If a demand letter for personal injury is ignored, what can I do?

Asked over 2 years ago - Mount Prospect, IL

My 2 year old daughter was injured at a daycare and has a scar underneath her chin. My daughter was climbing in a tree at a daycare and fell and hit her chin on a tree branch. They were not watching her properly and it took several days for the daycare to get their story straight. I have photos of the injury and even an accident report document that the daycare filled out describing the accident (her falling out of a tree) I have hired an attorney but the corporations attorney for the daycare not responded to phone calls or a demand letter. To continue the case my attorney is now asking for a retainer. I am debating on what to do. She says that we have a great case of negligence but not much medical damages.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Stephen Laurence Hoffman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . First of all, as the other answer pointed out, I cannot give you any advice on a pending case if you are represented by a lawyer.

    However, since I presume that since you live in Cook County, and this accident presumably occurred in that county, the general procedure is to try to resolve things with the insurance company first, prior to filing a lawsuit. In this case, it is quite possible that the daycare either has not forwarded your attorney's letters to their insurance company, or perhaps they have no insurance.

    In short, if there is no compliance from them, you have no choice but to file a lawsuit! The retainer your attorney is discussing is probably for the costs of filing the papers in court.

    Most lawyers handling personal injury work on a contingency fee basis and only receive money when they settle your case or gain a verdict, and often advance all the costs. Sometimes in "good liability/low damages" cases like yours, it is not financially feasible to front litigation costs.

    I wish you luck and hope that your lawyer can explain the process a bit better so you understand what is happening.

    Stephen L. Hoffman
    Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
    Chicago, IL
    773-944-9737
    Email: stephen@hofflawyer.com
    Website: www.hofflawyer.com
    Blog: www.hofflawyer.com/blog/

    This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client... more
  2. Steven Abraham Amjad

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

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    Answered . If you have retained an attorney already in this matter, you should be discussing your options with that attorney. Generally, if demands are ignored, the only thing left to do is file suit. Since your attorney is more familiar with the case, I would assume they have experience in this area of the law and are familiar with the facts and can advise you on how to proceed.

    If this answer gave you the information that you needed, let me know by clicking on the thumbs up below. [... more
  3. John Justin Hansen

    Contributor Level 7

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Filing suit is usually the only option of demand letters are ignored, but sometimes doing some research into a company's organization, board of directors, or president can provide more addresses and contacts to send the demand letter to. Also researching who owns the land on which the business operates can be effective. The point - getting the demand letter into as many appropriate hands as possible to finally have an insurance company notified and activated, can work.

  4. Henry Repay

    Contributor Level 16

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Is the retainer strictly against costs? Injury cases are often handled on a contingency, but if the expected recovery is small, your attorney may be reluctant to front costs and you may find that with others as well. Meet with your attorney to better understand her perspective. You have hired her. Talk to her about your questions. If need be, you might consider whether another firm may be better positioned to handle the case. How extensive is the scar?

    The scope of this space does not afford an opportunity to adequately advise you. The response provided is intended... more
  5. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . I wouldn't pay a personal injury lawyer an up-front fee. You can switch lawyers at any time. Just find a lawyer with a low contingency fee, less than 30%, so you are left with the lion's share of the settlement, not your lawyer.

    Lassen Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers Philadelphia. www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com Phone 215-510-6755.

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