If you’ve ever had need of a personal injury attorney, you’ve probably heard the terms “legal demands” being thrown around. Legal demands are documents written by legal professionals that provide insurance adjusters necessary information regarding your accident, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The first part to writing legal demands is the statement of facts section. In this section you want to discuss what happened in the accident and exactly who is to blame (who is liable for the accident). If there was a police report written, take the information in the report and include it in the demand. If you have any pictures of your injuries or your damaged vehicle or property, include those in the demand package as well (you can insert pictures into your document if they show moderate to severe damage). Make sure if there is a police report to include it as well.
Economic damages are damages that can be quantified. That is, economic damages have a set number attached to them and do not generally vary. Economic damages listed in your demand include the following (though don’t have to be included if there is no bill, receipt, or statement):
- Medical bills and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage (damage to your vehicle or possessions)
- Mileage to and from you medical appointments
- Money spent on hiring professional services to help with your chores if you are no longer able to do them because of your injury
When writing legal demands, it’s important to list all of the above as completely as possible to ensure you get a fair compensation. If you plan to write a demand yourself, split out each of the above into its own section. When you send the demand, make sure you are including your medical bills, medical records, lost wage documents, receipts for property damage repair or replacement, service receipts, and any other document related to your accident with a number on it.
Your non-economic damages are much harder to quantify. Non-economic damages include the following:
- Any pain resulting from the accident
- Any suffering from the accident
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Continuing mental, emotional, and physical issues that interfere with your normal routine
For this section you don’t necessarily have to split it up as you would with your economic damages. However, go into detail of your pain and suffering during the injury healing process and any pain and suffering that lingers even though your medical providers have cleared you.
Since there is no set number for this section, this is the section that requires negotiating with the adjuster to get a fair compensation. Experienced personal injury attorneys do this on a daily basis and generally have more clout with insurance adjusters, but if you are detailed enough in writing your own demand and can provide proof, arguments, and counter-arguments, you may just pull it off!
An injured person on their own can always write a demand with their economic and non-economic damages and send it to either their third party insurance’s bodily injury adjuster or their own insurance’s bodily injury adjuster if there is no third party insurance. However, a demand written by a legal professional will be much more likely to net you more compensation.
The Advocates at Driggs, Bills & Day PLLC have many legal professionals who know the ins and outs of writing demands. We tailor your demand to your injury and always make sure we include everything possible before sending it out. Call us for your free consultation today and we can discuss everything that would go into your case!