How to Write a Notification Letter to Begin Your Personal Injury Claim



A notification letter officially begins your personal injury claim. The letter presumes you did not secure the at-fault party's insurance information when you were injured. If you did, you can send the notification letter directly to the insurance company.

A notification letter places the at-fault party on formal notice you've been injured due to his or her actions, and you are pursuing compensation for your losses. Aim to send the letter as soon as possible after your injury. Keep in mind, there can be more than one liable party.

If the at-fault party is uninsured, you have the option of pursuing his or her personal assets. You can demand direct payment, or file a lawsuit, if necessary.

Important! You can handle a minor injury claim yourself, but serious injury cases can only be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney. There's just too much at stake in a serious injury case for you to go it alone.

Your letter must appear professional. It should be free of spelling and grammar mistakes, and typed on clean bond paper. Send it by certified mail, return receipt requested. This way you have proof the at-fault party received it.

Most likely, the at-fault party will immediately forward the letter to their insurance company, who will follow-up with you soon after the notification. If you have the insurance company's contact info, you can send a letter directly to the company.

Content

Keep the notification letter as simple as possible. Don't discuss negligence, fault, or the extent of your medical treatment. At this point, you likely don't have all the facts, and may have to change your theory of liability later on. You can lay everything out in your demand letter, which comes much later in the process.

Coming from a non-attorney, the notification letter will not hold as much weight. Nonetheless, it's considered a signed statement, and will become evidence.

Below is a template for a basic notification letter. Throughout the letter you will notice buttons. Click these hints for the reasoning behind that section's wording and format. After the template, we give some sample notification letters for reference.

Notification Letter Template

[DATE OF LETTER]

Hint ±
It's prudent to date the letter the same day you mail it. This helps when establishing a timeline for the at-fault party's (or their insurance company's) response.


[AT-FAULT PARTY'S NAME & ADDRESS]

Hint ±
You should have obtained the at-fault party's name and contact information at the time of the accident. If you forgot, or were physically unable to, the police report or incident report will have that information. You can also ask the at-fault party directly.


Re: [TYPE OF CLAIM] injury on [DATE OF INCIDENT]

Hint ±
Name the type of incident and the date it happened. For instance...
"Re: Auto Collision injury on January 4, 2014"; or
"Re: Slip and Fall injury on 2/3/2014"; or
"Re: Dog Attack injury on March 7, 2014"


Dear Mr./Mrs. [AT-FAULT PARTY],

Please be advised that I am pursuing a claim for personal injuries as a result of a [TYPE OF CLAIM] which occurred on [DATE OF INJURY] at [LOCATION] due to your negligence.

Kindly refer this letter immediately to your insurance carrier for prompt consideration and further attention, with the request they contact me directly. Once I am contacted by your insurance company, it will not be necessary to contact you again. All further communications will be with your insurance carrier.

FAILURE TO NOTIFY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY IMMEDIATELY MAY CAUSE THEM TO REFUSE TO PROTECT YOUR INTERESTS.

Currently, I am not represented by an attorney. I am pursuing this claim in good faith, in hopes of settling the claim amicably, and without the need for litigation.

Hint ±
It's important to maintain a positive, but firm tone. This makes clear you want to settle the claim, but also implies you won't hesitate to consider legal action if you're not treated fairly.


Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME & CONTACT INFO]

Hint ±
Be sure to use an address, phone, and email where you will be most comfortable receiving correspondence from the at-fault driver and/or insurance company.


Show/Hide All Hints

When the at-fault party receives your notification letter, he will likely turn it over to his insurance company immediately. You won't use the term "your insured" in this notification letter, but you will when communicating with the insurance company. Then, you can refer to the at-fault party as "your insured."

Remember, this is the notification letter, not the final demand letter. At this point, your injuries are recent, and you're likely still receiving treatment or therapy. Once you have fully healed, only then will you create a formal settlement demand letter.

Notification Letter Examples

All names and scenarios in the below letters are completely fictional. Any resemblance to actual people or companies is entirely coincidental.

Sample Notification Letter for Automobile Collision

August 26, 2014




Alex Smith
155 Ellington Avenue
Dallas, TX 75247

Re: Automobile Collision injury on August 23, 2014

Dear Mr. Smith,

Please be advised that I am pursuing a claim for personal injuries as a result of an automobile collision which occurred on 8/23/2014 in Dallas, Texas (on the North Central Expressway, close to the Fitzhugh exit), due to your negligence.

Kindly refer this letter immediately to your insurance carrier for prompt consideration and further attention, with the request they contact me directly. Once I am contacted by your insurance company, it will not be necessary to contact you again. All further communications will be with your insurance carrier.

FAILURE TO NOTIFY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY IMMEDIATELY MAY CAUSE THEM TO REFUSE TO PROTECT YOUR INTERESTS.

Currently, I am not represented by an attorney. I am pursuing this claim in good faith, in hopes of settling the claim amicably, and without the need for litigation.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Imma Victim
210 Desert Ave.
Dallas, TX 75247
Phone: (555) 239-4524
Email: immav@example.com

If you're involved in a car accident, even if it wasn't your fault, you still must contact your own insurance company to report the collision. If the at-fault driver's auto insurance had lapsed, or if his insurance company decides he wasn't liable, your insurance carrier will already know, and be ready to fight on your behalf.

Most auto insurance contracts have language requiring you to contact the company if you're involved in an accident, regardless of fault. If you don't, they may have the right to deny your coverage. If you live in a no-fault state, you must notify your insurance company immediately.

Sample Notification Letter for Slip and Fall in a Store

This letter includes a notice of spoliation. If you know of evidence that will help your claim, but it's currently in the at-fault party's possession, include a spoliation notice in your letter.

If you do include this notice, it's best not to call attention to the fact you have not yet retained an attorney (as you can see, that section has been removed). In serious injury cases, you must retain an attorney to protect your interests. Your attorney will send a more comprehensive spoliation letter on your behalf.

August 27, 2014




Slippery's Supermarket
Sarah Thomas - Owner
1215 Roe Boulevard
Bastion, NY 11799

Re: Slip and fall injury on August 23, 2014

Dear Ms. Thomas,

Please be advised that I am pursuing a claim for personal injuries as a result of a slip and fall which occurred on 8/23/2014 at Slippery's Supermarket, due to your negligence.

Kindly refer this letter immediately to your insurance carrier for prompt consideration and further attention, with the request they contact me directly. Once I am contacted by your insurance company, it will not be necessary to contact you again. All further communications will be with your insurance carrier.

FAILURE TO NOTIFY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY IMMEDIATELY MAY CAUSE THEM TO REFUSE TO PROTECT YOUR INTERESTS.

Additionally, I know there are video surveillance cameras on the premises. This letter will serve to provide you with notice that you have an obligation to appropriately preserve and retain any information that may be relevant to the above referenced matter.

This includes, but is not limited to, equipment that was involved in the incident, along with photographs, video recordings, recorded audio or computer media, incident reports, and all other evidence relating to the incident, which is presently in your possession, or the possession of your employee or agent.

Please ensure this letter is provided to the appropriate person in your office who is charged with the custody of evidentiary items concerning this incident (i.e. the surveillance video). It is imperative you do not dispose of, alter and/or modify the video and all other evidence in any manner. Disregarding these obligations may be considered spoliation of evidence.

YOU ARE HEREBY PUT ON NOTICE NOT TO DISPOSE, ALTER, MODIFY AND/OR REMOVE THE ABOVE MENTIONED EVIDENCE, OR ANY OTHER RELATED RECORDS.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Imma Victim
2324 Jones Way
Bastion, NY 11799
Phone: (555) 239-4524
Email: immav@example.com

Recorded Statements

Once the at-fault party turns your letter over to his insurance company, you will be contacted by a representative, called a claims adjuster. The adjuster will likely want to take your recorded statement.

While this is standard operating procedure, you must be very careful about what you say. Your recorded statement precedes settlement negotiations, and if you're not careful, you may say something that can be used as leverage against you later.

Many attorneys prohibit their clients from giving recorded statements. This is because most injury victims don't understand how their claim can be negatively affected by issues like contributory negligence, pre-existing injuries, criminal history, and prior injury claims.

If the claims adjuster thinks one of the above factors applies to your claim, she may question you about it. Adjusters are adept at getting claimants to say things that may diminish the value of their claims, or that may cast doubt on the insured's liability.

If you decide to give a recorded statement, focus exclusively on the at-fault party's negligence in causing the injury, and the type of damages you sustained. Anything more, and you're looking for trouble. If the adjuster asks you questions you're not prepared to answer, just say so. Don't help the adjuster to do her job.

Be sure to ask the adjuster for your claim number. You will need to reference it in all future communications.

Print Friendly and PDF

How Much Is Your Claim Worth?

Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney...

> > Claim Notification Letter

How Much Are Your
Injuries Worth?

Find out with a
free attorney review:

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