If you're in the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may have heard the term "demand letter" mentioned by your lawyer.
Composing and submitting a demand letter is an important first step in acquiring compensation for your injuries. While your lawyer will probably do most of the work, it's still a good idea for you to understand what a demand letter should include.
Your lawyer will need you to help with drafting the demand letter by providing some information. The following are a few tips that can help lawyers and clients to draft the perfect demand letter together:
Make it concise but inclusive
A demand letter should be kept as simple as possible while including all the information that is necessary to get the main points across.
Including the facts that back up demand letter assertions is important, but avoid wordiness and excessive detail.
Be courteous and professional
You won't get any benefit from being accusatory or aggressive in a demand letter. In fact, taking on an angry or ugly tone in the demand letter might negatively impact your case.
Focus on a goal
As your lawyer writes the demand letter, he or she should be keeping your goal in mind.
The letter should clearly state this goal while explaining why you are likely to acquire this goal even if the defendant fights your claim. This could encourage the defendant to settle right away so that both sides avoid spending money on legal fees.
Clearly state the desired compensation
The demand letter should explicitly state how much money you are demanding. There should be an exact amount listed and an explanation of why this amount is appropriate.
Note that you will legally pursue your demand
At the end of the demand letter, the lawyer should explain that the desired compensation will be pursued through a lawsuit if it is not voluntarily provided by the defendant.
It's also a good idea to call to the defendant's attention the fact that a court judgement in your favor could hurt the defendant's reputation.
Keep a copy
You'll need to have a copy of the demand letter on hand so that you can reference it as necessary throughout your case.
Your lawyer from a site like http://asmlegal.net/ should keep a copy, but you should also request a copy for your own records. You should also keep a copy of post office receipts proving that the letter was sent to the defendant.