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Personal Injury Demand Letters

Personal Injury Demand Letters

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Personal Injury Demand Letters

Luckily, most people have never had a reason to write or receive a personal injury demand letter. But because they aren’t familiar with these letters, they usually have no idea what to do when they suffer an injury that is the fault of another party. 

These letters are a critical part of getting money from the at-fault party. And the difference between a well-written letter and a badly written letter could have a significant impact on your wallet.

Rather than searching for personal injury demand letter samples online and trying to copy them, you should get the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Personal injury demand letter examples can only give you a limited idea of what is most important in your letter. 

An experienced personal injury attorney, on the other hand, can ensure that your letter covers every important detail. Contact Morgan & Morgan immediately to get a free case evaluation before writing a personal injury demand letter.

Every Personal Injury Is a Negotiation

When you are injured due to the fault of another party, you deserve compensation for that injury. But the amount of compensation you deserve is not inherently obvious. 

An insurance company is almost certain to try to pay you as little as possible while you will want as much money as you can get from that injury. This difference of opinion is the basis of negotiation.

That negotiation starts with a personal injury demand letter. In this letter, you set forth the facts of the case from your perspective and present your demands for compensation. 

You must include all of the relevant facts and make a case as strong as possible in this letter. If you leave something out, it can be extremely difficult to effectively add that information to your negotiating position in the future.

The job of your attorney is to assist you with your negotiation. They will help you gather relevant evidence and ensure that you don’t leave important information out of your letter. 

They also have the experience to accurately estimate both your short-term and long-term losses and expenses. This allows you to request compensation that will provide the relief you need to recover from your injuries.

A lawyer also makes it easier to file a lawsuit. While filing a lawsuit may seem like you have given up on negotiation, it is just another negotiating tool for an experienced attorney. Filing a lawsuit increases the potential losses the insurance company might suffer if it refuses to offer a fair settlement. 

More often than not, lawsuits are used as leverage to force a fair settlement and never result in a trial.

Essential Elements to Personal Injury Demand Letter

You want to start your negotiation as strongly as possible. To this end, your personal injury demand letter must include:

  • A convincing argument that you have a liability case
  • Evidence of all damages incurred
  • A realistic estimate of further damages that will be incurred
  • A guarantee that all further claims will be released after a settlement
  • A reasonable deadline to make a settlement
  • Language that makes it clear that the demand will not be repeated if the deadline isn’t met
  • Delivery confirmation
  • Contact information for all relevant parties and attorneys

Most personal injury demand letter samples have most or all of this information, but it isn’t spelled out. And copying a personal injury demand letter example can result in unexpected problems. 
Letting your personal injury attorney edit or write your letter is much easier. That will ensure that nothing important is left out of the letter.

Interactions With a Personal Injury Demand Letter: Policy Limits

There is one more thing you need to consider when writing a personal injury demand letter. Policy limits restrict the amount you can request from your demand letter. 

However, you can demand that the insurance company acknowledges that your damages will equal or exceed the policy limit of the insurance policy and pay that limit promptly. 

If an insurance company refuses to agree to a personal injury demand letter for the policy limit, it is putting itself at risk. Once the insurance company refuses to pay the policy limit, you are free to file a lawsuit for a value that exceeds that limit.

The downside of writing a personal injury demand letter for the policy limit is that the insurance company can choose to settle for the policy limit and end the claim. If the policy limit is enough for you to recover, this is a good letter to write. If the limit severely underpays you, writing this demand letter could harm your case.

Personal Injury Definition

The term “personal injury” is a legal definition that differentiates it from other types of injuries. A personal injury is inflicted on a person’s body. Other types of injuries include:

  • Reputation
  • Property
  • Livelihood
  • The mind or psyche

The personal injury definition does not include any indication of fault. You can receive a personal injury due to the negligence of another person, due to your actions, or even just due to random chance.

An experienced personal injury attorney has extensive knowledge of all types of injuries and can help you get fair compensation for your injury. Your attorney will also be familiar with doctors in the area that can best help you recover from the injury. 

You should always speak with a personal injury attorney before making any major decisions after suffering a personal injury.

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  • Who Should Receive the Personal Injury Demand Letter?

    A personal injury demand letter should be sent to whichever insurance company is responsible for your injuries. Often that will be the insurance company for the party responsible for your injury, but that isn’t always the case. 

    For example, suppose that you are in a car accident in a no-fault state. In that case, the personal injury policy of your car insurance is responsible for compensating you, even if the other party is at fault. Your personal injury lawyer knows the laws and can ensure that your letter goes to the correct insurance company.

  • What Happens if I Don’t Write a Demand Letter?

    The claims process can happen without a demand letter, but if it does, you are putting the power entirely in the hands of the insurance company. Without your demand letter, the insurance company is effectively negotiating with itself about how much it will pay you. 

    Except for what it is legally required to cover, it has no reason to provide anything but the lowest possible compensation. That is the worst possible way to start a negotiation.

  • Do I Need a Personal Injury Demand Letter PDF?

    You should keep multiple copies of all legal documents. A personal injury demand letter PDF is an excellent way to keep a digital copy of your demand letter because it has a timestamp associated with when it was made. 

    You can even send a digital copy of a PDF to the insurance company, along with a physical copy. This makes it much more difficult for the insurance company to try to deny receipt of your personal injury demand letter.

  • What Should I Do if I Leave Something Out of a Personal Injury Demand Letter?

    If you leave something important out of a personal injury demand letter, you must introduce that information to the insurance company as quickly as possible. 

    You can add an addendum to your letter if you act promptly. An addendum needs to be clear about what information is being added, and you must get written confirmation of receipt of the addendum.

    In general, you want to avoid the hassle of having to add an addendum to your personal injury demand letter. 

    The best way to avoid this is by hiring a personal injury lawyer in advance and ensuring they are involved with the entire process of writing and delivering a personal injury demand letter. Their experience will prevent you from making mistakes that could cost you time and money.

  • Where Can I Find Good Personal Injury Demand Letter Examples?

    The best place to get a good personal injury demand letter example is from your attorney. They can show you past letters that they have written and tell you how successful those letters were in obtaining a fair settlement. 

    Letters you find on the internet won’t come with that type of surrounding information and won’t necessarily follow the laws of your state.

  • What Do I Do if I Don’t Know the Policy Limit for the Insurance Policy That Covers My Injuries?

    The good news is that insurance companies are required to honestly tell you what the policy limit is if you request that information. The bad news is that you may be tipping your hand if you ask about that information. 

    Your attorney may be able to get that information without revealing that you are considering requesting compensation equal to the limit of the policy.

  • Do I Need to Help My Lawyer Write a Personal Injury Demand Letter?

    Your attorney can write most of the letter without your assistance. But you need to answer certain questions or make the information available through other means. 

    For example, you need to answer your attorney's questions about the extent of your injuries or give your attorney permission to access your medical records. The latter is probably optimal for ensuring that your attorney can properly write the letter, but some individuals understandably want to keep tight control over their medical records.

  • Can I File a Lawsuit After Sending a Personal Injury Demand Letter?

    A personal injury demand letter is the start of a negotiation. In the letter, you set your terms for a settlement. If the insurance company capitulates to those terms, you generally surrender your claim and can’t file a lawsuit. But that is fine because the insurance company paid you everything you asked for.

    However, if the insurance company refuses to meet the demands in your letter, you have the right to file a lawsuit. Additionally, by refusing to meet your demands, you may be able to sue for more compensation than you could get from a settlement offer.

  • Personal Injury Demand Letters From Morgan & Morgan

    The first step in a personal injury settlement is one of the most important. Any mistakes you make while writing a personal injury demand letter could significantly harm your ability to obtain damages for your injury. Avoid these mistakes by using our online contact form to schedule a free case evaluation with the lawyers at Morgan & Morgan.

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Last updated on May 03, 2023

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