To start off, lets define what a demand is. Demands come in many forms, but when it comes to personal injury, a demand is a written formal request for payment to settle an outstanding claim or legal matter. More simply, its an offer stating the amount of money it would take for your client to settle all claims and dismiss or refrain from filing a lawsuit against the party that caused harm. Accordingly, it is important that it is presented well.
Writing a demand is an art form. It is an opportunity to lay your cards on the table and show the seriousness of your claim or case. The language that you use needs to strike a balance between presenting the objective facts and being persuasive. You need to build your case and demonstrate the consequences if the terms of your offer are not met (i.e., that suit will be filed, attorney’s fees incurred, etc.).
There are multiple pieces needed to create a persuasive and effective demand. To start, consider dedicating a portion of the demand to introducing your client. Give a background. Humanize the name and the injuries sustained. Next, discuss liability. Demonstrate the facts that indicate who is at fault. Following, go through the damages. In a personal injury case, that will mostly mean going through your client’s medical treatment resulting from the incident. Do not skim over the damages. Take time to articulate the affect/impact of the negligence on your client. Next, outline the terms of your settlement. Identify the monetary amount that would be required to settle, set a deadline for response and payment, and describe the nature of the release you are providing. Finally, close your demand out with a punchy conclusion, reiterating your offer and position.