Why You Should Hire a Lawyer to Write the Demand Letter for Your Ohio Personal Injury Claim

blank lawsuit form
blank lawsuit form

One of the most important steps in any personal injury claim is drafting and sending the demand letter to the liable insurance company. This document tells the insurance company how much compensation you are seeking and lays out the reasons why the insurance company should pay that amount.

Below, Friedman, Domiano and Smith’s experienced personal injury lawyers in Cleveland discuss the content, structure and purpose of a demand letter. We also explain why you should not attempt to draft this document on your own; instead, you should allow an experienced attorney to handle it on your behalf.

If you suffered injuries from a car crash, our lawyers may be able to help. We have obtained millions for those injured in many scenarios and have many years of experience drafting demand letters.

Call to schedule your free legal consultation today: 216-621-0070.

What Is a Demand Letter?

Simply put, a demand letter is a written request to settle your personal injury claim with the insurance company of the at-fault party. You could think of the demand letter as the opening bell in negotiations. Your attorney makes the first offer, and the insurance company usually makes a counteroffer. There can be a lot of back and forth before both sides reach an agreement.

A proper demand letter outlines the facts of your case and includes an explanation as to why the other party should be held liable for your damages. The letter also tells the insurance company that if your demands are not met, a lawsuit will be filed and the matter will be handled by the Court.

What Should Be Included in a Personal Injury Demand Letter?

A demand letter gives the insurance company a detailed, but concise, overview of your case, including:

  • Relevant facts
  • All parties involved
  • Names and contact information for the relevant parties
  • Summary of the events leading up to and causing the accident
  • Injuries and damages you have suffered
  • Photographs of injuries and property damage
  • Evidence and the monetary value of your damages
  • Amount of compensation being demanded
  • Deadline for reaching a settlement
  • Explanation of what happens if your demands are not met

Facts of the Case

This includes the people involved in the accident and where and when it occurred. For example, if you injured after turning at a green light, the letter would say the approximate time when this occurred and the names of the streets at the intersection.

The demand letter would explain the basic facts of what happened, such as where the other driver’s vehicle hit your vehicle.

Details on Your Injuries

The demand letter reveals your diagnosis (broken bone, torn ligament, spinal cord damage, head injury, etc.) and the emotional distress your injuries have caused. There is no need for hyperbole in this section, just state the facts of your injuries. Your lawyer needs to provide sufficient detail to support the damages you are claiming.  

Lawyers often attach other documents to the demand letter to support what is said, such as the police report, documentation of visits with doctors and other medical treatment, and more.

Damages You Are Seeking

Personal injury damages are divided into two categories:

  • Economic damages are things like medical costs, lost wages and property damage. If you have a long-term injury, you may also be eligible to pursue compensation for loss of earning capacity.
  • Noneconomic damages are also called general damages. These are harder to assign a dollar value, as they refer to the physical and emotional consequences of the injury, such as depression or lost enjoyment of life.

Sometimes attorneys multiply medical costs by another number, like two or three, to determine the value of non-economic damages.  

Deadline for Your Demands

There must be a deadline for the settlement demand. However, it needs to be reasonable, so the insurance company has enough time to investigate the incident.

Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer to Draft a Demand Letter

How do you determine the value of your damages, including any ongoing expenses? What types of evidence do you need to support your claim and the link between your injuries and the accident?

These are just two questions you would need to answer if you tried to draft a demand letter on your own. There are many others, and most injury victims do not know how to answer these types of questions.

This is understandable, as most injury victims have never been through the legal process before. In fact, this may be the only time you need to seek compensation for a personal injury.

When you look at things this way, it is easy to see why many injured victims hire lawyers to manage their claims. At Friedman, Domiano and Smith, we handle these types of cases every day. We have many years of experience:

  • Gathering evidence
  • Evaluating damages
  • Documenting the scene of an accident
  • Obtaining proof of an injury
  • And much more

While there is a science to drafting a demand letter, you could also think of it as an art form. Our attorneys know how to draft effective demand letters because we have done it so many times.

If you try to manage things yourself, you risk leaving out important information that could hurt your chances of recovering all the compensation you need.

Call Friedman, Domiano and Smith To Discuss Your Case

If you are dealing with an insurance company after a personal injury and are concerned about reaching a fair settlement, contact Friedman, Domiano and Smith.

We have decades of experience representing victims in Cleveland. Our team may be able to help you reach the best possible outcome by gathering the evidence you need and drafting an effective demand letter for your case.

The initial legal consultation is free of charge. We do not get paid unless you win. 216-621-0070


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