A demand letter is a document sent from a personal injury victim to the negligent parties in a personal injury case that contains information about the claim. This letter should include a brief summary of the incident, an explanation of why the other party is at fault, a description of the injuries the victim has suffered, and a request for compensation. This letter will set the stage for the rest of your personal injury claim. But, when is a demand letter sent in a personal injury case? Here's what you need to know:
Send Important Documents First
Most personal injury attorneys recommend sending important documents related to your claim prior to sending a demand letter. Why? An insurance adjuster will not take your demand letter seriously unless he can review medical records, proof of expenses, and other documents that clearly show why you are entitled to compensation. Therefore, it's best to either send these documents first or send them along with your demand letter so the insurance adjuster has all of the information he needs.
Wait for Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
Personal injury victims should also wait until they have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) before sending a demand letter. If you have reached MMI, this means your condition is not expected to improve any further. At this point, an attorney can begin to calculate the value of your claim now that he knows the medical expenses you have incurred, the losses you have suffered, and whether or not your future will be affected by your injuries.
For example, let's say you suffer a back injury in a car accident and reach MMI after months of treatments and physical therapy sessions. You are still experiencing some pain, but your condition is not expected to improve any further. Because you are still experiencing pain even at MMI, it's safe to assume that you may need additional treatment or time off of work in the future. This will be taken into consideration when calculating the value of your claim. If you had sent the demand letter prior to reaching MMI, you wouldn't have known that your injury would still affect you in the future, and you probably would have underestimated the value of your claim.
It's never a good idea to send a demand letter too early, but this letter shouldn't be sent too late, either. Let personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law handle the timing of your demand letter and the rest of your case. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com.