Settlement Demand Letter Example for a Hotel Injury Claim



Just as injuries are unique to every victim, so are the facts of each personal injury claim. Hotel injuries can happen for a variety of reasons. The following demand letter example should only be used as a guide when writing your own demand letter. Don't copy it word for word. Rather, substitute your specific case information where appropriate.

The sample demand letter below deals with a burn injury at a hotel. Click on the buttons to better understand the language used and for more insight into each section.

Learn more about hotel accident claims here.

Hotel Injury Demand Letter Example

February 3, 2015




Doncair Insurance Company
Ms. Wonna Sedle
Claims Adjuster
125 Cork Street, Suite A
Newark, NJ 07110

Re:




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

129253-TK
Hotel Nidemare
Amanda Nash
07/10/1980
01/15/2015

FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY

Hint ±
A demand letter is considered part of pre-trial settlement negotiations. Judges typically disallow the content of these negotiations to be used in court. While titling your demand letter with the words FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY is not legally required, doing so conveys your expectation of confidentiality.


Dear Ms. Sedle:

Hint ±
Here you'll briefly recount the events leading to your injury, its aftermath, and the damages you sustained. Damages in a personal injury claim typically include medical and chiropractic bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.


As you know, I was seriously injured on January 15, 2015, at approximately 8:00 a.m., while attempting to take a shower in your insured's hotel. After stepping into the shower, I was burned by hot water flowing from the shower head. I received second-degree burns that required emergency medical care. The injury resulted in medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and great pain and suffering.

Your insured's failure to repair the defective thermostat, which ultimately resulted in my injuries, constituted negligence. Your insured wholly failed in its duty to protect me from harm. Your insured's negligence was the direct and proximate cause of my injuries and subsequent damages.

Hint ±
It's important to let the adjuster know you're aware of the hotel's legal duty to protect their guests from undue harm and injury.

The phrase "direct and proximate cause" establishes a legal connection between the insured's actions and your injuries. Using this phrase tells the adjuster you understand the causal connection between action (negligence) and result (your injuries).


At all times related to my injury I was observant and acted as any other reasonable hotel guest would have acted under the same circumstances.

Hint ±
This dispels any allegations by the adjuster that you may have contributed to your own injury by acting recklessly.


I want to make one thing clear: I never asked for any of this to happen. Prior to January 15, 2015, I enjoyed a full life, free of pain. On January 15th, however, my life was changed. Because of your insured's negligence, I was in acute pain for two weeks.

During that time, I was unable to freely move about without suffering excruciating pain and discomfort. I incurred out-of-pocket expenses for medications, bandages, and other costs related to my injuries and treatment. I was also unable to work during that time and, as a result, lost two-weeks' wages.

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

Hint ±
This makes it clear you are acting in good faith and prefer to settle your claim, but you won't hesitate to file a lawsuit or retain an attorney if necessary.


FACTUAL SUMMARY

Hint ±
Here you'll give a detailed review of the facts of the incident, and set forth any evidence you intend to use to support your claim. Also, avoid using the word "accident." Accident implies it wasn't anyone's fault.


On January 14, 2015, I checked into your insured's hotel, the Hotel Nidemare, located at 1227 Shore Boulevard in Orlando, Florida. I was in Orlando with my family on vacation. On the morning of January 15, I was the first to take a shower. Being unfamiliar with the shower dial, I made sure to only turn the dial halfway between the hot and cold setting.

Hint ±
This language is another way to address allegations of contributory negligence. Stating that the dial was turned only halfway makes clear to the claims adjuster you didn't make a mistake and turn the dial too far toward the hottest level.


Expecting the temperature to settle at a level halfway between hot and cold, I stayed under the flow of the shower head. Suddenly, and without warning, the water turned extremely hot, and just as quickly began to scald my upper and lower front body. The scalding happened so quickly that I didn't have time to react.

I got out of the shower as fast as I could. I was in great pain and felt a burning sensation over most of my front torso and legs. I cried out to my husband John. My front torso and legs were reddened from the burning water.

My husband John called the front desk and spoke with the hotel's manager, Ms. Sue Mee. John told Ms. Mee I was burned in the shower and asked her to call for the paramedics. Ms. Mee told my husband each hotel room's hot water is governed by a thermostat that prohibits water temperature from rising higher than 110 degrees. Because of this, she said, it was impossible for me to have been burned.

With great pain and discomfort, I dressed. The clothes against my skin exacerbated my pain. My husband drove me to the Lakeshore Hospital Emergency Room. After waiting in extreme pain and discomfort for over an hour, I was seen by Dr. Ima Panefri. Dr. Panefri examined me and diagnosed my injuries as second-degree burns over my front torso and legs. I was treated and released.

Because of my injuries I was unable to join my husband and two children at Disney World. Pursuant to doctor's orders, I was forced to stay in the hotel room covered in antibiotic ointment, taking pain medication. I was suffering in severe pain and discomfort for the three days our family was in Orlando on vacation.

INJURIES AND TREATMENT

I was treated for my injuries by Dr. Ima Panefri at the Lakeshore Hospital Emergency Room located at 1002 Shore Boulevard in Orlando, Florida. After a thorough examination, Dr. Panefri concluded that I sustained second-degree burns to my front torso and legs. Dr. Panefri indicated my injuries were a direct result of my being scalded with hot water from the shower in my hotel room.

While an emergency room nurse applied an antibiotic ointment called Bacitracin to the affected burn areas, Dr. Panefri indicated further treatment would be required to treat my burns. Treatment included bandaging the affected areas where possible and applying the antibiotic ointment while at home twice daily. Dr. Panefri further prescribed Vicodin 10 mg #30, PRN to treat the pain.

The doctor indicated it would take approximately two weeks for the burns to fully heal. During that time she suggested I keep the affected areas free from clothing that might be abrasive. As a result, I was unable to work and received no wages for the two-week recovery period.

MEDICAL HISTORY

Hint ±
Hopefully your medical history shows no related injuries or that any prior injuries were fully healed at the time of the present injury. If not, the adjuster might contend your new injury isn't new at all, but rather just an exacerbation of your pre-existing condition.


I am a 34-year-old female with an unremarkable medical history. I delivered a daughter two years ago, and a son three years ago. Both births were free from any medical problems. I was in good health at the time of the injury made the basis of this claim.

WORK HISTORY

Hint ±
Describing your work history makes clear you're a contributing member of society, and that your claim is legitimate and not motivated by profit. Communicate that it's rare for you to miss work due to injury or illness.


I have been employed since June 2010 as a school teacher at Newton Street Elementary School in Newark, New Jersey. My job duties include frequent sitting and standing, and on occasion, lifting children. During my tenure at Newton, I have missed work because of illness on only 3 occasions.

Prior to my employment at the Newton Elementary School, I was employed as a teacher's aide at the Campbell Elementary School in Newark. Before that, I was a full-time student at Rutgers University.

DAMAGES

Below I've listed my medical bills and other economic losses. I've attached copies of the relevant bills and receipts, and a letter from my employer confirming my lost wages.

Hint ±
In this section you'll list your medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses (such as the cost of medicines, bandages, hospital parking lot fees, prorated amounts for gasoline used driving to treatment, etc.).

Do not include pain and suffering in this list. As you'll see below, pain and suffering is determined as a multiple of your medical expenses and will be included in your final demand for settlement.


Lakeshore Hospital Emergency Room
Medications, bandages
Transportation, parking fees
Lost Wages

$1,170.00
$120.00
$27.00
$1,500.00

After careful consideration of liability and damages, and an in-depth review of standard settlements for injury cases with similar fact patterns, I am convinced a fair and reasonable settlement inclusive of my pain and suffering is $6,687.00.

Hint ±
For soft-tissue injuries like minor burns, you can come up with an amount for pain and suffering by multiplying the medical bills by a factor of 2-5 times. Then you'd add expenses and lost wages to arrive at a total settlement demand.

In the above example, the victim's medical expenses total $1,290.00. Four times the medical expenses ($5,160.00), plus expenses and lost wages ($1,527.00), totals $6,687.00. The victim would therefore receive $3,870.00 for pain and suffering.

The adjuster probably won't agree to pay your initial demand. It's more of a starting point for negotiations. For this reason, ask for slightly more than you think fairly represents your total damages.


I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

______________________
Amanda Nash
36 James Way
Newark, NY 09621
555-679-3968
amandan@example.com

Hint ±
Only list an address and phone number where you're comfortable receiving correspondence from the insurance company.


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