Demand Letters and Your Personal Injury Case
A demand letter is a Mesa automobile accident personal injury attorney’s stock in trade. It is the final result of all the hard work, time and effort expended in putting together the injury file.
There are different styles of demand letters. Some attorneys simply write a one paragraph letter that encloses the medical records and charts, totals the bills and then demands a sum of money to settle the case. I always considered this a very lazy method. For one think, it leads me to believe that the attorney did not take the time to review the records he or she is sending to the insurance company. Secondly, it leaves the interpretation of those records completely up to the insurance adjuster, with no argument, guidance or insight from the attorney.
Our demand letters are different. They start with a summary of the facts – the reason why the collision was the fault of the “other person.”
We then write a detailed summary of the medical charges. Since the value of most automobile accident claims are driven by the medical charges, we review the records for any missed bills. For example, many times, a doctor will order one of my clients to get an MRI, say of their back or neck. Now, the results of that MRI will be included in the medical chart BUT the charge (usually the MRI is performed at a completely separate facility than the doctor’s office) is missing. We take the time to search through the records and find , hopefully, ALL the missing medical charges and bills. This adds significantly to the value of the case and it is value that many attorneys miss.
This section also includes a statement regard lost wages. We ask you employer to fill out a form to detail, without question, the hours lost from work due to your pain or doctor appointments.
The third part of the letter details what effects that accident had on my client’s life and lifestyle. For example, many people simply cannot clean their home, do dishes or wash the floors or laundry because they are in too much pain. As their life becomes more unorganized around them their angst or emotional response to the accident sky rockets. This could lead to depression, lack of sleep and even marital discord. Sometimes, my clients have to hire maids or landscapers just to do the work they used to do around the house. That is all worth money. We make sure to find these things out and we include them in the demand letter to the insurance company because your suffering, physical and mental, has value.
The fourth part is missed opportunity. Had you planned a vacation? Did you lose out on a promotion at work? Was you schooling and therefore your career set back? It all has value.
Finally, we never, ever, send a demand letter out without the client’s permission. I send them a copy of the drafts and ask for their input. Usually an injured client’s input is invaluable – it’s your case, you are the boss and the letter does not go out until you say so.
Daniel Marco – Marco Injury Law
1166 E Warner Rd #101
Gilbert, AZ 85296
Email: [email protected]