How to Reply to a Query Letter for Negligence of Duty
If you’ve been accused of failing to fulfill a legal duty, you might wonder how to respond. Allegations of misconduct or negligence often give rise to lawsuits, and you could be sued if your negligence injured someone.
South Carolina imposes all sorts of duties on the people. Sometimes these duties are created by an employment contract you signed before working. In other situations, the courts of South Carolina have created a duty to act with reasonable care. If you violate this duty, you have been negligent. Any injuries or harm caused as a result might warrant compensation. Read more to learn how to reply to a query letter for negligence of duty.
Contact Surasky Law today for help with how to formulate a response to a query letter for negligence of duty. Our personal injury lawyer in Aiken, SC has the experience you need at a time like this. Below, he outlines the steps to follow to protect your rights.
Read the Query Letter
These letters are most used in the employment context. A supervisor or boss will send you a letter informing you that your performance has been poor. The letter should also contain precise allegations of what you have failed to do adequately.
It is important to read the letter thoroughly and identify what specific incidents are mentioned. Without this information, it will be hard to formulate a response.
Sometimes, employers are simply unhappy with your performance generally. They might not mention specifics. In that situation, you might not even need to respond.
Share the Letter with Your Insurer
Any allegation of negligence might be covered by insurance. For example, if you are employed by a hospital, you should have malpractice insurance. This type of policy will cover any injuries you caused by failing to perform your duties reasonably. Other professionals could have errors and omissions coverage which might matter in a dispute. Call your insurer and share a copy of the letter, if necessary.
Gather Evidence of the Alleged Negligence
You need to fully analyze what happened before you respond. It might turn out, on closer inspection, that you did fail to fulfill a duty. In that situation, you might consider admitting fault and/or settling the dispute. You can’t know the correct response until you completely understand what happened.
The evidence will depend on what you are accused of. For example, you might review any communications you made by email or text. Also talk to people who remember the incident. They can help illuminate what happened and whether you failed to fulfill a duty.
For example, medical professionals should review a patient’s records, talk to staff, and write down any memories not contained in a patient’s notes.
Consult an Attorney for Assistance
You need a lawyer’s advice before you respond to any allegation that you have not done your job. In a dispute like this, anything you say can come back later to show you were negligent. If you are sued for negligent performance, your own words could come back to haunt you. For this reason, you must always be very careful about how you respond to any allegations.
An attorney is an excellent benefit. At Surasky Law, we can help:
Analyzing the legal issue of whether you committed negligence
Determine whether you have any defenses
Take witness statements to get them on the record about what they observed
If you think you failed to fulfill a duty, we can also analyze how much you might pay in compensation to settle a claim.
How to Reply to a Query Letter for Negligence of Duty
You can respond to the allegations in a letter of your own. Have a lawyer draft it for you. When deciding what to say, only make statements that are backed up with evidence. Maybe you need to perform more investigation before responding.
The letter can lay out your version of events and explain why you did not negligently fail to fulfill a duty. Be as accurate as possible. You should refer to dates, times, and witnesses. There is no reason to be too argumentative. However, clearly present your side of things and leave no confusion that you don’t accept the allegations of negligence.
A good letter must be well written with proper grammar. A poorly drafted letter reflects badly on you. It suggests you aren’t a careful person, which is the last impression you want to make under the circumstances. Always keep a copy of the letter for your records.
Wait for a Resolution
Your own letter might put things in a different light, in which case no more action will be taken. Alternatively, you might be fired from your job or possibly even sued. For example, if you are a medical professional who provided substandard care, you could face a malpractice claim from injured victims.
Negotiate a Settlement
Sometimes it’s safer to actually settle a dispute, even if you disagree with the conclusion that you were negligent. By settling, you can avoid a lawsuit or stop a suit which has already been filed. Defending yourself in court is very expensive, and you can’t ignore a lawsuit since a judge might enter a default judgment against you. Admitting fault and settling are often less expensive.
Your personal injury attorney can handle negotiations. If successful, you will know exactly how much you must pay. Your insurer will probably handle negotiations for you. If you don’t have an insurance policy which covers the incident, then you can negotiate your own settlement.
Call an Aiken, SC Personal Injury Attorney
Surasky Law can help anyone accused of negligence of duty. Our legal team understands South Carolina negligence claims and has represented injured victims for years. If you think we might be able to help with your legal dispute, give us a call today. The sooner you call, the better because certain deadlines apply to legal disputes.
Our law firm provides free, no-risk consultations where we can discuss your dispute. Based on what you hear, you might go ahead and hire us to represent you. There is no fee to call and talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Aiken today.