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.
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.
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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
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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.
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