Example of a Settlement Demand Letter for a Bicycle-Car Accident



Just as personal injuries are unique to every victim, so are the underlying facts supporting each injury claim. This sample demand letter is meant to serve as a general guideline to help you construct your own demand letter. By substituting your information, you should be able to construct an effective demand for compensation.

The buttons we set out below will help you understand the reasoning behind the words and phrasing used in an effective demand letter.

Learn more about bicycle-car accident claims here.

Bicycle Accident Demand Letter Example

April 10, 2014




Doncair Insurance Company
Ms. Wona Seddle
Claims Adjuster
123 Street - Suite A
Copper, Arizona 04929

Re:




Claim Number:
Your Insured:
Claimant:
Claimant DOB:
Date of Loss:

35526-LK
Isa Wasatfallt
Leanne Douglas
02/14/1973
03/10/2014

Hint ±
"Date of Loss" is a phrase used to describe the date your injury occurred. It's best not to casually refer to the date of injury as "...the day it happened," or "...it happened on Tuesday."

FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY

Hint ±
Courts generally afford settlement negotiations, including demand letters, a form of confidentiality. Titling your demand letter with the phrase "For Settlement Purposes Only" makes clear this letter is meant to be confidential and not to be used in court.

Judges want cases to be settled. They urge insurance companies and victims to engage in honest dialogue, without fear that something said in a demand letter will be later used in court if the claim can't be settled. Discussing issues like comparative negligence, pre-existing injuries, policy limits, and other sensitive issues is vital if there's any chance of a claim settling.


Dear Ms. Wona Seddle:

As you are aware, I am currently not represented by an attorney. I write this letter in good faith, in hope of settling this claim amicably and without the need for litigation.

Hint ±
Instead of beginning the letter with threats of litigation, reach out to the adjuster and let her know you want to conduct this part of the negotiation professionally.


As you are also aware, at approximately 8:00 a.m. on the morning of March 10, 2014, I was seriously injured while riding my bicycle when your insured crashed into me while driving her 2012 Jaguar XJR. The injuries I sustained caused me substantial pain and discomfort for an extended period of time. I was treated for my injuries at the Family Clinic in Tempe, Arizona. Your insured's negligence was the direct and proximate cause of my injuries.

Hint ±
Using the phrase "direct and proximate cause" shows the adjuster you understand liability and the relationship between negligence, resulting injuries, and damages.


At all times while riding my bicycle, I was observant and following existing traffic laws.

Hint ±
This statement eliminates any issues of comparative fault.


I want to make clear from the outset that I never asked for any of this to happen. Before March 10, 2014, I enjoyed a full life free of pain and discomfort. On March 10, 2014, however, all that changed. As a direct result of your insured's negligence, I endured, and continue to endure, substantial pain and discomfort. In addition to my pain and discomfort, I sustained financial losses, including medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages.

FACTUAL SUMMARY

Hint ±
A factual summary is a clear and concise recitation of the facts which led to your injury and the damages you sustained as a result of the driver's negligence. The factual summary also states the legal basis of your claim.


On May 10, 2014, at approximately 8:00 a.m., I was riding my bicycle northbound on 32nd Street. At all times I was clearly within the bicycle lane created by the City of Tempe. That morning the weather was clear and dry.

Hint ±
Stating the weather was clear and dry helps to ensure the insurance company can't blame the crash on the weather or some other intervening factor.


As I was approaching Main Street, suddenly, and without warning, your insured turned right while attempting to enter the parking lot of the Target store located at 1100 32nd Street. As your insured turned right, she cut me off. I braked as quickly as I could, but wasn't able to stop before your insured, while driving her 2012 Jaguar XJR, crashed into my left side.

The violent crash propelled me forward over the handlebars of my Secteur bicycle onto the pavement ahead. I sustained cuts, abrasions, and deep bruises to my hands, knees, and arms.

Hint ±
Refrain from using the word "accident." Accident implies it really wasn't the insured's fault. Words like propelled, violent, and crashed are more effective as they paint a graphic picture of the scene.


Your insured stopped and immediately told me it was my fault. She said I should have slowed down. Another driver also stopped. I called 911. The police arrived within ten minutes. After investigating the scene and listening to the other driver's version of the collision, City of Tempe Police Officer L. Roberts issued a citation to your insured for failure to yield.

Hint ±
You want to be sure to mention objective evidence of the insured's fault. A traffic citation is considered objective proof of fault.


The witness, Marge Cummings of 4566 Elroy Street in Tempe, Arizona, told the police your insured failed to slow down, and appeared to turn into the Target parking lot without looking out for me. Ms. Cumming's statement was attached to the police report, a copy of which is in your possession. The diagram on the police report drawn by Officer L. Roberts, clearly shows your insured turned into me. My 5-speed Secteur Bicycle was damaged beyond repair.

Hint ±
In most cases, damage to your bicycle will be handled by a separate insurance adjuster.


I called my husband, John Douglas. He arrived and, after placing the wreckage of my Secteur bicycle in the trunk of his car, drove me to the Family Clinic located at 180 Osborn Street, Tempe, Arizona. There I received treatment for my injuries.

I work part-time as a clerk at CJS store located at 467 Main Street in Tempe, Arizona. My duties include stocking shelves, checking out customers, and other physical labor. Because my hands were injured and bandaged, I was unable to work for three weeks.

INJURIES AND TREATMENT

I was treated for my injuries at the Family Clinic located at 180 Osborn Street. Dr. Ron Helbard prescribed the antibiotic Ampicillin to treat possible infection to my hands, legs, and arms. Dr. Helbard also prescribed Darvocet #30, 10mg every four hours for my pain.

Dr. Helbard instructed me to keep the injuries cleaned and bandaged for at least two weeks and not to return to work for three weeks to allow my injuries sufficient time to heal. At Dr. Helbard's instruction, on April 4, 2014, I returned to the Family Clinic. There Dr. Helbard informed me my injuries were healing well and I could soon return to work. You are in possession of a copy of Dr. Helbard's medical narrative.

PAST MEDICAL HISTORY

I am a 41-year-old female with an unremarkable medical history. My prior medical history includes the natural delivery of a son on January 10, 2007. In 2008, I sustained an injury to my knee while playing softball. That injury fully healed in 2008. At the time of the collision made the basis of this claim, my injuries were fully healed.

Hint ±
This language makes clear to the adjuster that you didn't have a pre-existing injury that might have contributed to, or exacerbated, your current injury.


WORK HISTORY

I have been employed part-time since April, 2011, as a cashier/stock clerk at the CJS store located at 467 Main Street in Tempe, Arizona. I work twenty hours per week. Prior to my employment at CJS, I worked as a waitress at the Candlewood Restaurant located at 4677 Main Street in Phoenix, Arizona. Until sustaining my injuries at the hands of your insured, I had not missed a day of scheduled work in the last eight months.

Hint ±
This lets the adjuster know you are a contributing and responsible member of society. You have no ulterior motives, and aren't a malingerer.


SPECIAL AND GENERAL DAMAGES

The following is a list of my medical and special damages. I have previously mailed you copies of my medical records and medical bills, along with copies of receipts for medications, bandages, and costs of travel to and from the clinic. You are also in possession of a letter from my employer confirming my lost wages.

Hint ±
Medical damages include medical, chiropractic, therapeutic and dental bills. Special damages refer to other expenses such as the cost of medicines, bandages, prorated amounts for gasoline used while driving to and from the hospital or clinic, etc., and your lost wages.

Pain and suffering is not included as part of your medicals or specials. Pain and suffering represents a composite of all your damages.


Family Clinic
Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Lost Wages - CJS

$800.00
$61.00
$560.00

After careful consideration of liability and damages, and after an in-depth review of standard settlements for similar injury claims with similar fact patterns, I am convinced a fair and reasonable settlement inclusive of my pain and suffering is $3,200.00.

Hint ±
For soft-tissue injuries like minor abrasions, cuts, and bruises, many attorneys use a multiple of 2-4x the victim's medical bills, plus expenses and lost wages, to come up with a settlement demand amount. That settlement takes into account all medical and specials, and includes an amount for pain and suffering.


I look forward to hearing from you. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

______________________
Leanne Douglas
456 Maple Rd.
Tempe, Arizona, 04919
555-325-2359
ldouglas@cjsstores.com

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TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
YES! I WANT FAIR COMPENSATION