When you get injured because of another person's negligence or carelessness, your first inclination may be to file suit against the wrongdoer. Taking cases to court, however, is a time-consuming, expensive and stress-producing process and there are alternatives that could produce faster and easier results for you. Read on to learn more about two of these court alternatives:
Make a Demand and Settle for More
Since you want to avoid trial, you might also expect that the other side wants to avoid it as well. For that reason, personal injury law provides you with a means to let the other side know about your injuries and what you expect as a result. The letter of demand (or demand letter) is a letter sent to the other side by you and your attorney that sums up your case and asks for a specific dollar amount to settle outside of court. Consider including the following in your letter of demand:
- A statement summarizing the accident, claiming that you were not at fault and the reason why the other side is at fault.
- A statement summarizing your injuries, your surgeries and other treatments, the amount spent so far on your medical expenses and an estimation of future expenses. It should be noted that an accurate expense number is important, even if you have not had to pay any bills yourself.
- A statement summarizing how much work you have lost as a result of the accident and the dollar amount of this expense.
- A summary of evidence you will present should the case come to trial, such as witness statements, police reports, photographs and videos and more.
- The dollar amount you are willing to accept at this time to drop the court case. Make this amount somewhat higher to leave some room for negotiations.
File a Claim and Be Compensated
Why go the legal route when you can deal directly with the at-fault party? If your accident occurred at a place of business, you may be able to deal directly with that business to reach a financial settlement. For example, if the grocery store where you usually shop has a malfunctioning freezer that has allowed moisture to leave an unexpected puddle in the grocery store aisle, a slip and fall could occur. These accidents can cause a large amount of discomfort for both your body and your pocketbook. Alert the store manager right away so that an accident report can be filed, and don't waste any time before getting treated for your injuries. Catastrophic and permanent injuries can result from unsafe conditions at businesses, and in some cases, you may be offered a sum of money in quick order.
Keep in mind that if the above avenues of compensation appear to be going nowhere, a personal injury suit may be in order. Talk to a personal injury legal advice service right away and get compensated for your injuries, lost wages, property losses, and pain and suffering.