Sample Demand Letter for Compensation After a Rear-End Auto Collision

Here’s a sample demand letter to the insurance company after a rear-end car accident. Read our tips for help writing your own demand for compensation.

One of the most common types of motor vehicle accidents is rear-end collisions. The driver who hits a vehicle from behind is almost always to blame.

The negligent driver might have been texting or otherwise distracted. Maybe the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and unable to react when you braked.

Whatever the reason, you expect to be fully compensated for your damages. If you live in a no-fault insurance state, you’ll have to rely on your own insurance to pay for most injury claims. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Serious injury claims should be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney for maximum compensation.

Relatively minor, soft-tissue injury claims are usually straightforward. If you’ve fully recovered from minor injuries after a rear-end collision, you can probably settle your injury claim by negotiating directly with the insurance company.

Get your settlement negotiations started with a formal written demand to the insurance company.

Assemble a Compelling Demand Packet

Before you can make a demand for compensation, you’ll need to calculate the value of your injury claim by totaling your “special damages” and “general damages.”

“Special damages,” also called “hard costs,” are expenses you can account for with copies of your medical bills, receipts, and a wage loss statement from your employer.

“General damages,” like emotional distress and pain and suffering, can’t be objectively measured. However, there are other ways to account for pain and suffering.

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

Make copies of all your bills, photographs, and other supporting evidence to include in your demand packet. Keep the original documents in your insurance claim file.

Drafting a Convincing Demand Letter

With some attention to detail, you can prepare a demand letter that looks just as good as one drafted by an attorney’s office:

  • Have a friend proofread your letter to check for spelling and grammar errors
  • Manually check the spelling of names and locations
  • Double-check your math and confirm dollar amounts are typed correctly
  • Print your letter on quality white bond paper
  • Sign your letter with blue or black ink

Your demand letter should include:

  • Statement of Facts: Your version of what happened before and after you were rear-ended
  • Liability: Describe your evidence showing the other driver caused the crash
  • Injuries: Detail your injuries, emotional distress, and pain and suffering
  • Damages: An accounting of your special and general damages

Make a copy of the signed letter and all the enclosures for your file. You’ll want to have your copy of the packet handy during negotiations with the adjuster.

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

Sample Rear-End Collision Demand Letter

We’ve created a sample demand letter to the at-fault driver’s insurance company from a fictional rear-end car accident victim. You can easily adapt the letter format to create your own professional-looking demand letter.

Click the buttons to see hints you can use for writing your demand letter.

Nicholas Hoffman
3240 West Elm Rd.
Maumee, OH 43537

September 26, 2020

Traditional Insurance Company
123 Street – Suite A
Columbus, OH 43527

Attn: Stanley Jones

Your Insured: Richard Simons

Re: Auto Collision on July 10, 2020

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

Claim Number:  AUT000564

FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY

Adding the phrase “For Settlement Purposes Only” means the content of your demand letter should not be used in litigation. Your compensation demand may be different if you end up filing a lawsuit.

Dear Mr. Jones:

As you know, I was seriously injured on July 10, 2020, at approximately 5:30 p.m., when your insured’s Ford Explorer violently collided with the rear of my 2018 Honda Accord. The collision occurred at the intersection of Madison Avenue and 11th Street in Toledo, Ohio.

Using words like “violently” and “collided” is a more powerful way to express yourself. Avoid using the word “accident,” which implies no one was at fault.

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

I was driving home after work, obeying all traffic laws, and paying attention to the roadway and my surroundings. I had slowed and stopped for a red light when your insured slammed into the rear of my car. I was injured in the crash caused by your insured through no fault of my own.

It’s important to establish up front that you did nothing to cause the collision. The adjuster can use comparative fault laws to reduce your compensation if you share any blame for the crash.  

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. Everything changed when Richard Simons crashed into my car. Because of your insured’s negligence, I have suffered ongoing pain and discomfort. I also suffered financial losses, including medical expenses, vehicle damage, and lost wages.

Your property damage claim will likely be handled separately by a different adjuster under a different claim number with the same insurance company.

The collision resulted in a serious injury to my left arm that left me in terrible pain and discomfort for several weeks. I was treated for my injuries by my primary care provider, Dr. Michael Bigelow, and the Franklin Physical Therapy Clinic.

I am seeking compensation for the injury-related damages I sustained in the collision. Those damages include my medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, and my pain and suffering.

Damages included in injury claims can include medical and therapy bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses (such as medications and travel costs to treatment), replacement services like lawn care, and more.

FACTUAL SUMMARY

On July 10, 2020, at approximately 5:30 p.m., I was heading home from work on Madison Avenue. As I approached the intersection of Madison and 11th Street, I slowed to a stop at a red traffic light. I was then suddenly and violently jolted back into my seat.

Your insured had failed to stop behind me and crashed his 2018 Ford Explorer into the rear of my 2016 Honda Accord. As the force of the impact propelled me backward, my left arm was forced upward into the steering wheel. My left arm twisted unnaturally, and I felt a sharp pain.

I immediately pulled over to the side of the road. Your insured pulled in behind me, got out of his SUV and came over to my window. He said he was sorry and asked if I was all right.

When the other driver apologizes or makes an excuse for running into you, their statements count as an “admission against interest” that can help prove their liability for the collision.

I called 911 to report the collision. An officer from the County Sheriff’s Office arrived a few minutes later.

Sometimes, the police don’t respond to minor car accidents, but your letter should include the fact that you called 911 to report the collision.

The officer asked if anyone needed an ambulance. My adrenaline must still have been flowing because while I was shaken and my left arm was aching, I didn’t believe I needed to go to the hospital.

The rear bumper of my Honda sedan was dented. Your insured’s big SUV appeared to have little damage. Both vehicles were drivable. After reviewing the scene and talking to both drivers, the officer ticketed your insured for failing to follow at a safe distance and failing to stop in a reasonable amount of time.

A police report showing the other driver was at fault can be the deciding factor in a personal injury claim.

INJURIES AND TREATMENT

After the accident, I went home. The next morning, I woke up in terrible pain and discomfort. My body was stiff and ached all over. My left arm hurt so bad I couldn’t use it.

I called into work, and my wife drove me to our primary care provider, Dr. Michael Bigelow. Dr. Bigelow evaluated my injuries and took X-rays of my arm. He determined I didn’t have a fracture, but I had a severe strain of the extensor flexor ligaments in the upper region of my left arm.

Study your medical records and use the correct medical terminology for an authoritative description of your injuries.

I was given pain medication and ordered to keep my left arm in a sling. Dr. Bigelow wanted to check me in a week. Because I work in a factory warehouse, he ordered me to stay home from work.

The following week, Dr. Bigelow determined that my arm had healed enough to start two weeks of physical therapy. As you’ll see in the enclosed medical records, Dr. Bigelow ordered the physical therapy to restore the strength and range of motion to my arm so I could get back to work sooner.

The therapy was painful and time-consuming, but I was willing to do whatever the doctor ordered to get the use of my arm back. After two weeks of therapy at the Franklin Physical Therapy Clinic, Dr. Bigelow released me to return to work.

Adjusters are always suspicious of whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries. Let them know you were not malingering or out of work longer than medically necessary. You were strictly following your doctor’s orders.

WORK HISTORY

I’ve worked at the Libby factory warehouse in Toledo since I graduated from high school six years ago. I’m a full-time worker with an excellent attendance record.

As you can see from the lost wage statement, I not only missed three weeks of regular wages, but I normally get at least four hours of overtime every week, so I also lost twelve hours of overtime pay because of the negligence of your insured.

Losing my paycheck for three weeks was a terrible hardship for my family. I was ashamed and embarrassed to have to ask friends and family for help so we could make ends meet.

DAMAGES

The following is a list of the medical bills and other losses we suffered because your insured slammed into the back of my car. The bills, receipts, and other proof of loss are enclosed.

Dr. Bigelow

$500

Franklin Physical Therapy

$2,300

Lost Wages

$2,800

Pain and Suffering

$11,200

Total Damages

$16,800

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 $16,800 to resolve my personal injury claim.

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

Sincerely,

Nicholas Hoffman
555-523-2390
nhoffman@example.com

If you want to include an email address, use your home email rather than your work email. Employers legally have access to all work email and attachments.

Get Legal Help When You Need It

When you take the time to gather good evidence of the other driver’s fault and learn all you can about dealing with insurance adjusters, you can probably get a fair injury settlement on your own.

Most auto claims settle after a few rounds of back-and-forth offers, but sometimes negotiations break down.

You might end up with a belligerent adjuster who won’t pay your medical bills, one who tries to pin the blame for the accident on you, or a lazy adjuster who lets your claim sit for months.

No matter what’s holding up your claim, it’s good to know you can consult an attorney at any point in the negotiations process.

It’s amazing how fast claims can settle after an experienced attorney gets involved.

Don’t be bullied into taking less compensation than you deserve. Most reputable injury attorneys don’t charge car accident victims for their first consultation. It costs nothing to find out what a good attorney can do for you.

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