Battle Born Injury Lawyers | August 16, 2022 | Personal Injury
The first step in any personal injury settlement negotiation in Nevada occurs when the plaintiff sends the defendant or the defendant’s insurance company a settlement demand letter. The settlement demand letter states the plaintiff’s claim and demands that the insurance company compensate the plaintiff for the personal injuries by the defendant caused.
Preliminary Steps: What to Do Before Sending the Demand Letter
There are several preliminary steps that you must take before you send the insurance company a settlement demand letter. Below you will find a description of some of these steps.
Investigate Your Claim
Investigation of your claim starts with the initial consultation that your lawyer offers before agreeing to represent you. Your lawyer will question you about the case. They may ask you to produce certain documents that will allow them to understand your claim better and estimate your chances of victory.
Wait Until You Reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
MMI is when your medical condition is unlikely to improve any further. Hopefully, this means that you make a full recovery. It is possible, however, that you will suffer long-term or permanent injury or disability. It is your doctor who decides whether you have reached MMI.
Calculate Your Estimated Future Damages
You should refrain from negotiating a settlement until you reach MMI because you can only speculate about your future damages until then. Calculating your estimated future damages is difficult and often requires the assistance of an expert witness.
For example, if you suffer a permanent disability at age 35, you will need to estimate your total lost earnings from 35 until retirement. You might also need to estimate future medical expenses, including ongoing treatment.
The Content of a Settlement Demand Letter
Settlement demand letters differ because no two cases are the same.
Nevertheless, most Nevada settlement demand letters contain the following information:
- A brief description of the accident. Don’t give too many details because you could hurt your case that way.
- An explanation of why the defendant is liable for the accident. For example, the defendant may have run a red light, or they might be a physician who failed to provide adequate medical treatment.
- A brief description of your injuries and any property damage you suffered.
- A list of your damages. This list could include medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages that are typical in a personal injury claim.
- References to any aspects of your claim that are unique.
- A demand for compensation. Let your lawyer decide whether to demand a specific dollar amount. If your losses exceed policy limits, however, you should demand the policy limits.
- Documentation that supports your demands.
Don’t try to write a settlement demand letter on your own. Either have your lawyer draft it for you or write it yourself and let your lawyer review it. The insurance company will send you a “reservation of rights” letter, which is a formality that shouldn’t concern you. Hopefully, negotiations will begin soon afterward.
A Few Tips on Writing an Effective Settlement Demand Letter
The following are a few of many possible tips that will help you maximize the effectiveness of your settlement demand letter:
- Do not use a demand letter sample that you found on the Internet.
- Err on the side of brevity. The length of your letter should be proportionate to the size and complexity of your claim. A single page might be enough for a simple claim.
- Draft an outline of your letter before you write it. This will help keep your letter organized.
- Be firm but not unnecessarily confrontational. Keep it polite because aggressive language will not help your claim.
- Read your letter aloud before you send it. Revise it as necessary.
It doesn’t take a gifted writer to draft a settlement demand letter. It does, however, require a solid knowledge of the law and the facts of your case.
Speak With an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Before You Draft Your Demand Letter
It is essential that your lawyer has a track record of taking claims to court and winning. If the insurance adjuster does not believe your lawyer can win in court, they may not respect your claim. The best way to win a settlement in Nevada is to convince the insurance adjuster that you can win in court.
Contact the Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident in Las Vegas and you need legal assistance, contact our personal injury attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers and schedule a free consultation with our legal team.