When someone goes to a personal injury law firm, the conversation will eventually turn to how much compensation you might obtain, who may pay it, and when that might happen. The vehicle for a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for a client is a demand package.
A demand sets the entire claims process in motion, and consequently, it's one of the critical parts of an injury case. How do you and a personal injury attorney build a demand package, though? This is the story of how a lawyer gets a case going.
Documenting Injuries and Financial Damages
Documentation sits at the center of nearly all injury claims. Your side will collect reports from first responders and witnesses who were at the scene of an incident. Likewise, you'll collect reports from doctors, surgeons, and medical specialists that explain the extent of what happened to your body. Also, you'll present documents that show how much you've lost in terms of past and future earnings. Finally, you may present daily journal entries showing how you've suffered from your injuries.
The goal is to provide an insurance claims adjuster with the best picture possible of what happened. Similarly, you want to make sure that they understand that it would be better to settle the claim now than to risk putting all of this information in front of a jury that could award you even more in damages.
After documenting the medical side of things, you'll need to document the defendant's liability. This includes identifying who the defendant is and telling the story of what happened. Normally, there's a lot of who, what, when, where, why, and how in this story.
Suppose you suffered a slip-and-fall accident in a mall with a leaky roof. Your demand package would locate where the injury occurred and explain why the defendant, probably the owner of the property, is liable for what occurred. Also, a personal injury lawyer will explain why they believe state law considers the defendant liable.
Outlining the Demand
Once you've shown who is liable and how you've been injured, you can start tallying the actual compensation you expect. This will usually involve comparing the defendant's level of liability against the total medical expenses. If your situation calls for the use of a multiplier to compensate you for pain and suffering, you'll apply the multiplier to the medical costs to arrive at a number. A personal injury attorney will usually include a table summarizing everything from your demand, too.