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A significant component of the case resolution process is the demand packet. A properly composed demand packet will be one of the most powerful weapons your attorney has to help you win you case and ensure that you receive the greatest amount of compensation possible. But an improperly prepared demand packet will have the exact opposite effect. This article will discuss how demand packets work and how they are typically the best mechanism available for settling your claim.
What is a Demand Packet?
A demand packet is a typically 6 inch binder, sometimes more, which contains a robust summary of any information relevant to your case. It will include what our claim is against the defendant, what we are asking for including a detailed description of your damages and costs, all of the supporting evidence, a list of witnesses and what they plan to testify about, and any applicable laws governing the dispute. The demand packet is basically and outline of our case and essentially gives the defense attorneys notice of the arguments we will make on your behalf if we are forced to take the case to court.
Since we are presenting these demand packets to the defendant, which are most often insurance carriers, and we try to put it in a way which is easy to understand; we basically lay everything out in layman terms. The sections of the demand packet typically include:
- Opening letter
- Complete medical bills and records
- Supporting documents from testifying medical experts
- Police reports
- Summary from any liability experts
- Graphs, videos, or other demonstratives used in trial
- Deposition testimony highlights
- Videos depicting a mini or mock presentation of the trial, and
- A sample lawsuit to be filed in the event that they do not accept our offer to settle
An opening letter is where we will explain all of the applicable statutes and case law which applies to your situation. This opening letter quickly outlines our claim against the defendant and then describes in detail how we came to our conclusion based on the law. We do the research and provide them with our findings which we base your claim on so that they can make a completely informed choice when deciding whether to settle. We even provide the defendants with the citations of the case law and statutes so that they may research it and look it up for themselves.
Complete Medical Bills and Records
In this section we provide copies of all of your medical bills and medical records which you have acquired due to the accident. This gives the defendant factual proof that you, in fact, suffered an injury and allows them to see how much treatment has cost you financially. These records and bills often comprise a large portion of the amount of compensation we are requesting and the defense needs to be able to visually see where these costs are coming from.
Supporting Documents from Testifying Medical Experts
These supporting documents are included when we choose to have medical experts testify about your injury before a jury, if your case proceeds to trial. We provide them with the expert’s information and qualifications, as well as, a written testimony from them. They will document what their findings are, and how they came to that conclusion. This section basically describes what the expert witness will testify to in court in the hope that the defendant will recognize the strength of their argument and choose to reach a pre-trial settlement.
Usually, if you are involved in a serious accident that warrants a lawsuit for damages, the police are called to the scene. When this happens, the officer on duty will create an official police report which documents various types of information regarding the accident. The police report will contain the information about the vehicles involved, but it will also contain the police officer’s immediate thoughts and perspective about the accident. Therefore, if it appears to the officer that the defendant caused the car accident, then he will document this observation in the report. A statement like this in the police report could be very powerful if the case went to trial, which would probably induce the defendant to settle.
Summary From Liability Experts
Liability experts include accident recreation experts and product engineers. So a summary from these witnesses basically represents how they would testify if we took the case to trial. Accident recreation experts can recreate your accident and show that the defendant proximately caused your injuries and is, therefore, responsible to compensate you for them.
If your injury was caused by a defective product, we would have expert engineers, who are specialized in the specific faulty item, examine the part which directly caused your injuries. When an expert engineer tests a product, or studies similar products, they create a report detailing their findings. Our summary would include their findings and provide the information and methodology on which they based their judgment.
Graphs, Videos, and Demonstratives Used in Trial
When you go to trial, your entire recovery rests upon being able to convince a jury of the defendant’s guilt and your need for compensation. We can spend hours telling a jury how painfully obvious it is that the defendant caused your injuries, and we can repeatedly tell them how badly you need payment in order to fully recover from the damage the defendant caused.
But for many juries, telling them is simply not good enough. This is why we use graphs, charts, videos, and enlarged pictures so that the jury can visually see how you have been hurt, physically and financially. So, as a part of our demand packet, we will provide the defendants with all of our pictures and videos in an effort to encourage a settlement.
Deposition Testimony Highlights
When preparing for a lawsuit we will take numerous depositions from all the parties involved. This includes deposing the defendant, their employer if the accident occurred while they were on-the-job, and any other potential witnesses. This usually supplies us with hours of deposition material which is often recorded. So when we are compiling our demand packet we will select some of the highlights which provide strong arguments for your claim. Again, the purpose of the demand packet is to invoke an adequate settlement offer, so by including some of the powerful testimony from the depositions, we are more likely to achieve this goal.
Videos Depicting a Mini or Mock Demonstration of the Trial
We also like to provide the defendant’s attorneys with an example of our trial skills and show them exactly how we plan on proceeding. This gives the defendant a better idea about what to expect if the case proceeds to trial and it makes sure that they know exactly what they are up against. Sometimes defendants will refuse to settle based on the misguided notion that the plaintiff has inadequate representation and will have a difficult time winning in court. We provide this demonstration so that we can completely eliminate this potential view and further encourage a settlement.
A Sample Lawsuit
Last we will enclose a sample lawsuit which outlines what the lawsuit we will be filing contains if the defendant does not accept our demands. It will contain every allegation we will be making, and it will include any additional damages we will be seeking if they refuse to settle out of court.
How Much Do We Ask For?
In the demand packet we naturally must state the amount which we are demanding in order to settle the case. And frankly, you can’t just arbitrarily make up an amount. The amount you are requesting must be substantiated by legitimate documentation otherwise the validity of your entire case and demand packet can be ruined. We apply a conventional formula for determining damages and make adjustments to account for insurance and financial limitations of the defendant. When determining how much to ask for, the biggest mistake people make is asking for too much money making the settlement price so high that it is impossible for the defendant to reach.
Finally, the last issue we take into consideration the jury verdicts from similar case in the venue we intend to file so that we can have a complete understanding about what you deserve and what the jury is likely to award you. The entire process for filing a claim and all of the work that takes place prior to filing is incredibly complex. To complete the first step of your process and to learn more about how we will handle every stage of your claim, call Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-257-1111.