Check out our sample demand letter to the insurance company for parking lot injuries. Get helpful tips for writing your own compensation demand letter.
Shopping malls, nightclubs, restaurants, and grocery stores are examples of public venues that provide off-street customer parking.
Business owners have a duty to keep their premises safe for customers. This duty includes preventing parking lot injuries.
Parking lot injuries can be caused by damaged pavement, ice and snow, bad lighting, inadequate security, and many other reasons. Just as injuries are unique to every victim, so are the facts of each personal injury claim.
Parking lot owners aren’t automatically liable for injuries that happen on their property. However, when the owner knows, or should know about a danger and fails to fix it, you have a valid claim if you’re injured.
Severe or complicated injuries are best handled by an experienced personal injury attorney to get a fair settlement for the victim.
Relatively minor injury claims can be handled directly with the insurance company by following the basic injury claim process.
The negotiations phase of your injury claim gets underway after you tell the insurance company how much compensation you want in a formal demand letter.
Here’s more about How to Write an Effective Compensation Demand Letter.
Putting Together Your Demand Packet
Don’t let the insurance company push you into a quick settlement. You don’t have to discuss the cost of your claim until you’ve recovered from your injuries.
Meanwhile, gather the documentation you’ll need to support your claim, such as:
- Medical bills and records
- Receipts for out-of-pocket expenses
- Wage loss statement
- Witness statements
- Photographs and video
Take as many pictures as possible of the parking lot area where you were injured. Try to get photographs of the hazardous condition.
You’ll also want to take pictures of your injuries throughout your recovery.
Look around the parking lot for surveillance cameras. There might be a video of your injury as it occurred or footage that verifies the existence of the hazardous condition.
Ask the parking lot owner or management company to preserve security camera footage for the date of your injury. You might also ask them to save the footage for a day or two preceding your injury, in case you need to prove the owner should have known about the danger.
The company won’t voluntarily give you copies of the footage. However, they should preserve it, and if your claim doesn’t settle, your attorney can subpoena the film.
When you’re ready to start writing your demand letter, use your bills and lost wage statements to calculate the value of your injury claim.
Prepare an Impressive Demand Letter
With a little attention to detail, there’s no reason you can’t write a demand letter that is just as impressive as one from an attorney’s office.
- Use the word processor functions to check grammar and spelling
- Manually check the spelling of names and addresses
- Double-check your claim value calculations
- Print your letter on high quality bond paper
Your demand letter should include:
- Statement of Facts: Explain exactly how you were injured
- Liability: Explain why the property owner is responsible for your injuries
- Injuries: Describe your injuries and how they affected your life
- Damages: A cost list of everything you can claim for damages
After signing the letter in blue or black ink, make a copy of the full demand packet for your injury claim files.
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 Parking Lot Injury Demand Letter
Click for practical hints about writing your demand letter.
36 James Way
Phoenix, AZ 86704
April 10, 2020
Classic Insurance Company
1001 Bond Street
Columbus, OH 25401
Attn: Fred Miller
Your Insured: Healthy Grocery Store
Re: Injury on February 7, 2020
Claim Number: PI00001492
FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY
Dear Mr. Miller:
As you know, I was painfully injured on February 7, 2020, at the Healthy Grocery Store when I fell because of a dangerous pothole in your insured’s dark parking lot.
I had to have emergency treatment for a second-degree hamstring pull in my right leg that kept me in pain, off my feet, and out of work for three weeks.
Just like any customer, I expected the grocery store parking lot to be well lighted at night, and free from holes and hazards.
There was no way for me to anticipate that your insured would allow open potholes to exist in the parking lot without filling them in or warning customers not to walk in that section.
Further, your insured failed to maintain the parking lot lights. The hole I fell in was hidden in the deep shadow caused by inoperable lights in that section of the parking lot. Your insured is directly responsible for my damages. I was seriously injured 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 expenses, lost wages, and my pain and suffering.
SUMMARY OF FACTS
On the evening of February 7, 2020, around 7:30 p.m., I drove into your insured’s parking lot located on Andover Street in Phoenix. I was there to buy some groceries.
I parked in a designated parking area, near a shopping cart corral. I got out of my car and headed toward the store.
As I neared the front of the store, I suddenly found myself flung to the ground and realized I had stepped into a large pothole. I immediately felt a searing pain in the back of my right thigh.
Fortunately, another shopper, Mrs. Barbara Wyatt, saw me hit the ground. She rushed over to me as I lay there in pain. A few other shoppers gathered as Mrs. Wyatt went into the store for help.
Several minutes later, Ms. Wyatt returned along with the store’s manager. The manager, Don Handy, asked if I needed an ambulance. Mr. Handy and another man who worked for the store helped me get up off the ground.
That’s when I realized my leg was in bad shape. It hurt too bad to put weight on my leg. The two men helped me hobble into the store and fetched me a chair.
I told Mr. Handy that my leg was injured, but I’d wait for my wife to take me to the hospital rather than call an ambulance.
I called my wife. She had her sister come over to stay with our children, then came to get me at the store. While waiting for her, I asked Mr. Handy to create an incident report, noting I fell and was injured. He agreed and told me someone from the store’s corporate office would get in touch with me.
INJURIES AND TREATMENT
My wife drove me to the Skylane Hospital. I was treated in the emergency department by Dr. John Smith. The doctor examined me and ordered an MRI exam, which showed sprains to my semimembranosus and semitendinous muscles, commonly known as hamstring muscles. I was diagnosed with a grade 2 hamstring pull.
Dr. Smith had my thigh wrapped with a compression bandage and prescribed 800 mg doses of ibuprofen to manage the pain and inflammation. I was told to use ice for short periods and to keep my leg elevated to reduce swelling.
He told me I should stay completely off my leg for the next week or two, then gradually increase weight-bearing. As you can see in the doctor’s notes, Dr. Smith said if I followed his advice and didn’t stress my leg, I’d probably be able to return to work in March.
I wanted to get back to work as soon as possible, so I followed Dr. Smith’s instructions. I was able to go back to work on Monday, March 2, 2020.
I’ve been a maintenance mechanic in the engineering department at the Phoenix Regency Hotel for nearly five years. My job requires me to be able to walk inside and outside the eight-story building, climb stairs, and stand on ladders as needed while wearing a toolbelt or carrying tools and equipment.
Until your insured’s negligence sidelined me for three weeks, I had an excellent attendance record.
I was in no condition to do my job until I could walk without crutches. I still tend to favor my injured leg and have to be very careful to avoid re-injury, but I was anxious to get back on the job.
Being off work for three weeks was painful, difficult, and depressing. My wife was overwhelmed by taking care of me, our kids, our dog, and our home. I was ashamed when we had to ask family for help.
The following is a list of damages related to my injury. Copies of the bills and my wage statement 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 $18,020 to resolve my injury claim.
Please respond within fifteen (15) business days. I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.
When You Need an Attorney
If you can negotiate with patience and persistence, most minor injury claims settle after a few rounds of offers and counter-offers with the adjuster.
Sometimes negotiations get complicated or begin to fall apart. When negotiations stall, it’s good to know you have the right to contact a personal injury attorney to help resolve your claim.
Don’t settle for less, even though the adjuster says it’s their “final offer.”
You’d be surprised how often adjusters bring more money to the table once an attorney gets involved. The last thing the adjuster wants is a lawsuit against the business they insure.
Talk to an attorney as soon as your negotiations hit a snag. Most injury attorneys don’t charge for their initial consultation. There’s no commitment, and 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…