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What Happens When Your Lawyer Sends a Demand Letter?

Published on Apr 2, 2024 at 3:35 pm in Personal Injury.

What happens when your lawyer sends a demand letter?

If you have considered filing a personal injury lawsuit, sending a demand letter is one step in the process. These legal documents set the stage for negotiation. When the other party receives this letter, they will have a full outline of the extent of your injuries, their liability, and your demands for compensation.

So, what happens after the letter is sent? Let’s look at a few possible actions that can occur after the delivery of these demands.

What Is a Demand Letter?

When you have a personal injury case, your lawyer will send a demand letter. But what is it? This legal document plays a vital role in the negotiation process, and it is the last step before officially filing a lawsuit.

This is your formal communication to the other party, which is often an insurance company. In the letter, you request compensation for injuries sustained due to their client’s (or the other party’s) negligence or wrongdoing.These letters are used to establish liability and request compensation for damages suffered.

A demand letter will outline specific facts of the cases, such as the incident’s date, times, and location.

Along with that, there will be an explanation about why the receiving party is responsible for the accident.

Demand letters will also detail facts about the injuries suffered, including the medical treatment received and any ongoing medical issues related to the case. In the letter, there is also an itemization of all the damages, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

The demand letter will state a specific monetary demand for settlement.

At this stage, the document provides an opportunity for both parties to settle the matter outside of court, saving time and money for all involved.

What Happens Next?

After sending a demand letter, a few scenarios may arise. Some of these could include:

Meeting Your Demands

If the recipient acknowledges the validity of your claim and agrees to your demands, an agreement can be reached.

In these cases, the other party agrees to pay the specified amount, which could be a lump sum or installment payments. For non-monetary cases, such as property damage, the responsible party may agree to repair the damage or address the issue in some other form.

Once both parties reach an agreement, they sign a release form that legally absolves any further liability related to the incident. When you sign the release, you agree not to pursue any additional claims or legal action against the other party.

In a legal sense, the matter is now fully resolved.

Response and Request for Additional Discussions

Ideally, after receiving your demand letter the recipient should acknowledge its receipt immediately.

Your attorney might receive a letter with a confirmation or an email of receipt. At this stage, the negotiations can begin. Many times, the recipient may be willing to discuss the matter, marking the beginning of negotiations.

Both parties can take this time to explore potential resolutions.

During the negotiation process, the other party may propose terms different from those outlined in your demand letter. This is known as a counteroffer. However, they might seek additional information or clarification on specific points. Counteroffers try to find a middle ground that satisfies both parties.

Your attorney and the other party will likely exchange multiple messages during the negotiation process. Remember that negotiations can take time, especially if there are complex issues or disagreements.

Your legal team can handle all communication and work towards a resolution for your demand letter.

No Response or Refusal

Do all recipients respond to these demand letters?

Unfortunately, now, that’s not always the case.

Sometimes, the recipient may choose not to respond at all. This can be frustrating. However, there could be possible reasons behind this behavior. The party may believe that your claim is unfounded or exaggerated. Other times, they may not see the need to respond.

Another possible reason for silence is that they dispute liability or the extent of damages. They may believe that they are not responsible for the claimed damages. The recipient may evaluate their legal options before responding to your claim.

They may also take time to consult with their own legal counsel or consider their next steps before deciding how to respond.

Silence doesn’t always mean you will not reach a fair settlement. Many times, the recipient will need to review their legal options before reaching out to you. Just as you don’t want to respond quickly without seeking legal counsel, the responding party is also examining all the possibilities of their actions.

In some cases, a non-response may mean other legal options, such as formally filing a lawsuit.

Before you make a decision, you always want to consult with an experienced attorney to determine the right course of action for your situation and make sure your claim is filed before the statute of limitations expires in West Virginia.

Demand Letters Are the Starting Point

Whether you receive an answer or not, the demand letter is just the first step to helping settle a premises liability, defective product, or car accident case in West Virginia.

Negotiations can be long and arduous, so you will want to be fully prepared. You can do that with help from the legal team at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC. Our attorneys can help you proceed throughout this process and help you understand your legal options.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice. Viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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