Settlement Demand Letter Example for a Pedestrian Accident Claim



The facts of every personal injury claim are unique. Therefore each settlement demand letter will be different. Here we give a sample demand letter for a case where a pedestrian was hit by a car.

You can use this example as a guide when writing your own demand letter. By substituting your information, you should be able to write an effective demand for compensation. Click on the buttons to learn more about the ideas and phrasing used in an effective demand letter.

Learn more about pedestrian accident claims here.

Pedestrian Accident Demand Letter Example

May 18, 2014




Doncair Insurance Company
Ms. Noa Peigh
Claims Adjuster
123 Street - Suite A
Miami, FL 04919

Re:




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

23676ABC-TG
Dinsee Yuu
Joseph Brogan
03/23/1979
03/28/2014

Hint ±
"Date of Loss" is a phrase used to describe the date your accident occurred.

FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY

Hint ±
Titling your letter with the phrase "For Settlement Purposes Only" demonstrates your expectation of confidentiality. If the case goes to trial, the judge can prohibit the insurance company's attorney from mentioning any information found in this letter.

Let's say you ask for $20,000 to settle, but the insurance company says no or makes a counter-offer well below your demand. There's no more room for negotiation. As a result, the case goes to trial.

If the insurance company's attorney were allowed to tell the jury you demanded $20,000, and the jury was already thinking about awarding you $50,000, then the jury may think $20,000 is all you want, and lower their award accordingly. Thankfully, settlement negotiations and demand letters are almost always inadmissible in court.


Dear Ms. Noa Peigh:

Please let this letter serve as my formal demand for compensation in the above-referenced claim. As you are aware, I am currently not represented by an attorney. My continuing hope is to avoid litigation by bringing this matter to a prompt and amicable resolution.

Hint ±
This begins your letter in a non-confrontational and professional manner. Don't start negotiations by threatening the adjuster with an ultimatum to settle or you'll sue. Using the words "hope," "prompt," and "amicable", try to maintain a non-threatening, but serious, tone.


As you are aware, I was seriously injured on March 28th, 2014, at approximately 10:00 a.m., when your insured failed to yield at a cross-walk at the intersection of Bligh Boulevard and Fletcher Street, while driving her 2012 Ford Fiesta through the intersection. Your insured's vehicle crashed into me, violently knocking me to the pavement.

Hint ±
Avoid using the words "I fell" or "fall." Doing so implies you may have had some fault. The words "collide," "strike," "violently" and "knocked me down" are more graphic ways to describe the event.


State law C-1267A states that a "vehicle shall yield to a pedestrian when the pedestrian is crossing a lined and marked crosswalk."

Hint ±
Whenever possible, cite the law or regulation the insured violated.


When your insured struck me, I was well within the crosswalk lines and approximately halfway across the intersection. Because of your insured's negligence, I sustained serious injuries and financial losses. My damages included substantial medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, severe discomfort, anxiety, and prolonged pain and suffering.

I never asked for any of this to happen. Before March 28, 2014, I enjoyed a life free of physical pain and discomfort. On March 28th that all changed. My life was abruptly and permanently altered as a direct and proximate result of your insured's negligence.

Hint ±
The phrases "direct and proximate cause" or "direct and proximate result" demonstrate negligence in an injury claim. Using these words lets the adjuster know you are aware of the legal connection between her insured's negligence and your injury.


FACTUAL SUMMARY

Hint ±
A factual summary is a concise review of the facts of the accident. This is not the place to discuss the seriousness of your injuries, or the pain and discomfort you experienced. Just stick to the facts.


On Tuesday March 28, 2014, at approximately 10:00 a.m., I was en route from the Acme Parking Garage to my office in the Garibaldi Office Complex. The most direct route from the parking garage to the office building is traversing the cross-walk at the intersection of Fletcher Street and Bligh Boulevard.

I have subsequently learned from the city's planning department that the cross-walk was created in 1998. It was freshly re-painted on January 2, 2013. The Fletcher Street crosswalk is used by hundreds of workers each day. It is a designated route for workers and visitors who park in the Acme Parking Garage to get to the Garibaldi Office Complex. Fletcher Street has two lanes of traffic. The posted speed limit is 15 miles per hour.

When I entered the crosswalk, there were two vehicles in the traffic lane closest to me. Both vehicles appropriately yielded to let several people, myself included, traverse the cross-walk. As I passed both vehicles and was about to make my way across the second lane, suddenly, and without warning, your insured drove her Ford Fiesta through the intersection, striking me. The force of impact knocked me violently down to the pavement.

Soon after, several people, including your insured, came to my aid. My pant legs were torn at the knees and my knees were bleeding. As the others helped me up, I felt a surge of pain in my lower back. Since I was able to walk, I continued to make my way across the intersection to a safe area outside the office complex. Your insured gave me her insurance information. She remarked, "I didn't see you."

Hint ±
Quoting statements by the insured that tend to show culpability are very important. These are referred to as Admissions Against Interest. They make it very difficult for the adjuster to say her insured wasn't at fault.


As I was gathering your insured's insurance information, a security guard from the nearby Garibaldi Building came over. I later learned her name was Amy Jarte. Ms. Jarte asked if I needed an ambulance. At the time, other than torn pants, scraped up knees, and some discomfort to may back, I seemed alright and didn't ask for an ambulance. I just wanted to get to work.

The security guard had a first aid kit and she dressed my wounds. Ms. Jarte took your insured's contact information and mine. She also took down the contact information for the witnesses who came to my aid.

I later spoke with two of the witnesses listed in Ms. Jarte's report. I have attached a copy of Ms. Jarte's report, as well as witness statements from Mr. Josiah Smalts, and Ms. Virginia Emerase. While Ms. Jarte's report doesn't include a description of the collision, Ms. Emerase and Mr. Smalts make clear in their statements that they were within feet of me when they saw your insured's Ford Fiesta fail to yield and crash into me.

I am a computer programmer employed by the Plymouth Computer Company. I have been actively employed by the Plymouth Computer Company for over five years. Approximately an hour after your insured knocked me to the pavement, I began to feel nauseous while sitting at my computer. My supervisor saw my distress and told me to take the rest of the day off.

I went to bed early that evening. The next morning I was barely able to get out of bed. During the night my back stiffened up. I was in pain and could barely stand erect. My wife called Dr. Sue Calun who has been our family doctor for several years. Fortunately Dr. Calun was able to see me that afternoon.

After an examination, Dr. Calun sent me to the hospital for an MRI, which showed sprains of the lower lumbar region of my back. After prescribing Vicodin for the pain and Flexeril for muscle stiffness, Dr. Calun referred me to Dr. John Mader, a local chiropractor.

Hint ±
Be sure to tell the truth. While you aren't required to bring up issues which may be harmful to your claim, everything you state in this demand letter should be entirely truthful. If you are caught lying or embellishing the truth, you may lose all credibility with the adjuster. Worse, your falsehoods will likely be used against you if your claim goes to trial.


INJURIES AND TREATMENT

Dr. John Mader performed a full examination. He diagnosed my injury as subluxation of the spine and lower lumber strain. He said both injuries were the direct result of being hit by your insured's car and knocked to the hard pavement. The collision with the pavement caused my spine to subluxate and the attached ligaments to strain.

My treatment included manual spinal adjustment, electrical muscle stimulation, and rehabilitative therapy. Because I wanted to return to work as soon as possible, I followed Dr. Calun's treatment protocol to the letter.

My rehabilitative therapy was prolonged, difficult and painful. It lasted six weeks. During that time, Dr. Calun ordered I not return to work. He made clear that sitting for hours at a time in front of the computer would put undue pressure on my lower back and spine. To do so, Dr. Calun said, would only exacerbate my injuries, and unduly lengthen my rehabilitation. While I have now reached a point where my injuries are sufficiently healed to return to work, I remain sore and in discomfort.

Hint ±
Adding this language makes clear to the adjuster you weren't malingering or trying to unnecessarily prolong your treatment.


PAST MEDICAL HISTORY

I am a 34-year-old male with an unremarkable medical history. My prior medical care includes an appendectomy in 2003. I was also treated in 2005 at Mather Hospital in Dallas, Texas for a broken left tibia and fibula sustained during a soccer game. All injuries were fully healed prior to the injuries sustained at the hands of your insured on March 28, 2014.

WORK HISTORY

I have been employed since 2005 as a computer programmer by the Plymouth Computer Company. Since joining the company in May of 2005 I have been promoted three times. I am presently the Supervising Programmer for medical data in charge of 27 other data programmers. Since my employment with Plymouth began, I have missed only five days of work for illness.

Hint ±
A solid employment record, especially with little time off for injuries or illness, shows the adjuster you're a person who doesn't like to miss work, and will only do so if absolutely necessary.


As a result of your client's negligence, I was unable to perform my job duties from March 28, 2014 through May 14th, 2014. Because my injury was not an on-the-job injury, I wasn't able to receive workers' compensation benefits. Instead, I had to take an extended and unpaid leave from my employment.

Hint ±
Make the insured's negligence a theme throughout the letter. Continue to refer to your injuries as the "result of your insured's negligence," and not as a result of the "accident" or "fall."


During that time the only income my family had coming in was my wife's. My wife works on commission at the Wane Department Store. To generate badly needed income for medical supplies, food, housing, car payments, and more, my wife worked double shifts. Even that wasn't enough. We had to borrow money from friends and family. To do so has been embarrassing and humiliating.

While on paper it appears I am the only victim, that's not entirely correct. For the last six weeks my wife has exhausted herself while working double shifts, driving me back and forth to treatment, and caring for our two children. My entire family has suffered needlessly.

Hint ±
Part of compensation in a personal injury claim can include "loss of consortium." This is a euphemism for loss of ability to have sexual relations with your spouse. You should use this language if it's true and applies to your case.


DAMAGES

The following is a list of my medical costs and other financial damages. I have attached copies of representative bills and receipts, along with a signed letter from my employer detailing the amount of pay I lost while treating and recovering from my injuries.

Dr. Sue Calun
Dr. John Mader
MRI
Lost Wages
Medications, bandages
Transportation Costs

$200.00
$4,100.00
$1,500.00
$7,200.00
$425.00
$104.00

After careful consideration of liability and damages, and after 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 $36,730.00.

Hint ±
For "soft tissue" injuries like back sprains, a good way to know how much to demand is by multiplying your total medical bills by a factor of 2-5x (depending on the severity of your injuries, treatment, and recovery), then adding your lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses. While it's not likely the insurance company will agree to this initial demand amount, it's a reasonable place to start negotiations.


I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours truly,

___________________
Joseph Brogan
9876 E. 54th St.
555-324-9032
Jbrogan@example.com

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