This is the accident settlement letter of notification I’m working on, which your site has helped me craft, which gives the details and the legal rationale for my claim for the incident where I incurred the loss. It’s just a rough draft.
But, I’m having trouble figuring out what is a reasonable amount to demand in my actual demand letter. I’m still going to work but can’t do the job, and I have a doctors appointment coming up for a check up. I can’t enjoy many of the physical activities I’m used to while I’m in this state of discomfort and pain.
How do I put a number on that? Is expecting to settle for 20k too much to expect (if I demand 40k)? Can you check out my letter and let me know what you think? Thanks.
Re: Personal Injury Incident at NiceKreme
Date and Time of Loss: February 20, 2011 at approximately 7:20pm
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Albert ———. As you may recall on February 20, 2011 at approximately 7:00pm while at your store Nicekreme on XXX S Arroyo Pkw,
Pasadena, CA 91105, I sustained a personal injury and reported it to the employees present, and to the manager Mollie ——–, calling her at her home phone#: (555) 939-XXXX, as she was not present in the store at the time.
Specifically, I walked into Nicekreme with my daughter and friend Anna at approximately 7:00 pm. Upon ordering my frozen yogurt, my daughter and I proceeded in sitting down at a small patio table with four fold-able wooden chairs located inside the premises. After sitting for about 10 minutes on one of the foldable chairs, I stood up to discard my ice cream cup, then I returned to sit on the same chair.
As I sat back down, the chair completely collapsed, causing me to fall and slam my back against the floor, hitting my head against the concrete. After laying there in shock from the sudden and unexpected collapse, I proceeded to get up, discovering the chair laying flat underneath me. It must be noted that I am your averaged sized male (5’9″, 200 lbs) not overweight. As I inspected the chair, I realized that the metal rods in the chair had split the wood causing it to collapse beneath me.
The morning after at about 9am I felt increasing and horrific pain in the lower right hand portion of my back. There continues to be throbbing pain in my head. As my day proceeded, I felt incredible discomfort and pain just walking, and it has completely prohibited me from performing my job as a wrestling coach.
Currently, my physical condition has not improved at all. I will seek medical assistance to examine my current state this week, but I now remain in great pain, especially since the morning after the incident. I worry about how long I am to be disabled me from my ability to carry out duties at my current job as a wrestling coach. I have never before been in so much pain as now – all as a direct and proximate result of Nicekreme’s negligence in failing to provide me with a chair that was in a safe condition to sit in.
I consulted with an attorney friend who has advised me to write you this notification letter for the purpose of which is to seek fair and just compensation, and settle this matter after I have ascertained the damages, to be followed by a demand letter.
I have decided not to retain an attorney at this time as I hope this can be settled out of court with less cost to both parties. But should we not agree to a fair figure, I will retain an attorney’s services, and ask for a substantial amount more to cover the legal fees.
Under premises liability, and given the facts of the incident, I find that Nicekreme is culpable for my damages, including pain and suffering. And that Nicekreme is facing this liability for negligence in failing to properly maintain the chair and/or in failing to provide me, as one of your customers, with a reasonably stable chair that was safe for use as intended.
Indeed, there was a legal duty to inspect and maintain the chair so as to ensure it was and remained in safe working condition for use. This situation falls under the legal doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitor, as the incident would not have occurred unless the chair was defective, and because the chair belonged to and was in the sole control of Nicekreme.
This incident would not have occurred in the absence of neglecting to inspect and thus discover the unsafe condition, nor from failing the required maintenance of it—both of which Nicekreme had a legal duty to provide for the safety of those who use it.
It is unfortunate that I sustained injury but it could have been much worse for anyone else that happened to take the seat, and take that harsh and violent fall as it suddenly collapsed under my weight. I took pictures and videos of the chair, which I’d be happy to provide, but urgently ask that you remove or inspect the remainder of the chairs for similar defects or unsafe conditions as required by law so this does not happen to anyone else.
I have only listed some of the damages I have already suffered and may continue to suffer. These include, but are not limited to: pain and discomfort, mental anguish, loss of wages, doctors, chiropractors, and therapy as may be medically indicated. I don’t have costs right now, but I will provide a list of the total costs later in my settlement demand letter.
I will also note that during this period as I attempt to recover at home I find myself suffering from depression and anxiety directly related to my pain and discomfort, as well as my inability to work or care for my child the way I normally would be able to. And, movement in the bed causes unwanted pain. As a result any intimacy with my loved one is now impossible, at least during this recovery period. I understand that “Loss of Consortium,” is one of the damages for which I may seek recovery.
In the interim, as I figure out what damages in total I have, please take immediate action to bring attention to this matter, by turning over my letter to your insurance company immediately. This will be followed by my demand letter to your company’s insurance carrier.
I just want to get treated and I do know there often is unanticipated injuries, especially those resulting in serious pain and discomfort, which often produce effects which are not tangible or immediately known.
During my initial recovery any sudden movement in my bed caused pain to shoot up my spine. As a result my wife was relegated to sleeping on the couch for two weeks.
As a direct and proximate result of Kindkreme’s negligence I suffered, and continue to suffer:
* Excruciating Pain and Discomfort
* Anxiety and Mental Anguish
* Medical Doctors Appointments
* Loss of Wages
* Loss of Consortium
Please give this matter appropriate attention. I will look forward to hearing from someone in authority to deal with this matter within thirty (30) days of your receipt of this letter.
My damages continue to mount, and my pain and discomfort continues. I am confident this matter can be settled amicably and without my need for counsel. If it can not be, then regretfully I will seek all available remedies under the law.
Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.
Although the logical manner in which you have approached this matter is to be congratulated, there are a few steps which need to be reviewed. Most important is your lack of documented injuries. To be successful in a pre-trial negotiated settlement, or a trial-directed verdict, you must first have what are called “actual damages”.
Actual damages include ambulance bills, emergency room fees, hospital costs, doctors’ charges, X-rays, CAT-Scans, MRIs, Loss of Wages and other similarly related expenditures. Pain and Suffering, Mental Anguish, Loss of Consortium and Out-Of-Pocket expenses are legal issues which, in almost all injury cases, must be preceded by a credible showing of actual damages.
It is altogether possible the 20 – 40 thousand dollar settlement amounts to which you refer may be well within the range of a settlement. Settlement amounts though, are almost always based on those parts of actual damages classified as medical costs.
If your claim is to have any merit at all you will have had to be treated for your injuries at the time of, or within a reasonably close period of the time to the accident. Exceptions can include what are called “latent injuries” which by their very nature may not show up until some time after the accident.
Although there is no doubt your injuries and resultant pain are very real, they are not “recoverable” without medical documentation in the forms of a diagnosis, prognosis, and intra-treatment chart entries by your treating physicians and nurses. Insurance companies will not pay a dime without this documented, credible medical proof.
The best advice is to see your physician at your earliest convenience. Explain to her the details of the accident, and your attendant symptoms of pain and discomfort. Although it is hopeful you have not suffered any severe or permanent damage, if you have, the tests your physician will perform on you will determine the extent of the injuries.
That determination can then be documented and used in the pursuit of your claim. With that information in hand you can begin to formulate the letter to the store.
Learn more here: Premises Liability Claims
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
Best of luck with your claim,
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