August 21, 2019

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Demand Letters: The Penultimate Knock

Considering Demand Letter

Clients usually approach attorneys to help them receive the fairest compensation for the injuries and losses they incurred. Demand letters are the last attempt to settle disputes before a lawsuit is filed. Demand letters have earned the reputation of a powerful tool as they pose a threat to the potential defendant by including a deadline to fulfill the alleged legal obligation such as rectifying some identified problem, paying a sum of money or acting on a contractual commitment.

Why a Demand Letter?

Only a well-drafted demand letter will realize the ultimate goal to settle the matter before taking on an expensive, extensive and burdensome court proceeding route. It conveys that the client is serious in his/her desire for payment. The demand letter highlights the events in formal words and allows you to structure case details. A demand letter renders a chance of getting compensation for clients and serves as evidence, proving that a settlement talk was initiated.

Drafting a demand letter requires the case be organized and chronologically arranged from the initial stage, giving an advantage of prepping if a trial ensues.

When to Send a Demand Letter?

Lawyers have to ensure that the client has completed the treatment plans, thorough investigations have been carried out with regards to the incident details stating the party at-fault was negligent, bills have been procured for medical treatments, and witnesses have been gathered. A letter sent on time increases the likelihood of a prompt, efficient, and satisfactory end to a civil dispute.

Personal Injury Demand Letters

A personal injury demand letter falls into a slightly different bracket. An adjuster deals with plenty of personal injury cases. The demand letter may read just like any other personal injury letter. To avoid this situation, you have to make sure the letter is drafted in such a way that the entire history of the personal injury claim is captured in the letter without miscalculation of the treatment expenses or injury for the insurance adjuster. Events have to be noted from the point of impact until the last day of treatment.

A Word of Caution

Though demand letters can be written by anyone, it does require good writing skills; the drafter needs to pay attention to details, have knowledge of each event and show a certain level of restraint. It is this effort that will set the tone for negotiations. The adjuster or the party at-fault should, without doubt, understand the client’s loss by your writing.

At times, when the injuries are intense, the drafter needs to describe the injuries in detail with standard codes, highlighting every injury with its severity, long-lasting, and permanent nature, to explain why it deserves the compensation you are demanding. The drafter should be very specific and use appropriate medical terminology, give a detailed account of where the treatments were given, who treated the client, and the expenses incurred. The drafter also has to weave-in an emotional loss, the turmoil faced by the client due to the event, and why compensation for the pain and suffering is appropriate. Time taken for recovery as well as time taken off work should also be accounted for and a justified figure should be arrived at. These figures are usually then adjusted upwards to ensure room for negotiations.

The demand letter should lead the party at-fault to an agreement for the settlement amount quoted. For this, the drafter has to invoke an analytical and technical writing strategy, placing himself in the client’s shoes and convey their needs.

One wrong assessment, one missing detail, an incorrect tone can land the demand letter in the corner to gather dust. Breaking down of events and a clear narration leads to a well-conceived, well-written letter.

Quick Facts about Demand Letters

  • Also known as Notice of default/Notice of Breach/Lawyer’s Letter

  • Often written by a lawyer to adhere professionalism and compliance with law

  • There are different rules and regulations for federal and state requirements

  • Carry a 33.33% chance of receiving a positive settlement

  • Some may fall under the limit of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

This article was submitted by Neural IT. Neural IT provides cost-effective and timely medical reviews for personal injury, medical malpractice, and mass tort cases. For more information, please visit www.neuralit.com. Email us at [email protected] or call +1-844-NIT-TEAM (648-8326).

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