Sample Compensation Demand Letter for a Pedestrian Injury Claim

Take a look at our sample demand letter to the auto insurance company for injuries caused when a pedestrian is hit by a car.

When a pedestrian is hit by a car, the resulting injuries can be catastrophic.

A negligent motorist who runs down a pedestrian is responsible for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, and extensive pain and suffering. The at-fault driver’s insurance company usually pays the victim’s damages.

Severe injury claims, especially involving children, should be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney to get the maximum available compensation.

If you’re lucky enough to walk away from a pedestrian-car accident with relatively minor injuries, you can probably negotiate a fair settlement directly with the insurance company.

Settlement talks with the insurance company claims adjuster get underway when you send a formal, written demand for compensation along with copies of your supporting documentation.

Putting Together Your Demand Packet

You’ll need to calculate the value of your claim, so you know how much compensation to demand from the insurance company.

Gather all your medical records and bills, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses, and standard mileage or transportation costs for trips back and forth from medical or therapy appointments.

If you missed work because of the accident, ask your employer for a wage statement.

In addition to the paperwork you’ll need to support your costs, you’ll need copies of other important evidence, such as:

Bystanders may have taken photographs at the scene, for example, when you were being treated by paramedics. In any case, you should take pictures of your injuries throughout your recovery.

Make copies of all your bills, documents, and photographs to send with your demand letter.

Writing an Impressive Demand Letter

With a little attention to detail, your compensation demand letter can be just as impressive as one written by an attorney.

Pro letter tips:

  • Be sure you have the correct spelling for people and street names
  • Double-check your math and make sure you correctly entered dollar amounts
  • Use the word processor review functions to catch spelling and grammar errors
  • Print your letter on white or cream-colored bond paper

Your demand letter should include:

  • Statement of Facts: A complete account of what happened before, during and after you were hit
  • Liability:  Why the motorist is responsible for causing your injuries
  • Injuries: Detailed descriptions of your physical injuries, emotional distress, and pain and suffering
  • Damages: Listing the costs associated with your special and general damages

A complete demand packet contains your signed demand letter and copies of all your supporting documentation. Attorneys organize the enclosures in the order they are mentioned in the demand letter.

Make a copy of the full packet for your insurance claim file. During negotiations, it helps to have the same packet as the claims adjuster in front of you.

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 Pedestrian Accident Demand Letter

We’ve prepared a sample demand letter from a fictitious pedestrian who was hit by a motorist in a city crosswalk. We also added hints to help you with writing your own demand letter to the auto insurance company.

Click the buttons for hints to help with your demand letter. 

Joseph Brogan
9876 E. 54th St.
Cleveland, OH 47289

August 26, 2020

Classic Insurance Company
123 Street – Suite A
Columbus, OH 47321

Attn: Fran Smith

Your Insured: Donna Roberts

Re: Auto Collision on March 28, 2020

Insurance companies usually refer to the accident date as “Date of Loss” or “Loss Date” or “DOL.”

Claim Number:  CIC000564

FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY

Putting “For Settlement Purposes Only” at the top of your letter means you don’t expect the contents to be used in court. If you end up filing a lawsuit, your compensation demand might be different.

Dear Ms. Roberts:

As you know, on March 28, 2020, at approximately 9:00 a.m. I was seriously injured while walking to work when your insured struck me with her car.

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

The injuries I suffered caused me significant pain and discomfort for several weeks. I was treated for my injuries at the General Hospital emergency department, and by my primary care provider, Dr. Susan Turner. Your insured’s negligence was the direct cause of my injuries.

I was lawfully crossing the street at a designated crosswalk after looking both ways for traffic when the Ford Fiesta driven by your insured came barreling through the crosswalk and hit me.

Let the adjuster know upfront that you did nothing wrong. Adjusters will use shared blame as an excuse to reduce your injury compensation.

I never asked for any of this to happen. Before March 28, 2020, I enjoyed a life free of physical pain and discomfort. On March 28, that all changed. My life was abruptly and significantly impacted by your insured’s negligence.

SUMMARY OF FACTS

On Tuesday, March 28, 2020, at approximately 9:00 a.m., I was walking from the Acme Parking Garage to the Garibaldi Office Complex. The most direct route from the parking garage to the office building is through the crosswalk at the intersection of Fletcher Street and Bligh Boulevard.

At the beginning of each weekday, hundreds of pedestrians use the same crosswalk to get from the parking garage to the Garibaldi building. The crosswalk is clearly marked as a right-of-way for pedestrians.

Fletcher Street has two lanes of traffic. The posted speed limit is 15 miles per hour.

When I entered the crosswalk, the cars in the traffic lane closest to me had stopped to let me and several others use the crosswalk to cross the street.

I had walked past the stopped cars and was about to make my way across the second lane when suddenly, and without warning, your insured drove her 2019 Ford Fiesta through the intersection, striking me and narrowly missing other pedestrians. The force of the impact knocked me violently down to the pavement.

Several people, including your insured, rushed to help me. The first thing Ms. Roberts said to me was, “I didn’t see you.”

When the at-fault driver apologizes or makes excuses for hitting you, their comments are “admissions against interest” that help prove their liability for the accident.

My pant legs were ripped and my knees and hands were bleeding. As the others helped me up, I felt a surge of pain in my lower back. Since I was able to walk, they helped me get out of the intersection to a safe area near the office complex.

As you’ll see from the enclosed statements, a security guard from the Garibaldi center named Amy Jacobs saw what happened and called 911.

Emergency services arrived within 15 minutes. The paramedics strapped me to a backboard and insisted on transporting me to the hospital. The paramedic who examined me explained that I was experiencing some shock, and since I was a pedestrian hit by a car, I needed to be taken to the hospital for a trauma workup.

Police Captain Ruiz responded to the 911 call, and after a thorough investigation, including eyewitness statements, your insured was issued a traffic citation for “failing to yield to a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk.”  The officer concluded I was injured by your insured through no fault of my own. A copy of the police report is enclosed.

Police are trained accident investigators. Their opinion carries a lot of weight with adjusters and court juries.

INJURIES AND TREATMENT

The trauma team at General hospital examined me and sent me for CT scans of my head, abdomen, and the full length of my spine. As you can see in the doctor’s notes, the scans ruled out brain trauma and internal injuries. I was suffering from shock and was found to have a severe lumbosacral strain.

I was bruised all over with significant abrasions to my legs, arms, and hands from the impact of the car and the secondary impact when my body slammed to the pavement. The doctor prescribed Tramadol for pain and Flexeril to help relax my painful muscles.

Claims adjusters often try to get out of paying for expensive diagnostic tests like CT scans or MRIs by saying there was no need for the test. Be prepared to use the doctor’s notes to support the medical necessity of the tests.

I was released from the emergency room with strict instructions to follow up with my doctor, and to rest at home with no bending, lifting, or reaching. I was told not to be on my feet for longer than it takes for a trip to the bathroom.

The next day I was seen by our family physician, Dr. Susan Turner. She confirmed the severe lumbosacral strain. Dr. Turner instructed me to taper off the Tramadol for the next week, then switch to prescription-strength ibuprofen for pain and inflammation.

I was ordered to rest at home, with the same restrictions on movement for another ten days, followed by three weeks of gradually more intensive physical therapy.

As her notes explain, because my job duties involve a lot of walking, bending, and prolonged sitting at computers, Dr. Turner would not release me to return to work until I completed therapy and had a followup appointment with her to check my progress.

Explaining exactly why the doctor ordered you to stay off work shows the adjuster you weren’t malingering.

WORK HISTORY

I have worked in the IT department of the Plymouth Company for the last ten years with an outstanding attendance record. I’ve been promoted three times since joining the company and am now an IT supervisor with a crew of six other IT specialists.

A solid employment record, especially with little time off for injuries or illness, shows the adjuster you’re a person who doesn’t like to miss work, and will only do so if absolutely necessary.

I help manage the firm’s infrastructure and IT security, and like any IT person, part of my job means switching out or troubleshooting computer equipment for other company employees, installing electronic equipment, running electrical wires, and other tasks that require me to be able to lift, bend, crawl under desks, and other physical activity.

After your insured ran me down, I missed five weeks of work because I was in no condition to even sit at a computer desk. I had to take an extended and unpaid leave from my employment.

Make the insured’s negligence a theme throughout the letter. Continue to point to the insured’s fault for your damages.

While I was unable to work, the only income my family had coming in was my wife’s job at Wane Department Store. She had to work double shifts and every weekend to make as much money as possible, but it wasn’t enough. I was humiliated when we had to borrow money from friends and family.

I wasn’t the only one to suffer from the negligence of your insured. After I was injured, my wife exhausted herself while working double shifts, driving me back and forth to treatment, and caring for our two children. My entire family has suffered needlessly.

Part of compensation in a personal injury claim can include the loss of your ability to care for your family.

DAMAGES

The following is a list of my medical costs and other damages. Enclosed are copies of my bills and receipts and a wage loss statement from my employer.

General Hospital

$4,100

Dr. Turner

$900

Physical Therapy

$1,500

Lost Wages

$7,200

Medications, bandages

$125

Transportation Costs

$104

Pain and Suffering

$29,000

Total Damages

$42,929

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 $42,929 to settle my injury claim.

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

Sincerely,

Joseph Brogan
555-324-9032
jbrogan@example.com

Consider using your personal email address rather than your work email address. Your employer has legal access to all work emails and attachments, regardless of content.

Enclosures

Legal Help is Always Available

If you’ve done your homework, you can probably settle a minor injury claim after a few rounds of give-and-take negotiations, but it’s good to know that expert legal help is there when you need it.

Consider consulting an attorney when the adjuster refuses to pay your medical bills or tries to pin some of the blame for the occurrence on you.

Find out all your options if negotiations fail, or the adjuster stops returning your calls.

Most injury attorneys don’t charge for their initial consultation. Don’t settle for less. There’s no cost to find out what a skilled attorney can do for you.

How Much is Your Injury Claim Worth?

Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney…

  • Your Accident
  • Your Claim
  • Contact Info
  • Your Evaluation
Charles R. Gueli, Esq. is a personal injury attorney with over 20 years of legal experience. He’s admitted to the NY State Bar, and been named a Super Lawyer for the NY Metro area, an exclusive honor awarded to the top five percent of attorneys. Charles has worked extensively in the areas of auto accidents,... Read More >>