If you have suffered a personal injury, you may be entitled to some form of compensation. It is recommended that you look into this by seeking high quality legal advice. However, you can also get started on your own.
Personal Injury Demand Letters
Sample personal injury demand letters can be found online. It is important to use one that matches you personal type of personal injury letter. Additionally, you may find yourself struggling with various legal issues, for which standard forms and letters also exist. If you do decide to get started on your own, the following information could be useful in terms of strengthening your case. However, using sample letters is certainly not equal to seeking legal advice. Indeed, doing things by yourself and making a mistake could cost you your claim. Hence, even if you want to do as much as possible yourself, you should still speak to a lawyer before sending any type of written statement.
What Is a Demand Letter?
Sending a demand letter is perhaps the most important element of a personal injury claim. This is where you explain the fact surrounding the accident itself, what treatment was received and what losses were incurred. The demand letter is also the starting point of settlement negotiations. A good demand letter is key to resolving the case to your benefit.
Variations in Personal Injury Demand Letters
The letter you will have to send will vary depending on the type of injury you have sustained and the type of accident. As such:
- Car accidents can be less serious (minor lingering pain, some missed work, medical bills of around $1,000) or more serious (emotional injury and trauma, long term pain, lost income and medical bills higher than $3,000). A different letter will be required if you suffered a bicycle-car accident.
- General accidents can be slip and falls on commercial properties, slip and falls on stairs or accidents caused by employees.
Each of these require different letters to be sent out. You may also have suffered a personal injury in a different situation, such as defective products, medical malpractice or more. Again, you should seek legal advice before taking this matter any further.
How to Write a Car Accident Personal Injury Letter
If you have been involved in a car accident, you need to know just how to write your letter. As soon as you have been released from care, or if you feel you are completely healed, the time to write your demand letter has arrived. Make sure you have all the necessary information at hand to create this letter. This information includes:
- The accident report
- Statements from witnesses
- Records and bills pertaining to your medical treatment
- Information on any wages that were lost
- Notes that you or someone else took in relation to your injury and recovery
In your letter, you should start by telling the facts and circumstances of your accident. This is an opportunity to put your side of the story forward. Make sure you write the information down chronologically and provide as many details as possible. Think of such things as street addresses, which way you were going, weather conditions, how you tried to avoid the accident and so on. Link this information to any evidence you have gathered as well.
Next, you need to highlight exactly how you were injured, discussing the symptoms and levels of pain you experienced. Discuss any and all treatment you have received from the moment you were injured until the moment you were healed, as well as stating what ongoing treatment you still have. Make sure you reference this to your medical information and use medical terminology wherever possible. Also include details in terms who which hospitals or clinics you have been to and when.
Next, you must provide all the details relating to your medical expenses. It is best to present this as an itemized list. Include everything from the transportation in the ambulance to prescription medication and any types of medical devices. Include these details in full, even if you were covered by your insurance company. Don’t forget to include copies of the various bills.
Sometimes, you will be able to recover the value of income that was lost due to the injury. Hence, write down how much work you have missed and how much you would have been compensated for this. Also, include any vacation time that you used in order to cover your time off. If you are a temporary worker or self-employed, you will need to highlight exactly how you calculated your lost income.
If there are any other inconveniences, you must also include these. For instance, you may have had to cancel a vacation or visit to a friend. These are intangible losses in the main, although some may be supported by bills, but that doesn’t mean you cannot be compensated for them.
Finish your letter by stating how much you demand to receive in compensation. In most cases, the amount you will actually get will be much lower, so don’t be afraid to set a very high demand. This puts you in a better negotiating position as well.
How to Write a General Personal Injury Letter
A general personal injury letter is very similar, but there are some notable differences as well. However, in this letter, you will have to explain why you believe that the third party that caused your injury is legally responsible and was negligent. The other information required is exactly the same as in the car accident letter.
One important item to remember is that if there are multiple parties involved, be that on the side of the plaintiff or on the side of the defendant, you must provide details for each individual account. Also remember to never make any statements admitting any wrongdoing on your own side. Finally, make sure you can evidence everything you state in your letter with copies and documentation.