow an attorney to help.
The following is a breakdown of the information that a settlement demand letter should contain;
Summary of the Accident
In your settlement demand letter, you must include a summary of your accident. This includes indicating the date of your accident, what time your accident happened, and where the accident occurred. When writing an overview of the accident, you also need to mention how the accident occurred. However, you must be careful when doing so. You need to avoid citing anything that can be used against you. For example, be careful not to include statements that can be misinterpreted as admissions of fault.
Detailed Account of Injuries
Your demand letter must also include a description of the injuries you suffered in the accident. Also, you must ensure the description is as detailed as possible. For instance, if your doctor has prescribed different treatments, such as surgery and physical therapy, make sure you include this in your demand letter. The more the details, the better your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
Your demand will be corroborated by the medical records and bills.
If you have pre-existing conditions where you are claiming similar injuries from this incident, the insurance company will want to see those medical records also.
Description of Damages and Losses
Your demand letter should mention all the damages you have incurred and will incur in the future (if applicable) because of the accident. Damages in a Florida personal injury case would include, among many others, the following;
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
It is usually best to wait until you reach maximum medical improvement before writing a demand letter because it is after you’ve reached MMI that you can have a clear picture of the full extent of your injuries and damages.
Lastly, in your settlement demand letter, you need to mention why you deserve compensation. Basically, based on the facts of your case, you need to say why the other party is liable for your injuries and damages. Often, this involves demonstrating the four main elements of negligence.
Tips To Help You Write a Settlement Demand Letter
Keep the following tips in mind when writing a settlement demand letter;
- Be calm. Just because it’s called a demand letter doesn’t mean it should be confrontational and angry in tone.
- Include extra documentation with the demand letter.
- Demand an amount higher than what you’re willing to accept to settle your case. Doing this will give you room to negotiate for a final settlement.
Contact a Delray Beach Personal Injury Lawyer
In almost all cases, you will net more money if you retain an experienced attorney to handle your case, even after accounting for the attorney’s fees. Insurance companies routinely “low-ball” unrepresented accident victims and push for quick settlements before their injuries are fully appreciated. You will only receive the full value of your claim if the insurance company knows that you will file suit if they make an unreasonably low offer.
In one recent case, an unrepresented accident victim was on the verge of accepting $5,000.00 to resolve his claim. He then retained our firm. The claim settled almost 3 years later in excess of $400,000.00.
If you need help writing a settlement demand letter to resolve your personal injury case, contact one of our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at Lyons & Snyder today. The consultation is free/