Sample Settlement Demand Letter for a Restaurant Injury Claim

Negotiations for restaurant injury claims start with your demand for compensation. Here’s a sample demand letter to the insurance company.

From fast food to five-star dining, eating out is usually a pleasant way to get something to eat.

Most restaurants are clean and safe places for customers. Yet, restaurant injury claims happen all the time. If you’re injured in a restaurant due to negligence, you’re entitled to seek compensation for your losses.

Common injuries in restaurants can include burns, food poisoning, broken teeth, slip and fall injuries, and more. Each injury claim involves a unique set of circumstances.

Severe injury claims are best handled by a personal injury attorney to ensure the best results for the injured person.

For minor injuries, you can probably settle your personal injury claim on your own, so long as you’re organized and spend some time getting familiar with the injury claims process.

The negotiation phase of an injury claim gets underway when you send a formal demand for compensation to the insurance company.

Creating a Complete Demand Packet

A complete demand packet consists of your formal demand letter and copies of the documentation you’ll need to support your claim, such as:

Make copies of all your evidence to include in your demand packet. Original documents should be safely stored in your injury claim file.

Before writing your demand letter, you’ll need to calculate the value of your injury claim. Injury claims are based largely on your medical costs and lost wages, with an additional amount added to account for your pain and suffering.

Send a Professional-Looking Demand Letter

A professional-looking demand letter with good supporting documentation shows the insurance adjuster you know what you’re doing. With a little attention to detail, there’s no reason you can’t prepare a demand letter that looks as good as one from an attorney’s office.

  • Use review tools to check for grammar and spelling errors
  • Make sure names and addresses are spelled correctly
  • Double-check your math and dollar amounts
  • Print your letter on good quality bond paper.

Your demand letter should include:

  • Statement of Facts: Describe the details of how you were injured
  • Liability: Explain why the restaurant is liable for your injuries
  • Injuries: Describe your injuries and how they impacted your life
  • Damages: Account for your damages, including pain and suffering

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

Sample Restaurant Injury Demand Letter

Here is a sample demand letter to a negligent restaurant’s insurance company from a fictional customer who was injured by broken glass.

Click for practical hints about writing your demand letter.

Vicki Timm
23 Gary Street
Spokane, WA 99207

July 10, 2020

Your letter date should be the day you mail your demand packet.

ABC Insurance Company
1010 High Street
New York, NY 10007
Attn: Robert Franklin

Your Insured: Harbor Light Restaurant

Re: Injury on May 26, 2020

The insurance company will likely refer to your injury date as the “Loss Date,” “Date of Loss,” or “DOL.”

Claim Number:  PI23001

FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY

Writing “For Settlement Purposes Only” lets the insurance company know they should not use the information in your letter as evidence if your case ends up in court.

Dear Mr. Franklin:

As you know, I was seriously injured by flying glass on the evening of May 26, 2020, when a negligent server caused several glass dishes to shatter and hit me in the face and neck.

The glass left me with several painful and unsightly lacerations on the right side of my face and neck. I could easily have been blinded.

There was no way I could have anticipated I was about to be pelted with flying glass. I was relaxing at the table, just like any other diner in the restaurant. I was terribly injured through no fault of my own.

Establish up front that you did nothing to contribute to the circumstances of your injuries. In pure comparative fault states like Washington, the adjuster can reduce your compensation if you share any blame.

If not for the negligence of Harbor Light Restaurant, I would not have suffered injuries that kept me out of work for three days and in pain and discomfort for three weeks.

SUMMARY OF FACTS

On the evening of May 26, 2020, at around 7:30 p.m., my husband Alex and I were dining at your insured’s restaurant on Maple Avenue in Spokane. We both ordered onion soup, fried calamari, and iced tea.

We were served water and hot rolls as we waited for our order.

Several minutes later, the server, John Swift, brought our food to the table. Rather than use a tray, he was trying to balance several plates using his hands and forearms. As he was lowering our dishes to the table, the plates and bowls shifted and fell from his grasp.

The falling dishes smashed into the bread plates and water glasses with an eruption of shattered glass shards. The loud explosion of flying glass hit me in the face and neck before I could even get my hands up to protect my face. I screamed, as did a woman from the next table.

Using powerful words like “eruption” and “explosion” helps to paint a vivid word picture of your experience.

I was shaking and crying, holding my face. My husband rushed to my side, and the lady from the next table handed him some clean napkins to hold against my bleeding face. The lady is Martha Sheridan. She saw how my injuries occurred and heard everything the server said. A copy of her statement is enclosed.

Independent witness statements are important and convincing evidence in support of your claim.

The server kept saying, “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry!”

Aware of the commotion, the manager, Susan Penn, came rushing over. She saw the blood soaking into the napkins, as well as blood that had dripped onto my blouse. Ms. Penn apologized and asked if we wanted her to call an ambulance. We declined and left the restaurant. My husband immediately drove me to the hospital for treatment.

Apologies from the restaurant staff and manager can be used as “admissions against interest” that help you prove the restaurant was at fault for your injuries.

INJURIES AND TREATMENT

To properly treat my wounds and to see if I needed stitches, my husband, Alex, drove me to the Holyoke Hospital emergency room. I was still quite upset, anxious, and in great discomfort.

After waiting for almost an hour, we were able to see the emergency room doctor, Cynthia Rodriguez.

Dr. Rodriguez carefully cleaned and examined my wounds, looking for embedded glass. The examination hurt, adding to my anxiety. After looking at my wounds, she said I wouldn’t need stitches, but the lacerations closest to my mouth needed to be closed with Steri-Strips.

The doctor said to prevent permanent scarring, I would need to avoid moving the areas near my mouth.

Facial injuries can be difficult to value. If there’s any chance of permanent scarring, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately.

She recommended I use swabs to clean my mouth rather than a toothbrush, rely on soft or liquid foods, try not to smile or do anything else that would cause my mouth to open wide or move my right cheek for at least five days. By then, the wound should be healed enough to stay closed.

It was Tuesday night, so Dr. Rodriguez ordered me to stay home from work for the rest of the week and stay quiet. She had the nurse give me a tetanus shot and instructed me to use an antibiotic ointment for the next week.

The adjuster needs to know exactly why you missed work, and that following doctor’s orders prevented permanent injury.

The next morning, I called in sick to work. I told my supervisor what had happened and told her the doctor ordered me to take several days off. Following doctor’s orders, I remained home until the following Monday, when I went back to work.

Because of your insured’s negligence, I suffered pain and anxiety, and missed three days of work without pay.

It was no picnic having the extra time off work. My face and neck were covered in painful cuts and bruises. I was so afraid of breaking the deeper cuts open that I didn’t dare open my mouth to talk, and lived on soup that I carefully spooned into my mouth with a teaspoon. Turning my head pulled on the cuts to my neck.

The first few days, I slept in the recliner in our living room because lying down made my face throb and swell. For the same reason, I couldn’t do much of anything during the day that required bending or turning my head.

The negligence of your insured left me with painful wounds, lost income, and significant trauma. I don’t know if I’ll even be able to enjoy dining out again. The clatter of dishes, even a cup on a saucer, makes me jump.

Be sure to describe the trauma from your injuries, and how they affected your life. You’re entitled to seek compensation for your emotional distress.

WORK HISTORY

I’ve worked for the last two years as a front desk clerk at the Hite Regent hotel in Spokane. As a front lobby clerk, my duties include greeting hotel guests and assisting them with their reservations.

It is important for all Hite Regent lobby clerks to be dressed in our uniforms, and prepared to greet our guests with a smile.

I missed three days of work. When I returned to work, I still had visible bruises and cuts on my face, including the two surgical strips holding together the wounds in my cheek. You can see from the enclosed pictures what I looked like right after the injuries, and how bad I still looked three days later.

Photographs are compelling evidence of the scope of your injuries. Take pictures of your injuries immediately after the incident and throughout your recovery.

Because of the lacerations and bandages to my face, my supervisor temporarily reassigned me to the Hotel’s call center, out of sight of hotel guests.

I was embarrassed and self-conscious about the wounds on my face. I was bombarded with questions from my co-workers and stared at by hotel guests when I had to pass through the hotel lobby or walk down a hall.

Enclosed is a copy of the lost wage statement from my employer.

It’s important to make clear how the injury has affected not only your wages but also your employment status.

DAMAGES

The following is a list of my damages. I’ve enclosed copies of my supporting documentation.

Holyoke Hospital

$850

Lost Wages

$360

Pain and Suffering

$2,500

Total Damages

$3,710

DEMAND

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 $3,710 to resolve my injury claim.

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

Sincerely,

Vicki Timm
555-345-6875
vickit@example.com

If you decide to include an email address, use your home email. Employers have legal access to everything in your work email.

Legal Help is Always Available

Taking some time to learn how the injury claims process works will help you to negotiate a fair settlement directly with the insurance company. Most insurance claims settle after a few rounds of offers and counteroffers with the adjuster. You sign a release, get your check, and you’re done.

But sometimes, even with good preparation, negotiations break down. It’s good to know that you have the right to contact a personal injury attorney at any time during negotiations.

Whether the adjuster won’t come off a lowball offer, you’re worried about the statute of limitations in your state, or some other complication crops up, good legal help is always available.

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

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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 >>