How to Write a Personal Injury ClaimFiled under Personal Injury Cases
When you’re hurt in an injury, one of the first things your Las Vegas lawyer will advise you to do is to write a demand letter for your personal injury claim which will form the basis of your case. Explore tips from a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer on how to write personal injury claims, and how an experienced attorney can help.
Personal Injury Claims: Good Letters vs Bad Letters
A solid demand letter will be well-written with proper sentence structure, grammar and spelling. It will be free of typographical errors, and will be clear and clean. It gives a strong reason for the damages you’re suffering, is clear on what you’re seeking to collect and why. It will present ample documentation to back up the claim and announce that you intend to negotiate in good faith. It shouldn’t threaten, and it should contain a willingness to discuss the issue.
A bad demand letter, on the other hand, is poorly-written, lacking in supporting documentation and facts, and fails to properly validate the claim. It makes unreasonable demands and is rigid. It may even threaten a lawsuit if the other party doesn’t comply.
What Should a Demand Letter Include?
A demand letter is a vital part of the process of settling your claim, so you want to get it right. Use high-quality bond paper, and make absolutely certain your punctuation and grammar are letter-perfect. If you’re not a great writer, seek help from someone who is. Advice from a personal injury attorney can be very helpful in this area.
Your letter should include a header, a description of the accident, a description of damages, proximate or direct cause, compensation and closing.
The letter header should have the following information:
- The date
- The insurance company’s name and address
- Your name
- Birth date
- The date of the accident
- The claim number
- The name of the person at fault
It should then present all facts relevant to the accident, including a clear description and chronological “story” of the accident. Be clear and concise, but avoid technicalities. Instead of saying, “at 3:45 PM,” for example, say, “Between 3 and 4pm,” or “Around 3:30 PM.” Describe everyone involved, the location, weather, what caused the accident, and mention any police report or actions that might exist.
List all the damages you are collecting, including special damages (quantifiable, tangible damages) and general damages (intangible injuries like pain and suffering, emotional trauma and loss of consortium). Include dates and descriptions of medical treatments and any documentation of all damages you’re seeking.
Communicate that you never asked for this to happen, that it has caused an immediate and measurable negative effect on your life, and that you have been in misery due to the toll it’s taken.
Statement of Cause
You need to clearly indicate that the defendant is liable and responsible for your accident and why. Bring all of the facts you stated together to form a conclusion that the insured party was the direct and proximate reason your accident and injuries occurred. Clarify that you did not contribute in any way.
Detail the amounts of money you’re demanding based on the injuries you suffered, and total it together. This is your settlement demand.
Thank them for their time and attention, request that they respond within a certain time limit, and invite an honest and good faith negotiation. Personal injury claims hinge upon such negotiations.