Just as injuries are unique to every victim, so are the facts of each injury claim. This sample demand letter is meant to serve as a guide to help you construct your own demand letter; simply substitute your own information where applicable.
This letter deals with an injury claim against the owner of a beauty salon, but the format can be applied to a claim against any type of business.
Click on the buttons to understand the reasoning behind the different sections and their importance in settlement negotiations.
Learn more about beauty salon injury claims here.
Beauty Salon Injury Demand Letter Example
July 19, 2014
Doncair Insurance Company
123 Street – Suite A
Los Angeles, CA 90001
FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY
To facilitate out-of-court settlements, courts have traditionally protected the contents of pre-trial settlement negotiations. This means if your case goes to trial, what you say during negotiations can’t be used against you. Because a demand letter is considered part of pre-trial negotiations, judges typically disallow the content of these letters 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 expectation of confidentiality.
Dear Mr. Ugoawae:
As you know, I was seriously injured on July 10, 2014, at approximately 11:00 a.m., when your insured’s employee applied a coloring dye to my hair and scalp. The ingredients were left on past the manufacturer’s designated time limit. As a result, my scalp was seriously burned, causing excruciating pain and discomfort.
This was the first time I visited your insured’s salon, and I was unfamiliar with the hair dye or the amount of time it was supposed to be left on my hair and scalp.
Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, your insured is responsible for the negligent actions of his employees and the resulting injuries they cause to others.
As a result of your insured’s negligence, I sustained damages including medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
I want to make clear from the outset I never asked for any of this to happen. Before July 10, 2014, I enjoyed having my hair done at many beauty salons, all without incident or injury. On July 10th, however, all that changed. My life was abruptly and permanently altered as a direct and proximate result of your insured’s negligence.
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.
On July 10, 2014, I visited your insured’s beauty salon located at 1290 Apple Street. I had previously made an appointment to come in and have my hair dyed. This was the first time I visited your insured’s salon. I decided to go there after reading in the paper the offer for a discount on hair coloring and permanents.
After arriving at the salon, I waited for approximately ten minutes before being greeted by Sue Wang. As you know, Sue Wang was the employee who subsequently administered the hair dye. Once I was seated, Ms. Wang asked me what hair coloring I preferred. She discussed the procedure in detail, explaining how she would first wash my hair, cut it, and then apply the hair dye.
Ms. Wang led me to the wash basin where she washed my hair, put a towel around it and directed me to another station. Approximately five minutes later, Ms. Wang began to apply the hair dye. She seemed distracted. At the time she was speaking to a fellow employee who was attending to another salon patron. After applying the hair dye Ms. Wang left my side. I looked at my watch and noted it was 11:40 a.m.
Ms. Wang then seemed to disappear. As I sat waiting, my scalp began to feel uncomfortable. After a while, I began to experience a burning sensation on my scalp. I stood up and began to walk around the salon looking for Ms. Wang. After several more minutes, I found the salon’s manager, whose name I subsequently learned was John Chin.
I told Mr. Chin that Ms. Wang applied hair dye to my hair at 11:30 and it was now 12:00. I further explained that my scalp was burning. Mr. Chin asked me to sit while he located Ms. Wang. Apparently, she was outside the salon smoking a cigarette. At this point my scalp felt as if it were on fire. I demanded Ms. Wang immediately remove the covering from my hair. As she did, I noticed my hair had a blue hue to it.
After the covering was removed, I stood up and called over to Mr. Chin. He could see how upset I was. He offered me a coupon for a free pedicure. Astonished, I gathered my coat and walked out of the salon. At that point I was in tears. When I got home I looked in the mirror. I noticed my hair was frazzled and blue, and my scalp was still burning!
I asked my roommate to drive me to the Hempstead Hospital Emergency Room. After looking at my scalp, the doctor told me the chemicals in the hair dye were very caustic. He said the dye had been applied too liberally and had been left on for too long, causing my scalp to burn. He prescribed an ointment called Skinheal and prescribed Vicodin for my pain.
While the ointment and pain medication helped, my hair still had a blue hue to it. As a result of my pain and discomfort, coupled with the color of my hair, I was unable to go to work from July 10, 2014 to July 17, 2014.
I subsequently purchased the same hair product Ms. Wang applied to my hair. As I read the instructions, I quickly learned the manufacturer’s suggested time for the hair dye to be left on a person’s scalp was fifteen minutes. Ms. Wang left the hair dye on my scalp for over 30 minutes.
INJURIES AND TREATMENT
I was treated at Hempstead Hospital’s Emergency Room by Doctor Avery Allen. After a thorough examination of my hair and scalp, Dr. Allen told me my scalp was red and scaly. He told me my scalp suffered second-degree burns and those burns were a direct result of the application and duration of the hair dye to my hair and scalp.
You possess of a copy of Dr. Avery’s medical narrative. It clearly supports the cause of my injuries and the painful results. You also possess copies of the prescription for Skinheal ointment and Vicodin prescribed by Dr. Avery. I followed Dr. Avery’s orders precisely, applying the ointment and taking the pain medication as prescribed.
I am a 34-year-old female with an unremarkable medical history. My prior medical treatment 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 scalp injuries sustained at the hands of your insured.
I have been employed as a receptionist for the accounting firm of Smith and Jones, L.L.P. since May 10th, 2010. In that time, I have only missed four days of work due to illness. As a direct and proximate result of your insured’s negligence, I was forced to take one week off from work (as ordered by my doctor).
The following is a list of my medical bills and other out-of-pocket costs related to my injuries. I have attached copies of representative bills and receipts, along with a letter from my employer confirming my lost wages.
After careful consideration of liability and damages, and an in-depth review of standard settlements for injury claims with similar fact patterns, I am convinced a fair and reasonable settlement inclusive of my pain and suffering is $3,532.00.
For soft-tissue injuries like minor burns, lacerations, sprains, etc., you can use a multiple of 2 to 5 times the victim’s medical bills to account for pain and suffering. Add lost wages and other expenses to this amount to arrive at a total settlement demand.
It’s rare for an adjuster to accept an initial demand, it’s more of a starting point for further negotiations, so be sure to ask for slightly more than you’ll be happy with.
I look forward to hearing from you.
523 Red Brick Rd.
San Francisco, CA 32520
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