Tips, tricks and advice for writing a payment demand letter after a personal injury
Few people expect to write a payment demand letter after a personal injury or accident. Still, people are adaptable and able to rise to the demands of the occasion. If you’ve been injured due to the actions of another, you ought to demand payment as soon as you reasonably can. The sooner you ask for what you’re owed, the sooner the gears of justice can start turning.
If you don’t feel comfortable or capable of writing your own payment demand letter, consider consulting our Florida personal injury attorneys. We can ensure that your case is clearly laid out and give you the best chances of success.
However, if you want to attempt to do it on your own, it’s important to follow some basic guidelines.
Who do you send a demand payment letter to?
Naturally, you’ll need to adjust the tone of your letter depending on the recipient.
If you are writing to a family member, you may want to maintain an extra polite tone. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to write with as little emotion as possible. Sticking to the facts and staying focused can help you write a more effective letter.
Or you might write a demand letter to another driver who injured you in a car accident. Alternatively, you might have to submit your letter to the driver’s insurance company. If you were injured at a place of business, you might need to send a payment demand letter to the business’s negligent owner.
Tips for writing a payment demand letter
Here are some tips for writing a payment demand letter:
Avoid aggressive and angry language
Even if you have every right to be offended, avoid disparaging language at all costs. If you personally attack the other party, this invites the other side to react aggressively. All too often, this can delay a settlement favorable to the victim.
Sometimes, conflict with another is inevitable. Still, it’s a good idea to avoid being one who escalates the tension.
A diplomatic approach can yield faster, better results. In your demand letter, try to convince the other party to make a frank assessment of their risks. Encourage the reader to consider the cost and time required to put up a legal defense.
In many cases, negligent parties have good reasons to want to avoid publicizing their legal controversies. Emphasize the benefits of an early settlement for both sides.
Make your letter clear and legible
Be sure to type your demand letter clearly and legibly. If you don’t have access to a computer at home, you can usually find a computer to use at your local public library. Every demand letter should have a specific payment demand and specific response deadline. Seven to 10 days is widely considered a fair deadline for a response.
Present the facts
In the main body of your letter, present the facts of the case in a calm, thorough manner. Your description of damages may take up most of the body of the letter. Make sure your demand letter ends by affirming your willingness to pursue legal action if not satisfied.
If you’re the victim of negligence, you have every right to demand due compensation. You can demand reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages and even pain and suffering.
Thoroughly explain your pain
In your letter, feel free to describe each step in your path of recovery. Carefully and thoughtfully relate all pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the injury. When adding up your damages, make sure you list all hard costs and general damages.
Your specific damages are costs you can prove with bills, receipts and similar documents. General damages are more intangible and may include emotional pain and suffering.
If your demand for compensation is not met, you may have to pursue the matter through a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. Even if you are not particularly litigious, you should be willing to file a lawsuit to protect your rights. By standing up for yourself, you can help protect the public from negligence.
Prepare your evidence
Before sending your demand letter for payment, make sure you’ve put together a comprehensive demand packet. This packet will include verification documents to support your case. These documents might include medical bills, police reports or photographs from the scene. Print your documents on quality white paper after double-checking all spelling and grammar.
Keep copies of everything
Make sure you have your document packet ready when it’s time to negotiate with the insurance adjuster. Take special care while mailing your demand letter. It’s usually a good idea to mail 2 copies for maximum safety.
If you send copies by standard and certified mail, be sure to request a return receipt. When sending by regular mail, be sure to opt for delivery confirmation. This can serve as crucial evidence if the matter ends up in small claims court.
Keep copies of all letters you send or receive while pursuing your claim.
Get help from an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer
If your injury was severe, this may create a deeply complicated case. In a situation like this, you’ll want to contact a well-respected personal injury attorney in your area who can help you write separate demand letters to multiple parties.
Alternately, your case might involve medical malpractice. If your case is complicated, you’ll almost certainly want to contact an experienced attorney.
When hiring a personal injury attorney, it’s best to engage in complete honesty. Your attorney can prepare a better case if you provide as many details as you can.