After getting into a car accident, you should expect to receive a letter of demand from the other parties involved. The letter of demand is basically a legal document from anyone else involved or their car insurance company requesting payment from you for your part in the accident. While a letter of demand is generally quite straightforward, here are 3 things you need to know about it.
You Need to Reply
While you might be tempted to ignore the problem at hand, avoid doing so. You need to reply and be open to a discussion with the sender. The letter of demand is the first step towards a court case, which can be rather costly. If you decide to ignore the letter without responding, you'll quickly find yourself in court, and you essentially deprive yourself the opportunity to negotiate with the sender.
In addition, the fact that you decided to ignore the letter of demand will not look good in court and may work against you. If you're not sure how to reply or whether you're even at fault for the accident and required to pay up, talk to a lawyer first.
Write "Without Prejudice" in the Letter
Your correspondence with the other parties involved can be used in court against you, so make sure that you only include details or statements that you wouldn't mind coming up in court. If you don't want anything in the letter to be used in court, you can further protect yourself by writing "without prejudice" within the response letter you send out. This will basically mean that the responses you send cannot be used in court at all.
Determine Fault and Your Legal Obligations
If you've received a letter of demand, then chances are that the other party believes that you are at fault for the accident. This may not necessarily be true, so you'll also want to spend some time determining whether you have broken any traffic laws or whether you have any sufficient evidence needed to back up your claims.
If you can prove that you're not at fault for the accident, you can even file a counterclaim or even provide details as to why you are not responsible for paying for the damages outlined in the letter of demand you've received.
For some people, receiving a letter of demand can be nerve-racking. Before you stress too much, you'll need to assess the situation by determining whether the letter of demand is reasonable, whether you are at fault and whether you are open to negotiate with the other party if you want to settle the case before it goes to court. If you need help, there are plenty of legal services available.Share
16 August 2016
I love all of those quirky laws that are still on the law book. It's a little hobby of mine to track down some of those laws and try and work out if there was a story behind how they got on the books. I've been doing it for 14 years and have accumulated a lot of material that I have researched. I thought it would be fun to start a blog with some of these stories to share with other people who like to know a little more about law and about history. I hope you enjoy my site.