When a prospective client contacts us and explains that they have a claim to assert, I will almost invariably recommend and propose that they engage us to prepare a demand letter for submission to the opposing party.
As part of the drafting of a demand letter, we first need to learn as much as we can about the facts underlying the claim. Those facts then inform our research and dictate how the law relates to the situation at hand. The analysis we do, well before ever drafting a demand letter, lets the client know whether they hold a valid claim. That is valuable information, in and of itself. If the client does not have a legitimate claim, then they are probably well advised to just move on.
On the other hand, if we do confirm the existence of a legitimate and valid claim, we can then use our gathered information to craft a well-informed demand letter. This written account gives the opposing party a brief overview of some of the facts and applicable law. The opposing party then has the opportunity to contact us to work out a mutually agreeable resolution.
In our experience, when a client holds a valid claim it's more likely than not that the opposing party will contact us upon receipt of the demand letter. They will then typically express an interest in resolving the matter in a mutually agreeable way. If the demand letter elicits the desired response then we're generally looking at a much smoother resolution. Our client can not only avoid going to trial but they'll avoid ever having to step foot in court in the first place. That saves our client time, energy, and expense and could gain them a faster recovery.
Of course there are exceptions to the norm, and in some cases the opposing party will not want to settle. But, even in those cases, our client benefits. So much factual research and legal analysis has already been done. We already have a firm basis from which to work when we get started drafting the complaint that will be filed in court.
A demand letter offers so much for so little.