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What Is a Demand Letter?

September 12, 2019

A demand letter could be the solution to resolving your personal injury claim or legal dispute. A demand letter lays out your desires with the goal of striking a compromise with the other person involved in your dispute. A successful demand letter can achieve a settlement, or an out-of-court agreement between you and the other party. This can help you avoid the costs and inconveniences of court. Writing a clear, concise letter with reasonable demands could yield a positive resolution.

Lawyer writing a demand letter on a desk

What Should You Include in a Demand Letter?

A demand letter should be concise but informative. Although you will send the demand letter to someone who already knows about your situation, describe it as though a judge or county clerk will be reading. Someone who knows nothing about your dispute should be able to read the letter and have a basic understanding of why the dispute started, the subsequent actions both sides have taken and what you are demanding to settle the dispute.

  • The date
  • An explanation of the dispute
  • A brief history of the back and forth behind the dispute
  • The amount of money or services you are demanding from the defendant
  • The specific types of benefits you seek
  • If the defendant failed to pay your settlement, the date it was due
  • A deadline to achieve an agreement
  • Your name, address and contact information

Remain polite when executing a demand letter. You may be in a dispute with the recipient and irritated that your case has not yet been settled, but do not express your aggravation in the demand letter. Being negative or abusive in the letter will only serve to heighten the tension, and will not convince the recipient to compromise with you. The demand letter is a professional document that shows you are taking the dispute seriously. It is not an opportunity to insult or harass the other party.

How Long Should a Demand Letter Be?

A demand letter should be short and concise, without leaving out any important details. Most are two to three paragraphs long, but no longer than one page. Write the demand letter in paragraph form, with an introduction, middle and conclusion. Keep the structure and format of your letter simple. Do not use an unusual or colorful font. Stick to something formal and professional, such as Calibri or Times New Roman. Put the date at the top of your letter, followed by the name and address of the recipient. Finish the letter with your name and contact information.

How Do You Send a Demand Letter?

Do not mail your demand letter directly to the person involved in the dispute. Instead, submit it to the clerk of court in your county. The clerk will process your letter and send someone to officially serve it to the recipient. Although you do not need legal drafting experience, make your demand letter look professional.

What Happens After You Send a Demand Letter?

Once you send a demand letter, the recipient will have time to issue a response. The recipient may accept your demands and agree to settle the dispute with the terms you have suggested, ending your case. Demand letters successfully resolve cases about one-third of the time. Otherwise, the recipient may suggest entering into mediation to try to resolve your dispute in person. If you decide not to settle your case or mediate, you will take your dispute to a small claims court in Colorado.

Should You Hire an Attorney?

A demand letter can be a powerful catalyst toward resolving your dispute. Crafting a strong, well-written demand letter could make a major difference to your case. If you are unsure how to write a demand letter or if you want to be sure you are making the correct demands, speak to a personal injury lawyer in Denver about the dispute. A lawyer will know exactly how to word your demand letter, how long it should be and what to do after you send the note. Your lawyer can also represent you during mediation or a trial.