Demand Letter Example for a Motorcycle Accident Claim

Take advantage of our sample letter and valuable hints for demanding compensation after a motorcycle accident.

Any traffic accident is bad news, but motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable in a crash.

If you’ve been injured by a motorist while riding a motorcycle, you expect the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company to cover your losses. But getting a fair settlement for your injuries isn’t always easy.

Severe or permanent injury claims should always be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney.

However, you don’t always need a lawyer to negotiate relatively minor personal injury claims with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You can invest the time to learn how to negotiate an accident claim on your own.

Typically, your settlement discussion gets started with a written demand for compensation.

Putting Together a Complete Demand Packet

You’ll need to gather your medical records and bills, receipts, and a wage loss statement from your employer to account for all your hard costs, also called “special damages.”

“General damages” include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and the emotional cost of your injuries that can’t be measured with a bill or receipt.

You’ll calculate the settlement value of your injury claim by totaling your hard costs and factoring in your general damages.

You’ll also need copies of other critical evidence, such as:

Include photos and video from the accident scene, and pictures of your wounds taken throughout your recovery.

Make copies of all your supporting documentation to send with your demand letter.

Drafting a Convincing Demand Letter

You can prepare a demand letter that looks just as good as one sent from a law office with some attention to detail and good quality paper.

Most attorneys use white or cream-colored bond paper for their correspondence.

Use the word processor review functions to check for spelling and grammar errors. You’ll need to manually check the spelling of names and places.

Since you’ll be demanding money, be sure to double-check your math and confirm the dollar amounts are typed correctly.

Your demand letter should include:

  • Statement of Facts: A detailed description of what happened before and after the crash
  • Liability: Point to the evidence showing the other driver was at fault for the collision
  • Injuries: Detail the injuries, emotional distress, and pain and suffering you’ve endured
  • Damages: A detailed list of your special and general damages

Make a copy of the complete demand packet for your insurance claim file. You’ll want to have your copy of the packet handy when you’re in negotiations with the adjuster.

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

Sample Motorcycle Accident Demand Letter

Take a look at our sample demand letter sent by a fictitious motorcycle accident victim to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Click the buttons to see helpful tips for writing your demand letter. 

Neil Smith
654 Elm Street
Wichita, KS 67202

August 26, 2020

Traditional Insurance Company
123 Street – Suite A
Tempe, Arizona 04929

Attn: William Kramer

Your Insured: Karen Samuels

Re: Auto Collision on May 11, 2020

The insurance company may refer to the collision date as the “Loss Date,” “Date of Loss,” or simply “DOL.”

Claim Number:  TIC000564

FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY

Adding the phrase “For Settlement Purposes Only” means the content of your demand letter should not be used in court. If you later file a lawsuit, you might demand a different amount of compensation.

Dear Mr. Kramer:

As you know, on May 11, 2020, at approximately 8:00 a.m. I was seriously injured while riding my motorcycle to work when your insured ran a stop sign while driving her 2019 Jeep Cherokee, causing a violent collision.

If not for the negligence of your insured, Karen Samuels, I would not have suffered my injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The injuries from the crash left me in terrible pain and discomfort for several weeks. I was treated for my injuries at the General Hospital in Wichita, and by our family physician, Dr. Marion Curtis. Your insured’s negligence was the direct cause of my injuries.

I was riding my motorcycle to work, obeying all traffic laws, and paying attention to the roadway and my surroundings. I was injured in the crash caused by your insured through no fault of my own.

It’s important to establish upfront that you didn’t do anything to cause the collision or your injuries. The adjuster is trained to look for comparative fault as an excuse to reduce or deny your injury claim.

I never asked for any of this to happen. Before the collision, I had a full and busy work and home life, free of pain and discomfort. All that changed when Karen Samuels ran a stop sign on May 11, 2020.

Because of your insured’s negligence, I endured and continue to endure significant pain and discomfort. In addition to my pain and discomfort, I incurred financial losses, including medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

On May 11, 2020, at approximately 8:00 a.m., I was riding my Harley-Davidson motorcycle Eastbound on Apple Avenue in Wichita, Kansas. Main Street runs north and south. As I was approaching the intersection of Apple Avenue and Main Street, your insured, while traveling northbound on Main Street, failed to stop at a designated stop sign.

Apple Avenue has no stop signs or traffic signals at the intersection with Main Street. I had the right of way and was entering the intersection when your insured ran the stop sign and drove her Jeep into the intersection, directly in front of me.

I had no time to stop and had nowhere to go to avoid the collision. My motorcycle collided with your insured’s vehicle, and I was thrown approximately twenty feet, skidding on the pavement.

As I was sliding across the pavement, my pant legs tore away, exposing my legs to the asphalt. Within seconds of coming to a stop, I felt like my legs and hands were on fire, then I began to experience excruciating pain.

My hands and legs were severely lacerated, bruised, and “road burned.” I was bleeding profusely. The DOT-certified full-face safety helmet I was wearing was dented and scratched from hitting the pavement but stayed in one piece.

Even if your state doesn’t have strict motorcycle helmet laws, it’s important to bring attention to the fact that you were wearing appropriate safety gear.

My motorcycle was wrecked, and parts were strewn all over the road. The front wheel was bent, the faring shattered, and the oil pan came apart. Broken glass from the mirrors and headlamps was everywhere.

Describing how badly your motorcycle was damaged underscores the violence of the collision.

Your insured pulled her Jeep Cherokee off the road and ran over to me. The first thing she said was, “I didn’t see you!”

When the at-fault driver apologizes after a collision or makes excuses for what happened, their statements are an “admission against interest” that helps you prove their liability. Such admissions are especially helpful to your claim if they were heard by independent witnesses.

Two other people saw the crash, ran over to help, and heard what Karen Samuels said to me. The two witnesses are Jackie Fuller of 1245 Maple Street, Wichita, Kansas, and John Swift of 5677 Camelback Road, Wichita, Kansas.

Ms. Fuller called 911 and requested an ambulance.

Within minutes, two police officers arrived on the scene. Soon after, Wichita Fire and Rescue arrived. I was treated on the scene and transferred to Hillcrest Hospital.

LIABILITY

The City of Wichita police conducted an on-scene investigation. The investigation included taking witness statements from Jackie Fuller and John Swift. Copies of their statements are enclosed.

Ms. Fuller stated that about the time your insured ran the stop sign, Ms. Fuller was traveling a safe distance behind me. She stated she had an especially clear view of your insured over and around my motorcycle.

Ms. Fuller’s statement goes on to say: “At the time, I didn’t know if the driver of the Jeep had a stop sign. I was sure, though, that I saw the Jeep roll through the intersection right in front of the motorcycle.”

It’s always good to use a direct quote from a witness, especially when the quote supports your version of the event.

In her statement, Ms. Fuller also stated she saw me go down very hard onto the asphalt and then slide many feet on the road.

According to the police report, witness John Swift was driving his vehicle directly behind your insured’s Jeep. In his statement to the police, Mr. Swift said, “I saw the Jeep slow down, but it never stopped. It rolled right through the intersection in front of the guy on the motorcycle.”

Statements from independent witnesses, meaning people with no prior connection to you or the other driver, are more effective than statements from friends or family members. But if your only witnesses were friends and family members, use their statements.

The police also took photographs and used a distance-measuring roller to calculate how far I slid, from the point of my violent collision to the asphalt.

Use descriptive words to add punch to your letter without exaggeration. You didn’t just “fall,” you “violently collided” with the asphalt.

The investigating officer gave Karen Samuels two moving-violation traffic citations. The first was for disregarding a traffic signal. The second was for failure to yield. I was not issued any traffic citations.

As you can see by the diagram drawn on the rear of the police report, driver number two (your insured) proceeded into the intersection directly in front of driver one (myself). The police also checked the box in the report to designate driver one’s injuries as “serious.” A second box was checked for “transfer to hospital.”

Police reports are valuable evidence of fault in personal injury claims. Because police officers are trained to investigate accidents, the adjuster will give a lot of weight to the officer’s finding of fault.

INJURIES AND TREATMENT

I was treated for my injuries at the scene and then transferred by paramedics to the emergency room at Hillcrest Community Hospital in Wichita. There I was seen by Dr. Hanson. I was bloodied, bruised, and in terrible pain and discomfort.

After ruling out brain trauma, broken bones, or internal bleeding, Dr. Hanson ordered IV medication for pain relief as he went to work to clean the dirt and road debris out of my wounds.

I had lacerations, and extensive friction burns to my legs and hands, with large areas of missing dermis and the abrasions penetrating significant sections of the epidermis. Even with the pain medication, the process of debriding my wounds was excruciating.

Become familiar with your doctor’s notes and use the correct medical terms to describe your injuries and treatment.

After my wounds were cleaned and bandaged, I was prescribed a pain reliever to get me through the next few days, and antibiotics to fight off any infection. I was told to stay off my feet to reduce swelling and to follow up with our primary physician. Dr. Hanson warned that I might need to have skin grafts to heal the wounds on my legs.

While the pain medication helped the evening of my discharge from the hospital, the next morning I awoke to blistering pain in my legs and hands. I was also bruised and sore all over my body from the impact of the collision and hitting the pavement. I was truly in agony.

The day after the collision, I saw Dr. Curtis. My wife had to help me dress. I couldn’t use my injured hands for much, and my legs hurt so badly that I couldn’t bear to wear long pants. She helped me into some loose gym shorts. I was unable to drive. My wife helped me into the back seat so I could travel with my legs propped up.

Dr. Curtis examined me and told me it would take three to four weeks for my wounds to heal enough that I could go back to work. She prescribed the use of medicated gel bandages that needed to be changed daily and to continue the antibiotics due to the high risk of infection.

After two weeks, I completed the antibiotics, but not before I developed severe diarrhea and stomach cramps as a side-effect. I was still in pain and having trouble sleeping, so it was a miserable time for me and my poor wife, who had to help me get to the bathroom in a hurry.

I had my two-week follow up with Dr. Curtis. My hands were better, but my leg wounds still had a way to go, especially along the left side, from my hip to just below my knee. Bending my knee was painful and pulled at the wounds.

Because my job requires me to be physically active, on my feet, and able to bend and squat, Dr. Curtis ordered me to remain off work for another two weeks to avoid breaking open the healing skin. I was released to return to work four weeks after your insured caused my injuries. I did everything I could to get back on my feet and back to my job.

Using this language makes it clear to the claims adjuster that you aren’t a malingerer or trying to prolong your treatment unnecessarily.

My recovery was difficult and painful. While my wounds healed enough for me to return to work, I am still sore and in discomfort.

WORK HISTORY

I have been employed for eight years as a groundskeeper for Mansfield College in Wichita. My job duties require me to walk on uneven ground, bend, kneel, squat, and carry materials. As a result of your insured’s negligence, I had to miss four weeks of work.

Your insured left me unable to work and without an income until I healed enough to perform my job duties. My wife had to care for our young children and me while working her part-time job as a dental office receptionist.

I was humiliated and depressed to have to borrow money from family to make ends meet and put food on the table. The negligence of Karen Samuels has negatively impacted my entire family.

The emotional distress of not being able to care for your family can factor into your demand for compensation.

DAMAGES

The following is a list of my medical damages and other financial losses related to the collision and my injuries. Copies of my bills, receipts, and a signed letter from my employer are enclosed.

Hillcrest Community Hospital

$1,050

Ambulance Service

$400

Dr. Curtis

$620

Lost Wages

$4,800

Medications, bandages

$325

Pain and Suffering

$14,000

Total Damages

$21,195

DEMAND

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 $21,195 to resolve my injury claim.

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

Yours truly,

 

Neil Smith
Phone: 555-786-2351
Email: nsmith@example.com

Protect your privacy by using a personal email address instead of your work email. Your employer has legal access to all correspondence and attachments in your work email.

Enclosures

Attorneys Can Help with Negotiations

When you take the time to build a strong claim for compensation and put together a complete demand packet, you’ll be in a good position to settle your injury claim on your own.

Professional negotiators know that it takes compromise on both sides to settle an insurance claim. Most minor injury claims settle after a few rounds of offers and counteroffers, but sometimes negotiations break down.

You have the right to consult an attorney at any point in the negotiations process.

Whether you’re dealing with an insurance adjuster who won’t come off a low-ball settlement offer, or you’re worried about the statute of limitations running out, help is available.

Sometimes all it takes is a call from your attorney to get the adjuster to make a reasonable offer.

Don’t settle for less. Most injury attorneys don’t charge motorcycle accident victims for their initial consultation. It costs nothing to find out what an experienced attorney can do for you.

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