To begin, a personal injury demand letter to the party holding fault (or their insurance company or lawyer) will need to be properly prepared and composed. What’s in the content of the demand letter could significantly affect the compensation you’ll receive for your injuries. So, you must word your demand letter carefully, including formal content, so that the negligent party takes it seriously.
You’ve been injured by someone else’s negligent, reckless or careless conduct. In order to get your life back together, you need monetary compensation for the harm you’ve endured. Yet, you don’t know how to begin the quest for the money you need to pay for:
- medical expenses,
- rehabilitation costs,
- replacing lost wages,
- property damage, and
- other related costs and expenses.
What is The Purpose of a Personal Injury Demand Letter?
For a personal injury claim—whether it’s to an insurance company or to commence a civil lawsuit—, the personal injury demand letter alerts the party who caused your injuries that you’re serious about recovering the compensation you deserve. In your demand letter, you will detail what happened in the accident that caused your injuries, the specific physical damages you suffered, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering from the goal of acquiring the money amount you are legally and rightfully owed.
What Should I Include in My Personal Injury Demand Letter?
- The specific circumstances of the accident—when, how and where it happened.
- An explicit description of your injuries.
- A statement asserting why you believe the defendant is liable for your injuries.
- Medical treatment and diagnosis related to the accident.
- Costs and expenses of medical care to date.
- Predicted future medical care costs.
- Anticipated costs for rehabilitation, physical therapy, adaptive/assistance equipment, prescription medication, and/or car or home modification.
- Lost wages.
- Diminished or lost future income attributable to your accident injuries.
- Pain and suffering caused by your accident injuries including a diminished quality of life.
- Property repair or replacement.
- Copies of MRIs, x-rays, CT scans, lab work and any other test results reports.
- Photos and/or videos of the accident scene, physical injuries and any property damage.
- Other related compensable losses related to your injuries.
- Contact information for all parties involved including witnesses.
- A detailed description of non-economic damages such as scars, disfigurement, loss of consortium and any other damages included under the legal definition of “pain and suffering.”
Demand Letter Preparation Is Essential To A Strong Personal Injury Claim
While it’s critical that you don’t miss Louisiana’s one-year statute of limitations deadline for filing a personal injury claim, it’s important not to get ahead of yourself. Therefore, taking the time to thoroughly gather all the information you need will strengthen your position as your attorney negotiates the full compensation you deserve. Therefore (with the deadline), you should not send your demand letter until you know the full extent of:
- your injuries,
- realistic predictions of future medical and rehabilitation costs,
- your diminished ability to earn an income (if applicable),
- the overall impact your injuries will have on your quality of life, and
- certain other consequences of the accident.
Further, remember that the purpose of the demand letter isn’t to discuss complex legal issues of liability. This comes later in the process, if your initial demand is denied. Rather, the purpose is to state the facts of the injury claim and detail a “reasonable valuation” of your injury claim so you can recover the monetary compensation to which you’re entitled.
How Much Should I Ask For in a Personal Injury Demand Letter?
In general, your demand letter should not state a specific amount for two valid reasons:
- When you present your demand letter, you may not know the full extent of your economic and non-economic damages.
- Specifying a specific amount indicates to the injuring party or their representatives that’s all you expect and will often diminish your money negotiations. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney usually would advise their clients that the insurance adjuster or other party’s attorney should make the first compensation offer.
How to Write a Demand Letter Correctly
Your personal injury demand letter holds a lot of weight in your personal injury case. If not properly prepared, the insurance company or the opposing legal counsel may deny the claim at the outset. What’s in the demand letter and how it should be composed is best handled by a skilled, experienced Shreveport personal injury attorney, such as Joseph Greenwald.
Contact Attorney Joseph Greenwald, Jr. Today For Help With Your Personal Injury Demand Letter
If you’ve been injured because of the reckless, negligent or careless conduct of another in Shreveport or Bossier City, attorney Joseph Greenwald, Jr. is highly qualified to prepare your monetary demand letter and fight for what’s rightfully owed you.
Call attorney Joseph Greenwald, Jr. today to discuss what happened and begin the battle for your rights. For a prompt, no-cost meeting in his conveniently located Shreveport office, call him today at 318-383-0094 or request a free consultation!