Sample Demand Letter for Trip and Fall Injury at an Apartment Complex

Get compensation for injuries caused by a negligent landlord. Use our sample demand letter and tips to help with your injury claim to the insurance company.

Slips, trips, and falls are common causes of injuries among people of all ages.

If you fell because of a hazard on someone else’s property, the property owner may be liable for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If you’re injured at an apartment complex, you have the right to seek compensation from the negligent landlord, whether you live there or were visiting. The property owner is obligated to keep the common areas free from hazards.

Injuries from trips and falls can be devastating. Severe injury claims should be handled by a skilled personal injury attorney to get maximum compensation from the insurance company.

If you’ve recovered from relatively minor injuries, you should be able to get a fair settlement on your own, by negotiating directly with the negligent landlord’s insurance company.

When handling your own insurance claim, the negotiations part of the claim process gets underway when you send a formal demand letter.

Putting Together Your Demand Packet

While you recover from your injuries, collect the evidence you need to build a strong claim, such as:

After you’ve finished treatment, use your bills, receipts, and wage loss information to calculate the value of your injury claim. Be sure to include all medical costs, even if your health insurance covered all or most of the billed amount.

Write a Convincing Demand Letter

With a little attention to detail, you can prepare a compensation demand letter that’s as professional-looking and convincing as one from an attorney’s office.

  • Eliminate grammar and spelling errors
  • Verify the spelling of names and addresses
  • Double-check your math calculations

Your demand letter should include:

  • Statement of Facts: Describe what happened before, during and after you were injured
  • Liability: Explain why the evidence shows the landlord is responsible for your injuries
  • Injuries: List your injuries and how they affected your life
  • Damages: Give an accounting of your special and general damages

Special damages” are costs and losses you can prove with bills, receipts, and lost income statements.

General damages,” like emotional distress, can’t be measured objectively, but there are ways to support your claim for pain and suffering.

Send the packet by USPS certified mail, return receipt requested. When the receipt comes back, attach it to your copy of the demand letter.

Sample Demand Letter for Trip and Fall Compensation

Our sample demand letter is from a fictional apartment dweller who is injured by a trip and fall in the common area of her apartment complex. We’ve included practical tips you can use to write your own demand letter to the insurance company.

Click for practical tips on writing your demand letter.

Jane R. Smith
1278 Highland Ave, Apt. 2B
Boston, MA 02112

November 10, 2020

The letter date should be the day you mail the packet.

Classic Insurance Company
1001 Bond Street
Columbus, OH 25401

Attn: Janet Mason

Your Insured: Dakota Apartments

Re: Injury on September 15, 2020

The insurance company usually refers to the injury date as the “Loss Date,” “Date of Loss,” or “DOL.”

Claim Number:  PI00002047

FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY

“For Settlement Purposes Only” tells the insurance company that your letter should not be used as evidence in litigation. Your demand might be different if you end up filing a lawsuit.

Dear Ms. Mason:

As you know, your insured is the owner of the Dakota Apartments in Boston, Massachusetts. I was painfully injured on September 15, 2020, at Dakota Apartments when I tripped and violently fell because of a dangerous hazard in your insured’s common area.

Using descriptive words like “dangerous” and “violently” help paint a vivid word picture of the circumstances surrounding your injuries. Don’t say you “accidentally” fell, as that might suggest the landlord wasn’t responsible for the hazard.

I had to have emergency treatment for a second-degree sprain to the Pectineus ligament in my right leg that kept me in pain, off my feet, and out of work for a month.

Like any tenant living in the Boston metropolitan area, I expected the landlord to keep the buildings and outdoor common areas clean and safe. I could not have known that the grassy common area, intended for the enjoyment of apartment residents, had a dangerously exposed metal lawn sprinkler head jutting up from the grass.

Furthermore, the dangerous conditions were worsened because your insured failed to remove the fallen leaves from the common areas, even though the leaves had been accumulating for two weeks. The walkway through the common area was hidden under the leaves, as was the dangerous metal sprinkler head in the lawn.

If not for your insured’s negligence, I would not have tripped over the sprinkler head and fallen. I suffered crippling injuries through no fault of my own.

Establish from the beginning that you didn’t do anything to cause your injuries. In states like Massachusetts, the adjuster can use comparative fault laws to reduce or deny your claim.

I am seeking compensation for the injury-related damages I suffered because of your insured’s negligence. Those damages include my medical expenses, lost wages, and my pain and suffering.

SUMMARY OF FACTS

I have been your insured’s tenant in the Dakota Apartment Complex, located at 1278 Highland Ave, Boston, Massachusetts for three years. I live in apartment 2B. On September 15, 2020, at around 6:00 p.m., I came home from a trip to the supermarket.

I parked in my assigned parking space and began walking toward my apartment carrying a bag of groceries. At that time, the weather was clear and dry. It was after sundown, and a blanket of fallen leaves covered the sidewalks and grassy areas, making it impossible to distinguish between the walkway and the lawn.

When I was about halfway to my building, I suddenly tripped over what I later learned was an exposed sprinkler head.

As I began to fall, I tried to steady myself, but my leg unnaturally twisted as I fell. As I slammed to the ground, I felt a searing pain in my right leg. The pain was so severe that I thought my leg was broken. I also had scrapes and bruises on my hands and arms.

I laid on the cold ground for several minutes, stunned and in shock from the pain. I finally was able to sit up. Thankfully, my phone was in my coat pocket. I called my roommate, Sara Donnelly, for help. I was crying and barely coherent.

Sara and her boyfriend rushed to help me. They lifted me from the ground, but my leg hurt so bad I couldn’t stand on it. I was in such bad shape; they carried me to Sara’s car and drove me straight to Allen Hospital in Boston.

INJURIES AND TREATMENT

I was treated at Allen Hospital by emergency room doctor John Sully. After x-rays ruled out broken bones, Dr. Sully diagnosed my injuries as a second-degree sprain to the Pectineus ligament in my right leg, commonly known as a severe groin pull, and abrasions and bruises to my hands and arms.

Review your medical records and use proper medical terminology when referring to your injuries. The better you understand your diagnosis and treatment protocol, the better you can respond to the adjuster if they challenge the severity of your soft-tissue injuries.

My upper leg was wrapped in a compression bandage and treated with ice packs. Dr. Sully ordered me to use crutches for the next four weeks. I was instructed to use ice packs every few hours for 15-20 minutes at a time, keep my leg elevated, and use ibuprofen for pain.

Dr. Sully said to stay off the leg completely for two weeks, then to have physical therapy for another two weeks to build strength and restore the range of motion to my right leg and knee.

As you can see in the treatment records, Dr. Sully specifically warned me not to try using my leg too fast, or risk further incapacitating injury. He gave me a referral for physical therapy.

Because my job as a restaurant server requires me to be on my feet, Dr. Sully gave me a note for my employer that it was medically necessary for me to be out of work for at least four weeks.

I was anxious to get on with my life and get back to work, so I followed the doctor’s orders to the letter. After two weeks, I started therapy at the Reserve Therapy Clinic, nearest to my home.

I needed help to navigate the shower and couldn’t get my own groceries or other necessities. Even with crutches, I couldn’t stand in the kitchen long enough to cook for myself. I was basically chair-bound and dependent on others for help with laundry and other activities of daily living.

The therapy was difficult and painful, but I stuck with it. This was a terrible time for me to be out of work and unable to get around on my own. I couldn’t drive without the use of my right leg, and couldn’t afford cab fare, so friends and family members took turns transporting me back and forth to therapy appointments.

I finally completed my physical therapy and returned to work on October 16, 2020. I’m not as quick on my feet as I was before your insured’s negligence caused my painful injuries, but I’m relieved to be back at work.

Let the adjuster know there was more to your injuries than just pain and discomfort. Your entire life was interrupted, making the most mundane daily activities difficult and uncomfortable.

WORK HISTORY

I am a full-time third-year student at Boston University through the BU online education program. I am working my way through college and have been employed full-time for the last three years as a waitress at the Embers Restaurant located on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.

As my manager will attest, I am a reliable employee and a hard worker. Before your insured’s negligence prevented me from working, I had an excellent attendance record.

Insurance adjusters are always on the lookout for malingerers. Be sure to point out that you have a strong work history and don’t miss work unless absolutely necessary.

Your insured cost me four full weeks of wages and tips. I need my income to cover my school tuition and living expenses. Without my income, I was forced to get help from family to make ends meet. I was embarrassed and depressed to lose my independence.

DAMAGES

The following is a list of damages related to my injury. Copies of my supporting documentation are enclosed.

Allen Hospital

$955

Reserve Therapy Clinic

$1,250

Lost Wages

$3,680

Pain and Suffering

$12,000

Total Damages

$17,885

DEMAND

To compensate me for the physical pain, emotional distress, and the financial losses I sustained because of the negligence of your insured, I demand the total amount of $17,885 to resolve my injury claim.

Please respond within fifteen (15) business days. I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Jane R. Smith
555-490-6857
janers@example.com

If you include an email address, use your home email. Employers have legal access to anything in your work email.

When You Need an Attorney

Most minor injury claims can be settled with a little patience and persistence, but sometimes no matter what you do, negotiations stall.

Your claim might be in danger if the adjuster has taken so long that you’re running up against your state’s statute of limitations. The insurance company isn’t obligated to help you get the claim settled before the statute runs out. They know if you haven’t settled or filed a lawsuit before the statutory deadline, you lose any right to compensation.

If the adjuster won’t come off an absurdly low offer, tries to pin the blame on you, or has some other excuse to hold up your settlement, it’s good to know you have the right to consult an attorney at any point in the negotiations process.

Most personal injury attorneys don’t charge for their initial consultation. Gather up your documentation and talk to an attorney. Your discussion is strictly confidential.

Protect your right to fair compensation. There’s no obligation on your part, and it costs nothing to find out what an experienced attorney can do for you.

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Charles R. Gueli, Esq. is a personal injury attorney with over 20 years of legal experience. He’s admitted to the NY State Bar, and been named a Super Lawyer for the NY Metro area, an exclusive honor awarded to the top five percent of attorneys. Charles has worked extensively in the areas of auto accidents,... Read More >>