How to Write a Formal Demand Letter?
The process of settlement between the at-fault party and his or her insurance company includes negotiations and starts with a settlement demand. The settlement demand is prepared to resolve the matter amicably outside the courtroom. The types of injuries covered are slip and fall, dog bite, medical malpractice, and motor vehicle accidents.
The layout of the demand letter
A legal settlement demand must include well-constructed and imperative details about the relevant accident/incident. Grammar, spelling, and attention to detail are very important from the drafting point of view. The layout of the letter should be professional and with no error.
Emphasis on the Incident and injuries
The letter should only be focused about the facts and circumstances of the current accident/incident. Prior injuries should be involved only if there is aggravation to the injuries. The letter must include the extent of injuries, treatment, therapy, plan for future treatment, medication received and ordered and lost income. The letter should further highlight the factors of intangible damages which shows how injuries affected the injured person’s quality of life.
Words in the letter should be chosen in such a way that the claim adjuster should not feel threatened. If the claims adjuster simply cannot meet the demands put by the aggrieved party, they might just set the case aside. Persuasion needs to follow in the letter so that the claim adjuster can work out a fair settlement or negotiation.
Understanding the policy limit is also crucial while writing a settlement demand. As a matter of fact, insurer does not have unlimited liability. Instead, the insurer only has liability up to the policy limits. So, before writing the demand, one should always understand the policy limits that apply in respective case and how these policy limits work.
Other Key Factors
- Parties name and addresses should be correctly mentioned in the letter.
- In cases of motor accident demand letters, dog bite incidents and slip and fall incidents, accident/incident description should be clearly mentioned along with actual date and time. It’s also good to use approximations when discussing events to account for generalities and slight measurement differences. For example, while a car wreck may have occurred at noon exactly by your vehicle’s clock, another vehicle or security camera may say 12:02, leading to potential inaccuracies the defendant’s lawyer could exploit. Use phrases like “about”, “on or around”, or just “approximately” when needed to allow for a factual account with some leeway for discrepancies.
- Liability part should be properly addressed to the at fault driver. This paragraph also includes citation or statute number given by the traffic police to the at fault driver.
Must include documents in Demand Packet
This will include copies of medical records, payment receipts, wage slips as well as police reports. The medical records must be crisped into the demand letter to show the injuries sustained by the aggrieved party. The insurer will not pay any undocumented damages. Thus, it is important that the injured party must give supporting documentation for every amount discussed in the settlement demand letter.
Lastly, the closing paragraph should end by thanking the adjuster for their attention and placing a time limit on their response.
Research and Writing By: Team – Draft n Craft
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