Here’s a sample demand letter to the insurance company from an injured hotel guest. Get helpful tips for writing your own demand for compensation.
When you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you have a right to expect clean and safe accommodations. But sometimes accidents happen when you’re away from home.
If you’re injured in a hotel or resort, you can seek compensation from the negligent hotel’s insurance company.
Common hotel injuries include slip and fall accidents, injuries from broken furniture, bed bugs, burns, and more. Just as injuries are unique to every victim, so are the facts of each personal injury claim.
Severe or complicated injury claims are best handled by an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure the best payout.
However, if you’ve recovered from relatively mild injuries, you can probably handle your own claim with the hotel’s insurance company.
The negotiations phase of the injury claims process kicks off when you send a formal, written demand for compensation to the insurance company.
Learn more about How to Write an Effective Demand Letter.
Assemble an Impressive Demand Packet
When you’re handling your own insurance claim, you can prepare a demand packet that is just as impressive as one from an attorney’s office.
A complete demand packet has a professional-looking demand letter and copies of the evidence that supports your insurance claim.
Important evidence might include:
To determine how much money to demand, calculate the settlement value of your injury claim by totaling your “special damages” and “general damages.”
Special damages, or “hard costs,” are expenses you can confirm with bills, receipts, and wage statements.
You won’t have bills or receipts for “general damages” like emotional distress, but there are other ways to justify your claim for pain and suffering.
Writing a Professional-Looking Demand Letter
You can write a professional-looking demand letter with a little attention to detail:
- Check spelling and grammar
- Confirm the spelling of names and locations
- Double-check your math
- Print your letter on good quality bond paper
Your demand letter should include:
- Statement of Facts: What happened before, during, and after you were injured
- Liability: How the hotel’s negligence caused your injuries
- Injuries: A description of your injuries and how they affected your life
- Damages: A list of the dollar amounts of your damages
Then make a copy of the complete packet for your accident claim file.
Send the letter by USPS certified mail, return receipt requested. When the return receipt comes back, attach it to your copy of the packet.
It helps to have a copy of the packet in front of you when you’re negotiating with the adjuster.
Sample Hotel Injury Demand Letter
Our sample compensation demand is from a fictional hotel guest who was scalded in the shower while on vacation. You might use a similar format when writing your demand letter to a hotel’s insurance company.
Click for tips about writing your demand letter.
36 James Way
Newark, NJ 09621
February 24, 2020
Traditional Insurance Company
1001 High Street
Boston, MA 02108
Attn: Ann Smith
Your Insured: Luxury Hotel Orlando
Re: Injury on January 13, 2020
Claim Number: PI00002021
FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY
Dear Ms. Smith:
As you know, I was seriously injured on the morning of January 13, 2020, at the Luxury Hotel Orlando when I was painfully scalded by exceedingly hot water in the shower.
I had to have emergency treatment for the first- and second-degree thermal burns to my torso and legs. The painful burns ruined my vacation and kept me out of work for ten more days after my return home.
I was injured in my hotel room shower. I had no reason to believe the hot water faucet in the shower would deliver dangerously scalding water. I didn’t think hotels were allowed to heat water to near boiling for sinks and showers.
That morning, I was the first one to hop in the shower. After adjusting the faucet to mid-way between the hot and cold, I turned on the showerhead. The blast of super-heated water hit the front of my body from my chest to my knees. I screamed and jumped back, already in agonizing, burning pain.
I adjusted the shower faucet to what any reasonable person would believe to be a comfortably warm setting, not too hot or cold.
There was no way for me to anticipate that the hotel would negligently allow a faulty thermostat to superheat guest room shower water. I was seriously burned through no fault of my own.
I am seeking compensation for the injury-related damages I suffered because of your insured’s negligence. Those damages include my medical bills, lost wages, and my pain and suffering.
SUMMARY OF FACTS
On January 12, 2020, my family and I checked into your insured’s hotel, the Luxury Hotel, in Orlando, Florida. I was with my family on vacation.
On the morning of January 13, I was the first to take a shower. Being unfamiliar with the shower dial, I made sure to only turn the dial halfway between the hot and cold settings.
Expecting the temperature to settle at a level halfway between hot and cold, I stayed under the flow of the showerhead. Suddenly, and without warning, the water turned extremely hot, and just as quickly began to scald my upper and lower front body. The scalding happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to react.
I screamed and jumped back. I got out of the shower as fast as I could. I was in great pain and felt like the front of my body was on fire from my chest down to my knees. I cried out to my husband, John. My front torso and legs were already blazing red from the burning water.
John called the front desk, told them I’d been scalded in the shower, and asked them to call an ambulance.
I was in excruciating pain and couldn’t bear to be touched. At the same time, I didn’t want to be completely naked in front of my children and strangers. My husband pulled a large sheet off the bed and wrapped it around me so that I could hold it away from the burned parts of my body.
John carefully helped me to the edge of the bed and draped the sheet around me. I was in too much pain to sit or lie down. I was shaking and shivering from the shock and the pain. Our two young children were already frightened by my screams, so I was trying to keep from sobbing for their sake.
The paramedics arrived about fifteen minutes later. They examined my injuries, treated me for mild shock, and transported me to Lakeshore Hospital.
The paramedics assured my husband that my injuries were painful but not life-threatening. We don’t know anyone in the Orlando area. It was early in the morning, so my husband had to help our young children get dressed and get them breakfast before they all followed me to the hospital.
INJURIES AND TREATMENT
I was treated for my injuries by Dr. Nelson at the Lakeshore Hospital emergency room in Orlando, Florida. After a thorough examination, Dr. Nelson concluded that I sustained first and second-degree thermal burns to my front torso and legs.
Dr. Nelson noted in my medical records that my injuries were a direct result of my being scalded with hot water from the shower in my hotel room.
The worst burns were to my chest and upper abdomen, where the scalding water directly hit my body. I was treated with antibiotic ointment to the burned areas, and loose, sterile dressings to my chest and upper abdomen.
Dr. Nelson said it would take approximately two weeks for the burns to heal fully. She prescribed acetaminophen with codeine for the pain to get me through the next few days and our flight home. After that, I could switch to over-the-counter pain relievers. I was to avoid restrictive clothing and continue using the antibiotic ointment daily.
Because of my injuries, I was unable to join my husband and two children at Disney World.
Under doctor’s orders, I was forced to stay in the hotel room covered in the antibiotic ointment, taking pain medication. I was suffering from severe pain and discomfort for the three days our family was in Orlando on vacation.
After a miserable and painful flight home, my injuries kept me home from work for another week and a half.
I have been a full-time secretary at the Hartshorn Business Office in Newark, New Jersey, for five years. My job duties include frequent sitting and standing, typing, filing, greeting clients, and attending business meetings. Professional business attire is required.
I enjoy my job, and until I was seriously burned because of your insured’s negligence, I had an excellent attendance record. Upon returning from vacation, I missed ten days of work because I couldn’t wear business clothing or move around comfortably until my burns healed.
Below I’ve listed my medical bills and other economic losses. Copies of supporting documentation 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 $8,700 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
The hardest part of handling your own injury claim is dealing with the insurance adjuster. It’s good to know that you can contact an attorney at any time during the negotiations process.
Minor injury claims typically settle after a few rounds of offers and counter-offers with the adjuster, but sometimes settlement discussions fall apart.
Whether you have a stubborn adjuster who refuses to come off a low-ball settlement offer or any other reason your negotiations stall, qualified legal help is always available.
Every hotel injury claim is different, and some are more difficult to negotiate on your own. Don’t be bullied into settling for less, even when the adjuster says that’s all you can get. You’d be surprised how fast the adjuster can “find” more money to settle your claim after an attorney gets involved.
Most attorneys don’t charge for their first consultation. There’s no commitment and no cost to find out what a good attorney can do for you.
How Much is Your Injury Claim Worth?
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