What Is a Demand Letter?
Posted in Personal Injury on December 22, 2021
An accident can disrupt your life in several ways. You may need to seek medical attention for your injuries and spend weeks away from work. You may struggle to cope with the physical and emotional impact of the accident, which can impact your ability to recover the compensation that you deserve.
If someone else is responsible for your accident, you do not deserve to suffer the consequences alone. In these situations, you could file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. One of the first steps toward recovering compensation is to send a legal demand letter to the at-fault party.
What Information Does a Demand Letter Contain?
A demand letter is a legal tactic that is used to resolve a dispute before formally filing a claim in Missouri court. This document outlines the claim that you intend to pursue and requests that the receiving party attend a negotiation in an attempt to reach an agreement. The legal demand will usually be addressed to the at-fault party and his or her insurance company, if applicable.
Demand letters typically contain the following information.
- The nature and extent of the injuries that you sustained
- Why the at-fault party or his or her insurance company is financially liable for the damages that you experienced
- The details of the medical care that you needed to receive and the cost of that care
- Information about the other losses that you experienced, such as pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages
Demand letters essentially signal the beginning of the personal injury litigation process. It signals to the at-fault party that you intend to pursue legal action and details the amount of compensation that you may claim. A personal injury attorney will not send a demand letter for every case that he or she handles, but the lawyer may deem the document appropriate for certain situations.
What Happens After a Lawyer Sends a Demand Letter?
After an attorney sends a demand letter, the at-fault party will decide whether or not to engage in negotiations with you and your lawyer. If the at-fault party declines the offer, your lawyer will proceed to move forward with legal action against him or her in Missouri civil court. Your attorney will file your lawsuit, and the litigation process will continue.
If you do attend a negotiation, multiple outcomes may occur, such as the following.
- The negotiation is successful, and your case concludes before entering a formal legal process. The at-fault party meets your demands and makes the necessary payments. Your attorney will not file your lawsuit in Missouri civil court.
- The at-fault party makes a counteroffer during negotiations. You can choose to accept or decline the offer at this stage. If the offer is accepted, your case will conclude. If you decline, you will proceed with the litigation process.
- You and the at-fault party attend negotiations and are unable to reach an agreement. Your lawsuit will likely proceed in Missouri civil court.
Demand letters are valuable legal tools that can help you avoid the lengthy litigation process. If the demand process is unsuccessful, however, filing a lawsuit is a valuable option. In these situations, it is important to speak with a Missouri personal injury lawyer.
Your Kansas City personal injury lawyer can help you understand your optimal legal options and identify your path to maximum compensation. Contact an attorney as soon as possible following your accident to discuss your next steps.