The Perfect Settlement Demand Letter
I have been perfecting the art of the Demand Letter for many years. Much of what I have learned is by trial and error. The 15 tips below are for the serious personal injury lawyer who has his or her client's best interests in mind.
Top 15 Tips For Sending Settlement Demands To An Insurance Compamy And Getting The Results You Want1. The letter should be written as a Unilateral Contract so the Insurer knows it must perform the contract to get an agreement.
2. Be clear on ALL terms and conditions for settlement.
3. Deal with all issues so there is no ambiguity and nothing left to do after the insurer agrees to your terms and conditions.
4. Be sure to be clear about who will release whom from further liability to your client.
5. Be clear your client will not execute a Release that contains "Hold Harmless" or Indemnity provisions.
6. If you tell the insurer you will file a law suit immediately if the case does not settle, DO IT.
7. Be sure the insurer knows how you want the check to be made out.
8. Be sure you do not leave room for "he said/she said" modifications of the Unilateral Contract.
9. Be sure the Unilateral Contract sets an exact time for the Contract to be performed. Do not use terms like "tender." Be clear the check MUST be in your office by a date certain.
10. Be sure to use "Time Is Of The Essence" language.
11. Itemize EVERYTHING you are including in the Settlement Demand at the end of the letter.
12. Organize the evidence with your most compelling evidence first.
13. Do not send photographs if the Property Damage is not impressive.
14. Be sure that part of your Unilateral Contract enforces the privacy rights of your Client and that the Settlement Demand Letter CANNOT be used to remove your case to Federal Court.
15. Make the Settlement Demand easy for the insurance adjuster to review. Remember, these folks have a lot on their plates. Anything you can do to make their lives easier will be appreciated.
10 Tips For Doing Your Best In Your DepositionMany lawyers do not prepare their clients for the most important event in a personal injury case. The deposition. That is a huge mistake and you should insist your lawyer spend time going over the case with you and show you how to answer questions and work on body language.
1. Dress appropriately. Men in suit or in button down shirt and slacks. Women in conservative dress and low heels or pants suit. The look should be neat and conservative.
2. Make good eye contact with the defense lawyer.
3. Answer ONLY the question asked.
4. Be sure you understand the question before you answer it.
5. If you do not understand a question, tell the lawyer you do not understand the question. Do not attempt to answer a question where you are not sure what the lawyer is asking.
6. Take breaks. It is easy to get overwhelmed so it is important to keep your mind clear. You get no points for making quick work of your deposition. Take your time.
7. If you have back pain or neck pain, stand up and move around. It is good for the defense lawyer to see you having discomfort. Just DO NOT exaggerate.
8. Answer all questions unless your lawyer tells you not to. In civil cases, like a personal injury case, you do not have a right to refuse to answer questions, no matter how strange a question may sound to you.
9. Speak up! Don't shout but be sure you are heard. A soft voice can give the impression that you are not sure of what you are saying.
10. Tell the Truth. Of course, right? Well it may not be that easy. You might forget something during the deposition. So, if you are not sure about something, DO NOT GUESS. It is better to say you don't remember or that you don't know something under this circumstance. You will NOT waive your right to read the deposition so you can fix answers later. That is your right to do.