Make a strong compensation demand for injuries caused by defective products. Use our sample letter and helpful tips for writing your demand letter.
When we purchase products for our homes or personal use, we expect them to be safe and reliable. Every state and jurisdiction has laws to protect consumers from defective products.
From cosmetics to car parts, if a defective product injures you, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages.
Damages in product liability claims can include your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Determining liability can be tricky in defective product cases. You might have a valid claim against multiple parties.
Complicated claims should only be handled by a personal injury attorney.
Straightforward claims for minor injuries can be made directly to the product manufacturer or their insurance company. If you’re willing to brush up on the injury claim process, you can probably handle your own claim.
Start the negotiations phase of your injury claim by sending a formal demand letter for specific compensation.
Learn more about How to Write an Effective Demand Letter.
Put Together an Impressive Demand Packet
Don’t let the adjuster push you into a settlement before you’ve recovered. Once you sign a settlement agreement, there’s no going back, even if your injuries are worse than you thought.
During your recovery, gather copies of the documentation you’ll need to support your injury claim:
- Medical bills and records
- Receipts for out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost wages statement
- Witness statements
Use regular printer paper to make copies of your evidence to send with the demand letter. Never send original documents to the adjuster. Keep original documents tucked away in your injury claim file.
Figure out how much compensation to demand by using your bills, receipts, and wage loss statement to calculate the value of your injury claim.
Write a Professional-Looking Demand Letter
Your demand letter can set the tone for further negotiations with the product manufacturer or their insurance company. With some attention to detail, your letter can be just as impressive as one from an attorney’s office.
- Use your program review functions to correct grammar and spelling
- Manually check the spelling for names and locations
- Double-check your calculations and make sure dollar amounts are correct
- Print your letter on white or ivory-colored bond paper
- Sign the letter in black or blue ink
Your demand letter should include:
- Statement of Facts: Describe how the defective product injured you
- Liability: Explain why the manufacturer is responsible for your damages
- Injuries: Describe your injuries and how they disrupted your life
- Damages: Detail the dollar amounts of all your damages
Make a copy of the complete demand packet for your injury file.
Send the packet by USPS certified mail, return receipt requested. When the green card comes back, attach it to your copy of the packet.
Sample Demand Letter for Product Liability Claim
A defective desk lamp badly burned our fictional victim. Take a look at our sample demand letter to the product manufacturer’s insurance company. We’ve included practical tips you can use to write your own demand for compensation.
Click for practical hints about writing your demand letter.
1567 South Mill Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85017
April 16, 2020
ABC Insurance Company
123 Gray Street, Suite A
Albany, NY 10327
Attn: Harold Holden
Your Insured: Ajax Corporation
Re: Injury on February 15, 2020
Claim Number: PL009331
FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY
Dear Mr. Holden:
As you know, I was terribly injured on February 15, 2020, with serious burns from a defective Triton desk lamp manufactured by your insured, Ajax Corporation.
I had to have emergency treatment for the severe burns to the fingers and palm of my dominant right hand. The painful burns kept me from using my dominant hand for activities of daily living and kept me out of work for five weeks.
Your insured was negligent in failing to provide a warning label on the lamp concerning possible burns from touching the bulb housing.
In addition, your insured was negligent in manufacturing a dangerous lamp intended for use on a home desk that would presumably be used by school children as well as adults.
I would not have knowingly purchased a desk lamp that was too hot to touch. The benefit of a gooseneck lamp is the ability to move the lamp head to put the light where it’s needed. I put my hand on the lamp to redirect the light on my paperwork, just as any other gooseneck lamp owner would do.
I had no way of knowing the lamp head was so dangerously hot that the briefest contact would leave my fingers and palm seriously burned, through no fault of my own.
I suffered serious injuries, extreme pain and suffering, and five weeks of lost wages because of the negligence of Ajax Corporation.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
I purchased the Triton gooseneck desk lamp on February 15, 2020. There were no warnings on the box, on the lamp, or in the user guide that the outside of the lamp would be dangerously hot.
As recommended in the user guide, I put a plain 60-watt lightbulb in the lamp. I put the lamp on my home desk, turned it on, and began working on my laptop. About an hour later, I closed my laptop and decided to sort mail and pay bills.
I reached over to direct the lamplight on my paperwork. As I took hold of the lamp head with my right hand, my fingers and part of my palm exploded in burning pain. I screamed and jerked my hand away. The fingertips on my right hand and my palm were severely burned.
In excruciating pain, I clutched my right wrist, crying and screaming. My husband, Michael, came running. I managed to gasp out that the lamp burned me.
Michael immediately got me out of the chair and into the nearest bathroom, where he ran cool water over my scorched hand and fingers. Thankfully, Michael had the presence of mind to remove the ring from my hand ahead of the swelling.
Michael called a neighbor, Fran Simons, to stay with our children. Fran came right over. She could see I was in excruciating pain. I was shaking, cold, clammy, and crying. She immediately took charge of my terrified children and tried to reassure them that Mommy would be okay. A copy of Ms. Simon’s statement is enclosed.
Michael wrapped my hand in wet towels and took me straight to the Phoenix Mercy Hospital emergency room.
INJURIES AND TREATMENT
When we got to the Mercy Hospital emergency room, I was in so much pain I was going into shock. Because I was a burn patient in distress, I was seen right away by Dr. Elmore Lathan.
Dr. Lathan and the nurses immediately began treating me for shock, including starting an IV in my left arm. I was given IV medication for pain and nausea. The medication started working, so I could tolerate having my burns more thoroughly examined and treated.
After examining my right hand and fingers, Dr. Lathan informed me I had sustained severe second-degree burns on my right fingers and a very bad first degree burn on my right palm. Dr. Lathan applied an antibiotic ointment to my hand and wrapped it in fresh gauze.
Doctor Lathan said it would take four to six weeks for my fingers to heal completely. He said I should follow up with my primary care provider to monitor for scarring and infection.
As you’ll see in the hospital records, Dr. Lathan stressed that until the skin on my fingertips was fully healed, I could not perform any tasks that put pressure on my fingertips. He specifically said not to use my right hand for activities like typing, playing a musical instrument, or even buttoning clothes.
Until the skin was closed, I had to use special non-stick bandages and ointment to the burned areas. The doctor gave me a prescription for acetaminophen with codeine to take round the clock for the first few days. I was then to taper off the prescription pain pills and begin using ibuprofen for pain and swelling.
Because I work primarily as a typist, the doctor gave me a work slip for my employer that it was medically necessary for me to be off work for at least five weeks.
The following Monday, on February 17, I saw my primary care provider, Dr. Sharon Newman. Dr. Newman examined the burn on my right fingers and palm and agreed with the prognosis from Dr. Latham.
As you can see in her notes, Dr. Newman reiterated the importance of not using my right fingers for typing or any other task that would stress my burned fingertips. She said to prevent scarring and infection; it would be at least another month before I could use my fingers.
I did not want to risk further damage to my fingers, so I diligently followed the advice of my doctors. Even with strong medications, pain from the burns kept me in torment for days. I couldn’t sleep through the night and could barely eat. It was the worst time of my life.
Even when the worst of the pain began to lessen, I still suffered because I had lost the use of my dominant hand. I had trouble getting dressed, taking care of my children, and needed extra help with almost every household task.
Before my injuries, I lived a full life, free of pain and discomfort. Since my injuries, I’ve experienced serious pain and discomfort, anxiety, guilt and depression. All these are directly attributable to your insured’s negligence.
I had three follow-up visits with Dr. Newman until my burned fingers and palm were healed. I was finally released from medical restrictions and returned to work on March 23, 2020.
I have worked as a full-time transcriptionist for the Acme Business Group for the past three years. My job requires me to spend eight hours a day typing while listening to recorded dictation.
To meet my productivity goals, I have to be able to type at least 65 words per minute with 97 percent accuracy. There was no way to perform my job duties until my burned fingers completely healed.
Until your insured’s negligence left me in terrible pain and without the use of one hand, I had a nearly perfect attendance record on my job, with an exceptional productivity record.
I never asked for any of this to happen. Because of your insured’s negligence, I lost five full weeks of work and lost the opportunity for productivity bonuses that quarter.
Below is an itemized list of my damages. Copies of my medical bills and other supporting documents are enclosed.
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 $21,700 to resolve my injury claim.
Please respond within fifteen (15) business days. I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.
Legal Help is Always Available
Whether you’re dealing with a company representative or the company’s insurance company, you can’t have too much evidence in support of a product liability claim. With strong evidence, you might be able to settle a minor injury claim on your own.
Unfortunately, product liability claims can quickly get complicated. It’s important to know that good legal help is always available.
Your injuries from a dangerous product might be due to one or more types of defects caused by the manufacturer.
Manufacturer defects fall into three main categories:
- Defective design
- Defective manufacture
- Defective marketing (“Failure to warn”)
An attorney can decide the types of defects that may apply to your injury claim. Just as important, an attorney will determine who should pay for your damages. Liable parties might include companies who:
- Made the defective product
- Made the defective product part
- Assembled or installed the product
- Sold you the product
In many product liability cases, you bear the burden of proving the other party is liable. Attorneys have the legal knowledge and tools to get at critical evidence, like corporate records, that you could never obtain on your own.
Don’t give up on your defective product injury claim. Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney about the merits of your case.
Most injury attorneys don’t charge a fee for their initial consultation. There’s no obligation, and it costs nothing to find out what a good attorney can do for you.
How Much is Your Injury Claim Worth?
Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney…