The process of telling a defendant that you expect compensation for your injuries is known in the law as making a demand. It is a formal process in personal injury law. Average people, though, usually wonder where they'd even start with demanding compensation. Here is how a personal injury lawyer goes about putting forward a client's demands.
Foremost, a personal injury attorney wants to present as solid of a demand as possible. They need to investigate what happened to determine who the defendant is and how much compensation to demand. Depending on the circumstances, the investigation may involve collecting testimony from witnesses, reports from doctors and first responders, videos, phone records, logs, and other supporting records. The goal is to provide as detailed an explanation as possible of what happened and why the defendant is liable to pay compensation.
Another part of the process is waiting to see how much the client's body recovers. This is important because it's hard to escalate the demanded compensation once you've sent a letter to the defendant or their insurer. You want to be sure you know whether you're going to need long-term care if your body doesn't bounce back quickly from the accident.
The Demand Package
A personal injury attorney will develop a demand package. This is the formal demand letter alongside the supporting documents. Your demand letter will explain who you and the defendant are, what occurred, what your injuries are, why the defendant is liable, and how much compensation you expect.
The supporting materials may include evidence that shows the defendant's liability. Suppose you tripped on a large crack in the sidewalk leading up to an apartment building. Your injury lawyer might include copies of maintenance logs and complaint letters that show the defendant knew about the problem but did nothing. Also, the supporting documents will include reports, tests, and scans that show the extent of your injuries.
After the Demand Letter
The defense has three options. First, they could reject the claim outright. Less likely, they could accept the claim and offer to pay. Finally, they could try to negotiate a lower level of compensation.
In the case of rejection, you have to decide whether you should sue or give up. If the defense accepts the claim, then you'll have to make payment arrangements. Negotiations may go back and forth, and you have the option to sue if there isn't a satisfactory offer. For more information on personal injury law, contact a professional near you.Share