Sample Personal Injury Demand Letter for a Shopping Mall Accident Claim



The demand letter is an integral part of settlement negotiations. The letter summarizes your claim and includes copies of all the relevant documentation supporting your claim, including your medical and chiropractic bills, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses, police or incident reports, witness statements, and verification of lost wages.

The sample demand letter below deals with a shopping mall accident claim. The letter is meant to serve as a guide to help you construct your own demand letter. Simply plug in your own information where applicable. Click on the buttons to better understand the reasoning behind each section.

Learn more about shopping mall accident claims here.

Shopping Mall Accident Demand Letter Example

March 16, 2014




Doncair Insurance Company
Ms. Wonna Sedle
Claims Adjuster
123 Street - Suite A
Boston, MA 02108

Re:




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

252484-AH
Oak Lane Mall
Pam McRay
11/08/1980
03/1/2014

FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY

Hint ±
A demand letter is considered part of ongoing settlement negotiations, and judges have traditionally disallowed the content of these negotiations to be used in court. While titling your demand letter with the words FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY isn't a legal requirement, doing so eliminates any question about your intentions.


Dear Ms. Sedle:

Hint ±
Here you will summarize the facts and applicable theory of liability supporting your claim for damages.


As you are aware, on March 1, 2014, I was seriously injured when my shoelace became caught in a step in the descending escalator located on the second floor of the Oak Lane Mall. The mall is located at 3686 Main Street, Springfield, Massachusetts.

When my shoelace became lodged in the escalator step, I fell forward onto the floor in front of me. This resulted in both my wrists being sprained, and severe abrasions and bruising to my hands and forearms. Fortunately, another shopper, Ms. Ima Witnus, witnessed my fall and helped me to my feet. Ms. Witnus contacted mall security. I was escorted to the security office by security guard Dudley Doowrite.

Mr. Doowrite administered first aid. He also completed an Incident Report, of which you have a copy. It is my understanding you also possess a copy of the mall security video showing my fall. I was treated later that day at the Walk-In Clinic in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Hint ±
Unless a subpoena is filed, the mall will not have to provide a copy of their security video. If there was a video, you should have included a Spoliation of Evidence notice in your notification letter. If a video of your injury exists, it's safe to presume the insurance company has already reviewed it.


Your insured had a legal duty of care to maintain the escalator so it would be safe for shoppers. Your insured wholly breached that duty, constituting negligence. Your insured's negligence was the direct and proximate cause of my injuries and resulting damages.

Hint ±
"Duty of care," and "direct and proximate cause" are legal phrases which connect the shopping mall owner's actions to your damages. It's important to show the adjuster you understand these concepts.


Because of my injuries and required bandaging, I was unable to work for two weeks at my job as an assistant manager at Mahoney's Restaurant in Springfield, Massachusetts. Because I am not paid when away from work, I lost two weeks' wages.

I want to make clear from the outset that I never asked for any of this to happen. Before March 1, 2014, I enjoyed a full life free of pain and discomfort. On March 1st, however, all that changed. Because of your insured's negligence, I unnecessarily endured economic losses and pain and discomfort.

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

Hint ±
This makes clear you have a good faith desire to settle your claim, but if it can't be settled fairly, you won't hesitate to consider legal action.


STATEMENT OF FACTS

On March 1, 2014, at approximately 11:00 a.m., I was shopping at the Oak Lane Mall at 3686 Main Street, Springfield, Massachusetts. I subsequently learned your insured is the owner of the Oak Lane Mall. To get to the second floor, I took the escalator located at the northern end of the mall. After purchasing a pair of jeans at the ABC Jeans Store, I made my way to the descending escalator located at the northern end of the second floor.

On the day in question, I was wearing a pair of laced sneakers. The shoelace on my right sneaker became loose. As I neared the bottom and was about to step off the escalator, the shoelace became lodged in the corner of the escalator step. As I attempted to step off, I was propelled violently to the ground. As I crashed onto the floor, I placed my hands out in front of me to break my fall. The force of impact was so powerful that it caused searing and acute pain to both wrists and forearms.

Hint ±
Using adverbs like "violently," and adjectives like "searing" are graphic and demonstrative, creating a greater impact.


Immediately after my fall, several shoppers helped me to my feet. One of the shoppers, Ms. Ima Witnus, contacted a security guard, Dudley Doowrite. Noticing my hands and forearms were bleeding and bruised, he escorted me to the security office where he applied first aid to my wounds. Ms. Witnus gave her name, contact information, and her rendition of the facts to the security guard. It is my understanding you have a copy of Ms. Witnus's statement.

Hint ±
Do your best to convince a witness to give their statement. Having a neutral third party back up your version of events will strengthen your claim.


As soon as possible the same day, at approximately 3:00 p.m., my husband drove me to the Walk-In Clinic at 2476 Wilbraham Street, Springfield, Massachusetts. There I was treated by Eule B. Okay, O.D. X-rays of both hands and forearms were taken. Dr. Okay diagnosed my injuries as sprained left and right wrists, along with abrasions and bruises to both hands and both forearms. He had the attending nurse apply splints, a topical antibiotic and re-bandage the affected areas.

Dr. Okay ordered me not to return to work for several weeks until my wounds were sufficiently healed. Following his advice, I called in sick to work for the two weeks immediately after my injuries. Because I am not paid when not working, I lost two weeks' wages.

Hint ±
Following your doctor's orders to the letter shows the adjuster you weren't malingering or trying to unnecessarily prolong your treatment. Convey that you're a productive member of society and you returned to work as soon as medically possible.


During our settlement discussions, you contended I contributed to my injuries by failing to keep my shoelace property tied. But it is reasonable to assume shoppers' laces will sometimes become loose while riding on an escalator. You have also contended I contributed to my fall by not holding on to the escalator rail. That is wholly untrue and you have no evidence showing I was not holding the rail. Such events, if they occurred, do not constitute contributory negligence.

Hint ±
It's important to address any contentions you may have contributed to your injuries. If your own actions played a role in causing your accident, you will receive less compensation. This is known as comparative negligence.


It took approximately four weeks from the date of my injuries for my hands and forearms to fully heal. During that time, I experienced great pain and discomfort. Performing customary personal activities such as bathing, eating, and dressing were difficult and cumbersome.

Hint ±
Tell the adjuster your recovery included more than the minor pain and suffering normally associated with personal injury claims. Communicate how every aspect of your life was unnecessarily interrupted because of the negligence of the insured.


INJURIES AND TREATMENT

I was initially treated for my injuries by security guard Dudley Doowrite. He cleaned my wounds, treated them with a topical antibiotic, and bandaged them. That same day, I visited the Walk-In Clinic at 2476 Wilbraham Street, Springfield, Massachusetts. I had severe abrasions and bruising on the palms of both hands, along with deep bruising to both forearms.

I was treated by Eule B. Okay, O.D. Dr. Okay ordered X-rays of both hands and forearms. The X-rays were negative for fractures. Dr. Okay diagnosed sprains in both my left and right wrists, deep abrasions to my hands, and bruising to my forearms. Dr. Okay had the attending nurse, Ms. Ima Hepue, clean the wounds, treat them with a topical antibiotic, and bandage the affected areas. I was fitted with splints for my left and right wrists.

Dr. Okay's prognosis was that my injuries would heal within four to six weeks. He instructed me not to return to work for at least two weeks, to allow my sprained wrists to heal. I was also instructed to cleanse and bandage the wounds daily and to take Ibuprofen 600 mg, three times daily to reduce pain and swelling. You possess Dr. Okay's written diagnosis and prognosis, along with copies of my medical records and x-rays.

Hint ±


MEDICAL HISTORY

My medical history is unremarkable. In June 2009 I gave birth to my daughter at Springfield Memorial Hospital. The birth was normal and without complications. In October 2011 I was treated for dehydration resulting from the flu at the Walk-In Clinic in Springfield, Massachusetts. At the time of the event made the basis of my injury claim with you, I was fully recovered and in excellent health.

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


WORK HISTORY

I have been employed for the last three years as an assistant manager at Mahoney's Restaurant in Springfield, Massachusetts. Prior to that, I was employed for five years as a waitress at the Emblem Restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts. Before that, I was a high school student at Wilbraham High School in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. During the last eight years I have missed less than 10 days of work due to injury or illness.

Hint ±
A consistent work history shows you're a responsible and contributing member of society. Communicate to the adjuster that missing work is unusual for you, and that you rarely miss work due to illness.


DAMAGES

The following is a list of my medical bills and other financial losses related to this claim. I have sent you copies of my medical records and bills, along with copies of receipts for medications and bandages. You also possess a letter from my employer confirming my lost wages.

Hint ±
List all your expenses, including your medical and chiropractic bills, medicines, bandages, prorated amounts for the gasoline used driving to treatment, lost wages, etc. Don't include pain and suffering in this list. As you will see below, pain and suffering is an additional amount added to your documented expenses.


Walk-In Clinic
Medications, splints, bandages
Lost Wages

$800.00
$325.00
$1,400.00

After careful consideration of liability and damages, and a review of standard settlements for similar hand and forearm injury cases, I am convinced a fair and reasonable settlement inclusive of my pain and suffering is $5,900.00.

Hint ±
For soft tissue injuries like abrasions, bruising, and sprains, you can use a multiple of 2 to 5 times the victim's medical bills to come up with a total settlement demand amount. The multiple represents compensation for the victim's pain and suffering.


I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

_________________
Pam McRay
3252 Houston Rd.
Springfield, MA 01102
555-235-2590
pam@example.com

Hint ±
Only list contact information 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