One of the key events in an injury case is when the claimant sends a demand letter to the defendant or their insurance policy provider. A demand package addresses several key legal requirements. Keep reading to explore why demands are so important and how personal injury lawyers go about making them.
Statute of Limitations
For the vast majority of cases, you state will have either a two- or three-year statute of limitations. This is the period from when an accident happened. You have that many years, depending on your state's laws, to officially notify the defendant.
When a personal injury attorney sends the demand package, it satisfies the requirements of the statute of limitations. The clock stops on that issue, and you can proceed with settlement negotiations or a suit without watching the statute.
Note there are a few scenarios where the statute of limitations may be shorter or longer. For example, many states use shorter periods if a government agency is the defendant. Contact a personal injury attorney as early as possible to learn what the rules are in your jurisdiction.
Efforts To Settle
If you sue without making a settlement effort, the defense has the right to petition the court to dismiss the case. Typically, a judge will dismiss the suit and order both sides to take up negotiations if there's no proof the court's intervention is necessary to resolve a relevant dispute. The judge will almost certainly dismiss the case without prejudice, meaning you can bring it again if settlement efforts fail.
You have to begin the settlement process somewhere. That means you need to have a number in mind. A demand package tells the defense what you're thinking of when it comes to claims of damages. They can then compare your demands to previous settlements to decide whether they like the offer. If not, they can make a counteroffer.
The defense has the legal right to assess a demand letter. For example, insurance companies frequently appoint claims adjusters once they receive demands. The adjuster will investigate the case and tell the insurance company whether they think it's valid.
If the claim appears to be legitimate, the adjuster has a duty to recommend a settlement amount to the insurer. The insurer can respond with its offer. Your attorney will relay the offer and state whether they believe you ought to take it. Ultimately, the choice is yours.Share