Why would a defendant & their lawyer not respond to a civil suit demand letter within the time that the plaintiffs lawyer set.?

Asked over 1 year ago - Salem, OR

My lawyer sent the defendant a demand letter & gave them a fixed amount of days to respond to our allegations against them or else we would proceed in filing a civil suit in court . The defendant & their lawyer have not responded and it's been weeks since the deadline . My lawyer is puzzled about this and I was wondering what Y'all think could be going on here ?

Additional information

I would like to add that the defendant is a wealthy business owner and the suit involves allegations of child abuse.. So why on earth would ANYONE with so much to lose simply by the suit being filed and the case hitting the media want to be so disregarding to the plaintiffs lawyers timeline requirements.?? Seems Loco to me.

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Joanne Reisman

    Contributor Level 16

    7

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . No one is going to be able to tell you what someone else is thinking. My colleagues here are right - the common tactic is to ignore the demand letter and make you prove your allegations and there is a chance that you won't win at trial. The other possibility is that that an insurance company is involved and your demand was either higher then what they think the case is worth or they don't think you have a valid claim. Finally there is a chance that the demand letter wasn't sent to the right person. So a lot of guesses, but we can't tell you exactly. Remember Michael Jackson was accused of sexually abusing a child and put up a vigorous defense and won. So you may be in for a heck of a fight. Just no way to know. http://www.portlandlegalservices.com

    The comments by this author to questions posted on Avvo are designed to foster a general understanding of what... more
  2. James Michael Roswold

    Contributor Level 10

    4

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . There are many possibilities depending on whether it is an insurance company who will defer to their insurance defense attorney (with a sophisticated understanding of the legal process), or an uninsured defendant who may or may not defer to their attorney's advice. BUT in any event, in our business its often "put your money where your mouth is". In other words, other than in rare situations the defendant has no obligation to respond to a "demand". The only requirement is to respond to a lawsuit, and only then if they don't want a default judgment against them. Some defendants (not typically insurance companies) don't even care about a judgment and won't even respond when served with a lawsuit because if they are uninsured and they don't have assets they are what we call "uncollectable" meaning you can get a judgment and you still won't get your money. This begs an important question: Is this an insured defendant? A defendant calling the shots ignores demands all the time, for good, bad, and ugly reasons and no reason at all. Oh, and it also depends on the magnitude of your case. If there is not alot of injuries and damages, it won't get anybody too excited to jump too fast, perhaps willing to call your bluff. There is advice to be given here and that is what your lawyer is for. You should sit down with your lawyer and see what kind of animal your are dealing with here.

  3. Kevin Coluccio

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . I agree - not uncommon. You need to talk with your attorney about how best to proceed, since you have not heard from the other party and their attorney.

  4. Brian Heath Crockett

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    5

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Unfortunately this is very common. Often times, Defendants will ignore a demand letter until a lawsuit has been filed and they have been served. If they have not offered to settle, file the suit.

    Although Avvo makes it clear to consumers that attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only and do... more
  5. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The majority of lawyers haven't stepped foot in a courtroom, and I hope your attorney has trial experience, or you would want to retain a lawyer with a proven track record. The defendant will need to answer a lawsuit complaint. A lawyer should file a complaint immediately, so you don't waste more time.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  6. David B Pittman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Very common occurrence. Have your lawyer send another certified after a reasonable a,out of time.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

29,038 answers this week

3,108 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

29,038 answers this week

3,108 attorneys answering