The right wording in a demand letter, after any type of injury, can go a long way toward getting you a settlement. When you hire a personal injury attorney, he or she will assist you in writing this letter, but much of it will be up to you — given that you're the person who the accident and injury have directly affected. You may experience all sorts of emotions when you write the letter, which is perfectly normal because you'll be required to think about the injury in detail. You want to keep your cool, however, and ensure that your letter is professional. Here are some phrases to avoid.
A demand letter is a professional legal document, and while it can often be forceful, you need to stop well before making threats to the other party and his or her attorney. It may be tempting to make a statement such as, "You need to pay me $20,000 or else," but such a statement comes off as a threat. Your personal injury attorney will not approve of submitting this letter and will ask you to change it by removing this type of sentiment. You'll save time and effort by keeping any language of this nature out of your letter.
The phrase "a lot" isn't threatening, but it, too, shouldn't have a place in your demand letter. The problem with this statement is that it's vague and vagueness will not serve you in this situation. For example, you don't want to write something such as, "I have had to spend a lot on physical therapy because of this injury." The idea of "a lot" could be $250 to some people or $2,500 to other people. Using specific financial figures is always better than using general phrases.
As soon as you submit your demand letter, you'll be thinking and wondering about the response that it will get. To encourage a prompt response from the other side, you might think of enclosing a line such as, "I hope to hear back from you soon." While this sentiment may be true, it's not specific enough. It's imperative for you to provide a deadline by which time you want to hear back. Your personal injury attorney can offer some suggestions in this regard based on the complexities of your case. The more complex the case, the more time you'll want to give the other side to respond to your letter.
For legal representation, consider firms like Steele Law Offices, LLC.