Get closer to settlement for your bicycle-car injury claim with these helpful hints and sample demand letter to the insurance company.
Getting hit by a car is a bicyclist’s worse nightmare. More and more, communities encourage the health and ecological benefits of bicycling with dedicated bike lanes on public roadways.
When cyclists share the road with motor vehicles, accidents are bound to happen.
If you’ve been injured by a careless motorist, there are steps you can take to build a strong bicycle accident claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Severe injury claims are complicated and should be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney to get anywhere near a fair settlement.
If you’ve recovered from relatively minor injuries and only missed a few weeks of work, you can learn how to negotiate a personal injury claim to reach a reasonable settlement. Your negotiations with the insurance company kick off with a written demand for compensation.
Learn more about How to Write an Effective Demand Letter.
Create a Compelling Demand Packet
You’ll need them to accurately calculate the settlement value of your injury claim and must also include copies in your demand packet.
You’ll also need copies of other vital evidence, such as:
Make copies of all your evidence and proof of loss to send with your demand letter.
Drafting an Impressive Letter
You can prepare a demand letter that looks just as good as one sent from a law office with a word-processing application and some good quality paper.
Choose white bond paper for your letter. You might already have some if you previously sent a notification letter to the insurance company.
Use the word processor review functions to catch spelling and grammar errors. Double-check to make sure the names of people and locations are spelled correctly.
Your demand letter should include:
- Statement of Facts: A detailed description of what happened before, during and after the collision
- Liability: Here’s where you meet your burden of proof by citing evidence and explaining why the motorist is responsible for causing your injuries
- Injuries: Describe the physical injuries, emotional distress, and pain and suffering you’ve endured since the collision
- Damages: A detailed cost list of your special and general damages
Make a copy of your signed demand letter and enclosed documentation for your insurance claim file.
Send the letter by USPS certified mail, return receipt requested. When the green card comes back, confirming your letter was delivered, attach it to your copy of the demand letter.
Sample Bicycle-Car Accident Demand Letter
See how to include all the important elements of a convincing letter in this sample demand for compensation after a fictitious bicycle-car collision.
Click the buttons to see helpful hints for writing your letter.
456 Maple Rd.
Tempe, Arizona, 04919
August 26, 2020
Classic Insurance Company
123 Street – Suite A
Copper, Arizona 04929
Attn: Jackie Cooper
Your Insured: Sandra Franklin
Re: Auto Collision on March 10, 2020
Claim Number: CIC000564
FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY
Dear Ms. Cooper:
As you know, on or about March 10, 2020, at approximately 8:00 a.m. I was seriously injured while riding my bicycle when your insured crashed into me while driving her 2019 Jaguar XJ.
If not for the negligence of your insured, Sandra Franklin, I would not have suffered my injuries and subsequent lost wages, pain and suffering.
Your insured’s negligence was the direct cause of my injuries. At all times, while riding my bicycle, I was paying attention to my surroundings and following all applicable traffic laws.
The injuries I suffered caused me substantial pain and discomfort for an extended period of time. I was treated for my injuries at the Family Clinic in Tempe, Arizona.
I want to make clear from the outset that I never asked for any of this to happen. Before March 10, 2020, I enjoyed a full life free of pain and discomfort. All that changed when I was hit by your insured.
I endured and continue to endure substantial pain and discomfort. In addition to my pain and discomfort, I sustained financial losses, including medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
On May 10, 2020, at approximately 8:00 a.m., I was riding my bicycle northbound on 32nd Street. The weather was clear and dry. I was riding in the marked bicycle lane created by the City of Tempe.
I was approaching Main Street when suddenly, and without warning, your insured turned right while attempting to enter the parking lot of the Target store located at 1100 32nd Street.
As your insured turned right, she cut me off. I braked as quickly as I could, but wasn’t able to stop before your insured, while driving her 2019 Jaguar XJ, crashed into my left side.
The violent collision threw me over the handlebars of my Secteur road bicycle, and I was slammed down on the pavement ahead. I sustained cuts, abrasions, and deep bruises to my hands, knees, and arms.
Your insured stopped and immediately told me it was my fault. She said I should have slowed down. Another driver, who witnessed the crash, also stopped and called 911.
The police arrived within ten minutes. After investigating the scene and listening to the witness’s version of the collision, City of Tempe Police Officer L. Roberts issued a citation to your insured for failure to yield.
The witness, Marge Cummings of 4566 Elroy Street in Tempe, Arizona, told the police your insured failed to slow down and appeared to turn into the Target parking lot without looking out for me. Ms. Cumming’s statement is attached to the enclosed copy of the police report.
The diagram on the police report drawn by Officer L. Roberts, clearly shows your insured turned into me. My Secteur Road Bicycle was damaged beyond repair.
I called my husband, John Douglas. He arrived and, after placing the wreckage of my Secteur bicycle in the trunk of his car, drove me to the Family Clinic located at 180 Osborn Street, Tempe, Arizona. There I received treatment for my injuries.
I work part-time as a clerk at CJS store located at 467 Main Street in Tempe, Arizona. My duties include stocking shelves, checking out customers, and other physical labor. Because my hands were injured and bandaged, I was unable to work for three weeks.
INJURIES AND TREATMENT
I was treated for my injuries at the Family Clinic, located at 180 Osborn Street. Dr. Ron Helbard prescribed the antibiotic Ampicillin to treat possible infection to my hands, legs, and arms. Dr. Helbard also prescribed Darvocet #30, 10mg every four hours for my pain. After the first week, the narcotic pain medications were tapered down and replaced with non-narcotic pain relievers.
As you can see in the doctor’s notes dated March 10, 2020, the collision left me with severe “road rash” abrasions across the palms of both hands, both arms, and my legs. The doctor had to debride bits of gravel and dirt from the deep abrasions on my hands and knees.
My hands were most severely abraded. The violent contact with the pavement when I was forcefully ejected from my bicycle removed the top layers of skin from my palms.
My safety helmet saved me from a bad head injury, but the crash also left me with deep bruises on my arms, hips, and legs, and general soreness and stiffness in my entire body.
Dr. Helbard instructed me to keep the injuries cleaned and bandaged for at least two weeks and not to return to work for three weeks to allow my injuries enough time to heal.
At Dr. Helbard’s instruction, on April 4, 2020, I returned to the Family Clinic. There Dr. Helbard informed me my injuries were healing well, and I could soon return to work.
I have been employed part-time as a cashier/stock clerk at the CJS store located at 467 Main Street in Tempe, Arizona, for three years. As you can see from the enclosed wage statement from my employer, I work a minimum of twenty hours per week. I am a dependable worker and have maintained an excellent attendance record until I was injured by your insured’s negligence.
SPECIAL AND GENERAL DAMAGES
Enclosed are copies of my medical records and medical bills, along with copies of receipts for medications, bandages, and costs of travel to and from the clinic. Also enclosed is a letter from my employer confirming my lost wages.
To compensate me for the physical pain, emotional distress, and the financial costs I sustained because of the negligence of your insured, I demand the total amount of $5,260 to resolve my personal injury claim.
Please respond within fifteen (15) business days. I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.
Consider Calling an Attorney
You might be able to negotiate your injury claim without a hitch, but it’s good to know you can consult an attorney at any point in the negotiations process.
When you’ve got evidence of the motorist’s liability for the crash and proof of your damages, most adjusters will settle your claim without too much haggling.
Unfortunately, there are some hard-nosed adjusters who will fight you every step of the way, and the occasional lazy adjuster who will let your claim languish.
Sometimes all it takes is getting an attorney involved to motivate the adjuster to get moving toward a decent settlement.
Most reputable personal injury attorneys don’t charge injury victims for their initial consultation, and there’s no obligation. It costs nothing to find out what an experienced attorney can do for you.
How Much is Your Injury Claim Worth?
Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney…