How Do I Write a Personal Injury Settlement Letter?
Most personal injury claims do not head to trial but are settled via negotiations with the insurance company. A payment demand letter regarding the settlement is the first step, and your attorney will work with you to write the letter correctly.
Going to court is an expensive, time-consuming, and uncertain endeavor. Most plaintiffs, defendants, and insurance companies want to avoid this process. A personal injury settlement letter makes it clear that you, too, want to settle rather than go to trial, but it always remains an option.
In such a letter, it is critical that the language is specific and professional. No matter how badly you were hurt or how reckless the other driver may have been, the letter cannot contain insults or threats. While it is possible for a layperson to write such a letter to the insurance company, it is not wise. Using inappropriate language can harm your claim or inadvertently provide information that could make the insurer reject it.
A Los Angeles personal injury attorney at Ellis Injury Law knows a reasonable settlement amount for the type of injuries you suffered. We can write a personal injury settlement letter, also known as a demand letter, and ensure all relevant facts are included. We will negotiate with the insurance company to achieve a fair settlement amount. However, if the insurance company fails to offer a fair settlement, we can take your case to court.
Personal injury settlement letter
All personal injury settlement letters must include certain information. This includes:
- A precise account of what occurred in the accident
- Date, time, and location of the crash
- Names and contact information of all parties involved
- Why the other party is responsible for the collision
- The type and extent of injuries involved
- Medical treatment, with all details
- Lost wages, lost earnings and other lost income details
If you seek compensation for pain and suffering, you must offer facts as to your level of pain and suffering. While pain is physical, suffering refers to mental or emotional anguish relating to the accident.
The settlement letter might also include the damages you seek, especially if that is the maximum amount payable under the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. If there is further medical treatment expected, or other financial issues relating to the accident, your attorney may not want to request a specific amount. That could limit the amount of compensation received. For many plaintiffs, it is beneficial to allow the insurance company to make the initial offer and have your lawyer negotiate from that point.
In conclusion, the letter states that you want damages paid in a lump sum.
Along with the letter, you must include documents supporting your claim. These may include:
- Photos of the accident scene
- X-rays and similar medical evidence of injuries
- Summaries of economic damages, such as car repairs, medical bills, and lost wages
For evidence of pain and suffering, you might include medical reports, including those from mental health providers. If the injury put you in a wheelchair or otherwise physically impaired you, provide photos and videos.
Why an attorney is necessary
Writing a personal settlement letter is not a DIY endeavor. Lawyers not only know what to include in a demand letter, but they also know what to omit. It is a fact that insurance companies pay more attention to those claims in which the injured party has secured legal representation.
Keep in mind that the quality of the demand letters is extremely important. If not well-written, the claim may languish for a considerable time. If the letter is well-written and exactly to the point, expect a prompt response and faster settlement of your claim.
Contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer
If you were seriously injured in an accident because of another party’s negligence, an experienced personal injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law will guide you through the entire process of seeking compensation. Arrange a free, confidential consultation by submitting our online contact form or calling or texting us 24/7.
Our seasoned attorneys have recovered in excess of $350 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients. Because we work on a contingency basis, there is never a fee unless you receive compensation.