If you’ve ever seen one of the many legal dramas on television, you probably think that lawyers spend all their time in court. In reality, 95% of all cases settle outside of the courtroom. That means that only 1 out of 20 cases see a courtroom. The settlement process, therefore, is a vital part of any law practice.
The most important document during this process is known as a personal injury settlement demand package. It can contain hundreds of facts, dozens of documents and volumes of information. The bigger the case, the more complicated the settlement demand package. Suffice to say, creating a personal injury settlement demand package can be time-consuming and complicated without the proper tools in place.
Attorneys have to always be on the lookout for ways to modernize and synthesize their practices – settling personal injury claims faster and with the highest possible amount of damages awarded are high priorities. However, finding ways to update and streamline processes isn’t always easy. That’s why at CloudLex we offer up-to-date solutions for optimizing your personal injury claims and maximizing recovery.
To understand how CloudLex can take your practice to the next level, let’s first explore what a personal injury settlement demand package is, what it includes and how it works.
What is a personal injury settlement demand package?
When personal injury attorneys mention a personal injury demand settlement package, what are they referring to?
First, a personal injury lawsuit is one where a plaintiff brings an action against one or more defendants alleging that the defendant(s) were the cause of damages. These damages can be far-reaching and include physical, mental, emotional and monetary damages. A personal injury lawsuit is a case brought in civil court where the “punishment” is damages, rather than criminal penalties in criminal cases.
For example, if Sue slipped and fell in Bob’s grocery store, resulting in a broken ankle and missed work, Sue could bring a personal injury claim for her physical injuries and monetary damages in the form of missed wages, medical bills and other expenses.
A personal injury settlement demand package is a comprehensive document that outlines your case, the injuries you have sustained, and the compensation you are seeking. An important goal of the personal injury settlement package is to show that you were injured, that the defendant’s actions were the cause of your injuries and that you are entitled to a certain amount of damages. Showing causation – that the defendant’s actions were the direct and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries – is of the utmost importance. It is also crucial that the demand package reflect all of the damages the plaintiff has experienced and will experience in the future because, once the case is settled, the plaintiff is barred from bringing another action with the same claim. This means that once settlement is accepted, no more money will be awarded.
A personal injury settlement demand package can be submitted at any time during the course of your case. Attorneys typically attempt to settle a case before it ever goes to trial, so demand packages are often submitted at the start of the case. It is also the primary document to be consulted when a settlement amount is being negotiated.
What does a personal injury settlement demand package include?
To recover damages for a client, it’s paramount that your settlement demand package is detailed and thorough. Clients will miss out on any compensation that isn’t included in a personal injury settlement demand package. Having a strong centralized process in place for compiling a demand package is vital to the successful completion of the case.
A personal injury demand package includes the following:
- Introduction and Overview
- Facts of the Case
- Liability and Negligence
- Medical Records and Treatment
- Lost Income and Future Earnings
- Pain and Suffering
- Evidence and Documentation
- Insurance Information
- Settlement Amount
1. Facts of the case:
Example 1: John, a construction worker, was struck by falling debris on a worksite due to faulty safety equipment provided by his employer. The demand package should vividly detail the accident, including John’s screams of pain, the blood on the ground, and the immediate arrival of paramedics. This emotional portrayal helped personalize the injury and highlight the negligence involved.
Example 2: Sarah, a young mother, tripped and fell on a cracked sidewalk outside a local restaurant. The demand package included photos of the uneven pavement, witness statements describing the fall, and medical records documenting Sarah’s broken wrist and torn ACL. This concrete evidence solidified the liability claim and emphasized the long-term impact of the injury on Sarah’s daily life.
2. Liability and negligence:
Example: After a rear-end collision, the at-fault driver claimed they weren’t at fault, citing sudden braking by the car ahead. The demand package countered this argument with police reports, dashcam footage, and expert analysis demonstrating the driver’s excessive speed and failure to maintain a safe distance. This robust presentation of evidence effectively undermined the defendant’s defense and strengthened the claim for compensation.
Case Study: In a medical malpractice case, the patient’s demand package meticulously outlined the surgeon’s deviation from accepted medical standards, expert opinions highlighting the resulting complications, and documented evidence of the patient’s ongoing pain and diminished quality of life. This comprehensive approach ultimately led to a significant settlement offer, showcasing the power of a well-constructed demand package in holding negligent parties accountable.
3. Medical records and treatment:
Example: Beyond listing medical bills, the demand package for a burn victim included detailed descriptions of the painful skin grafts, multiple surgeries, and ongoing physical therapy sessions. This personalized approach helped the insurance company understand the full extent of the victim’s suffering and the ongoing financial burden of treatment.
CloudLex Integration: By securely storing and organizing medical records linked with matters within CloudLex, the attorney in this case could easily retrieve and present relevant legal documents during settlement negotiations, saving time and ensuring all supporting evidence was readily available.
4. Lost income and future earnings:
Example: A skilled electrician lost months of work due to a construction accident, jeopardizing his career path and potential promotions. The demand package included detailed calculations of lost wages, factoring in future earning potential and cost of retraining due to the permanent limitations caused by the injury. This comprehensive analysis strengthened the claim for future economic damages.
CloudLex’s Advantage: Using CloudLex’s settlement calculators, the attorney accurately calculates the financial impact of the injury, making the demand package more persuasive and leaving little room for dispute regarding lost income and future earnings.
5. Pain and suffering
Example: A young athlete’s career was cut short due to a knee injury sustained in a sports accident. The demand package included quotes from the athlete expressing their emotional distress, the constant pain that haunted them, and the shattered dreams of representing their country at the Olympics. This emotional resonance helped the insurance company understand the non-economic damages and the profound impact the injury had on the athlete’s life.
Emphasize Empathy: By presenting a clear picture of the injury’s physical and emotional consequences, the attorney built empathy and encouraged a fair settlement that acknowledged the client’s suffering beyond just economic losses.
Properly executed personal injury demand packages clearly state the elements of the case, how the evidence supports each element, and how the defendant’s actions – or lack thereof – establish a cause of action under the law.
How the personal injury settlement demand package works:
Once the attorney has prepared the demand packages, it is typically submitted to the at-fault party’s insurance company. They will review the package, conduct their own investigation and may engage in negotiations with the other attorney.
How CloudLex makes creating personal injury settlement demand packages faster and easier
CloudLex helps personal injury lawyers create a demand package with speed and ease. Its personal injury settlement calculator and demand log make demand information readily accessible during negotiations, helping to build your case for the highest amount of damages possible. CloudLex also helps you settle claims faster so that your clients can recover quickly. Use our products to make comprehensive and effective personal injury settlement demand packages. To find out more, contact us today to speak with one of our representatives.