A key responsibility of personal injury attorneys is putting together high-quality demand packages to help promote the pre-litigation settlement of personal injury claims. Too often, many cases end up going to litigation when the insurance company refuses to settle the claim. Insurance companies are less likely to settle claims when the demand package does not include everything they need to fully assess the client's damages.
Personal injury paralegals and attorneys are usually up against tight deadlines for cases that are already in litigation that the pre-litigation cases can easily fall to the wayside if not careful. Taking the time to prepare high-quality personal injury demand packages will save time in the long run as more cases will be settled before having to be filed with the court.
Case management software like CASEpeer simplifies the demand package preparation process by utilizing clean and organized case files to help your firm track all information, activity, and communication in one place. This article will cover the necessary steps to prepare a high-quality personal injury demand package.
Obtain Medical Records Early
Getting ahold of medical records and bills early is one of the most important aspects of a personal injury case. This can also be one of the most time-consuming processes for personal injury case managers. Having a sense of urgency when requesting medical records and bills is paramount to the success of a case and will prevent missing approaching statutes of limitations.
Some law firms choose to outsource records retrieval. CASEpeer's newest integration with Records On Time streamlines your records and billing requests and provides a simplified channel for record procurement needs for personal injury law firms. As an end-to-end service provider, Records On Time ensures all records you need to do your job are delivered to you in a high-quality, reliable, and responsive manner. This integration is a key component in preparing a strong personal injury demand and can save time an expenses during the record retrieval process.
Medical records and bills are best presented in chronological order. So, if your client was transported by ambulance, the order of presentation would be the ambulance bill, ambulance report, hospital records, and any post-accident treatment like physical therapy. When it's time to present a demand package, CASEpeer makes it easy to chronologically sort the medical providers that the client saw, so that you can easily compile the demand.
Gather Evidence That Supports Your Case
Photo evidence can be a useful component of a demand package. Photos of property damage and bodily injuries can increase case value and add a humanizing element to your case. Deciding which photos will be of value to your case can be tricky and should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Qualifying photos of property damage is important as a high-impact car accident will add more value to a case than a photo of a car that is slightly damaged.
Obtaining accident details from a client can be difficult without a streamlined client communication process. With CASEpeer, a client can text any photos related to the accident to their case manager and they will be automatically saved into their case file in the Photo Tab. Clients can also send photos of the accident and their injuries through CASEpeer's client portal. Be strategic with which photos you choose to present in your demand package and be certain that they will add value to your case.
Police reports are the next line of evidence that will strengthen your demand package. A police report should only be presented if it is in your favor. If a police report is inconclusive or puts your client at fault for the accident, then it is best not included in a demand package. If there is anything negative about your client in the police report, for example, the client was not wearing a seatbelt during the accident, you would want to avoid presenting it in the demand.
Evaluate Insurance Policies
As you build out a case, you will need to collect information about the defendant's insurance policy limits. CASEpeer makes this information easily accessible through the Defendant Tab.
To collect a client’s insurance information, you can have them take a picture of their insurance card and email, fax, or text it to you. From there, you can contact the insurance company and evaluate:
- If the Policy is Active
- UM/UIM Coverage
- Policy Number
Knowing the client’s insurance situation up front will streamline your law firm’s record-keeping, as well as the case itself. There also may be situations where you decide not to pursue the case after you find out the client’s insurance information. For example, if you find the client doesn’t have UM/UIM coverage and were injured by an uninsured motorist, you can drop the case before you spend too much time on it.
Present a Strong Demand Letter
A well-crafted demand letter can start the negotiation for compensation and has several crucial components:
- Who was involved in the accident, and their insurers
- What happened in the accident
- A thorough description of the client's injuries
- A demand for compensation
In the case of an extreme auto accident with considerable injuries, letters from family and friends that show how a client's quality of life has diminished as a result of an accident can be useful when presenting a demand package to an insurance company.
There are some things that should not be included in a demand letter:
- An admission of fault for the accident
- Overly detailed descriptions of the accident that could be challenged
- Unreasonable demands for compensation
How CASEpeer Streamlines Demand Generation
Document creation at a law firm is often repetitive. CASEpeer streamlines the demand letter creation process with document automation. Our document automation feature can be used for creating templates for welcome letters, fax cover sheets, envelopes, letters of representation, billing or records requests, and final payment letters. Templates take less than 10 minutes to build, are easy to make yourself, allow more time for higher-level tasks, and start saving your team time right away.
Creating a strong demand package is no easy task, but with the help of CASEpeer you will be able to make sure no pieces are missing. CASEpeer is built to make sure all information that is needed for a demand package is easily accessible and organized so that you can move quickly and take on more cases.
Supercharge your firm with a case management software designed for the unique needs of personal injury law. From medical treatment tracking to negotiation tools, CASEpeer gives you everything needed to optimize your firm’s case outcomes.
Ready to see CASEpeer for yourself? Speak with an expert to learn more.