A personal injury demand letter summarizes the history of your personal injury claim for the insurance adjuster. It begins at the point of impact and ends with your last day of treatment. It guides the adjuster through all you've lost as a result of the insured's negligence.
A well-written demand letter can effectively limit the adjuster's options for objecting to the amount of your settlement demand.
There are key elements to any effective demand letter that must be listed and defined. Each element provides separate but vital support to your claim. Elements of a powerful personal injury demand letter include:
The personal injury demand letter should begin with the words: For Settlement Purposes Only. This statement is used by attorneys and tells the claims adjuster the letter cannot be used as evidence at any upcoming trial.
Imagine you and the claims adjuster had been negotiating your initial demand of $25,000. After extensive negotiations, you agreed to lower your demand to $10,000. The adjuster refused and negotiations broke down, so you filed a lawsuit. Your lawsuit asked for $25,000.
If settlement discussions were admissible at trial, the insurance company's attorneys could ask you under oath if you told the adjuster you would settle for $10,000. You'd have to say "Yes". As soon as the jury hears that you previously agreed to settle for $10,000, the chances of them making an award over that amount would be all but gone.
The personal injury demand letter should be professional in appearance and content. Proper punctuation and spelling is imperative. Tabs are helpful to separate each supporting document, which can be referred to as exhibits. For instance, Exhibit A could be the police report; Exhibit B witness statements; Exhibit C medical bills.
Include the following information in this order:
Demand Letter Example
STEPHANIE J. SMITH
16567 East 15TH Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75200
Cell Phone (555) 790-0582
Home Phone (555) 624-5037
Ingersoll Insurance Liability Inc.
Alan Dormer - Senior Claims Adjuster
112678 Northlake Avenue, Suite 100
Havenwealth, New York 11700
May 22, 2012
FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY
Re: Claim No. F-1285K
Your Insured: Sid Vinto
Date of Loss 06.01.2011
Claimant: Stephanie J. Smith
Date of Birth: 12.21.82
Dear Mr. Dormer:
As you know, on or about June 6, 2011, I was severely injured when your insured, Sid Vinto, failed to stop at a red traffic signal and violently crashed into my car.
My doctors have advised me my condition has reached a level of optimal medical improvement. Although still suffering, I have decided to bring this matter to a conclusion. In an effort to amicably settle my claim I have prepared the following for your review. I have also attached supporting documentation.
Background: On or about June 6, 2011, at about 7:15 a.m., I was driving my 2007 Honda Accord northbound on Magnolia Street. At all times I was paying attention to the road, traffic signals, and other vehicles in my line of sight. I was also wearing my seatbelt.
As I approached the intersection of Magnolia Street and Orchid Avenue, I could see the traffic light was clearly green in my favor. As I passed through the light, suddenly and without warning, your insured violently collided with the front left quarter panel of my Honda. The severe force of the impact spun my car completely around. It only came to rest when it struck a telephone pole.
My injuries: The immediate force of the impact:
It took the Havenwealth Police Fire and Rescue over 15 minutes to respond to the scene. During that time I lay in my car bleeding profusely and in severe pain. When Fire and Rescue finally arrived, they treated me at the scene and transported me to the emergency room at Mailer General Hospital.
Subsequent to the collision and at the order of several treating physicians, I underwent several tests including (but not limited to) a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Examination (MRI), Computer Axial Tomography Examination (CAT Scan) and X-rays.
Since the day of the collision, I have endured months of painful treatment and therapy. I've incurred substantial out-of-pocket expenses, and because my physicians have prohibited me from working, I've also lost thousands of dollars in income. I worked at the Able Construction Company for 16 years. Due to my inability to work, my employer had to find a replacement. As a result I was fired.
My recovery period has been long and agonizing. I haven't been able to sleep without pain for months. The pain medication I've had to take has resulted in depression and insomnia. The tension from not being able to provide income for my family has negatively impacted my marriage and relationship with my children.
Your Insured's Liability: Your insured's exclusive liability is clear. From the police report and witness statements, your insured failed to stop at the red traffic light on Orchid Street. Witnesses said he was texting on his cell phone, and when questioned by the police your insured admitted he was.
The police officers issued your insured a traffic citation for failing to stop at a red light. Your insured's actions were the direct and proximate cause of the collision and my resulting injuries.
As a result of the violent collision I have incurred the following:
|Emergency room treatment||$700.00|
|Past medical treatment||$4,200.00|
|Future medical treatment||$1,500.00|
|Total amount of specials||$15,330.00|
|Loss of consortium|
|Pain and Suffering|
Thank you for your review of my personal injury demand letter together with its attached supporting documentation. I would appreciate your response within the next thirty (30) days.
Stephanie J. Smith