How to Write an Effective Demand Letter in a Personal Injury Claim

According to data published by the New York State Department of Health, approximately 1.3 million New Yorkers seek emergency medical attention for accidental injuries each year. A serious injury can take a toll on your family. You need financial compensation to pay your bills and support your loved ones. If another party was at-fault for your accident, you have the right to hold them liable.

A personal injury claim does not necessarily mean that you need to run to the nearest court to file a lawsuit. Most personal injury claims begin with something called a ‘demand letter’. In this article, our Rochester personal injury attorney explains the importance of a well-drafted demand letter and highlights some of the key elements that should be included.

What is a Personal Injury Demand Letter?

A demand letter is essentially a document that gives the other party (and their insurer) official notice that they are liable for your damages. Demand letters are used by plaintiffs in many civil legal claims, from breach of contract disputes to personal injury cases. A demand letter is not a lawsuit. It is a formal letter sent directly to the other side that notifies them of the case and requests action.

The Elements of an Effective Personal Injury Demand Letter

A demand letter should always be drafted by an experienced Rochester personal injury lawyer. The difference between a well-crafted personal injury demand letter and an ineffective demand letter can be dramatic. Defendants and insurers take settlement negotiations far more seriously when they receive a properly prepared demand. Here are five things that should be in a personal injury demand letter:

  1. A clear, well-articulated description of the accident;
  2. A compelling explanation of why the defendant bears liability;
  3. A comprehensive account of the victim’s damages;
  4. A reasonable deadline for the other side to respond; and
  5. An unequivocal statement confirming intent to file a lawsuit if proper action is not taken.

In most personal injury claims, the response to a demand letter is not typically the immediate payment of the victim’s full request for compensation—though that is possible in some smaller cases. Instead, a properly-crafted demand letter can bring the other side to the table for genuine settlements negotiations. If full and fair financial compensation is not provided by the defendant or insurance company, you retain the right to file a lawsuit in a New York court.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Personal Injury Lawyer in Rochester, NY

At King Law, our New York personal injury attorney has the professional skills and legal expertise to protect your rights. If you or your loved one was hurt in an accident, we are here to help. Give us a call now or reach out to us online to schedule your free, no obligation initial consultation. With office locations in Rochester, Syracuse, and Geneva, we represent injured victims through the region, including in Monroe County, Onondaga County, Ontario County, Wayne County, and Yates County.


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