Get the compensation you deserve for injuries from falls on ice or snow. Follow our tips and sample demand letter to the negligent property owner’s insurance company.
Slips and falls on icy surfaces might only injure your dignity, but are all too often the cause of significant injuries.
Property owners have a legal duty to keep walkways, stairs, parking lots, and similar areas free from accumulated ice and snow.
Owners of commercial properties, residential properties, and even government properties may be liable for your injuries if you’ve fallen on untreated ice.
Severe fall injuries are high-dollar claims that should be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure fair compensation for the victim.
Relatively minor injury claims can usually be settled on your own, by negotiating directly with the negligent property owner’s insurance company.
Active negotiations for your slip and fall injury claim begin when you send a formal demand letter to the insurance adjuster assigned to your claim.
Find out more about How to Write an Effective Demand Letter for Compensation.
Put Together a Complete Demand Packet
A complete demand packet has a professional-looking demand letter and organized copies of the evidence you’ve gathered to support your injury claim.
Your evidence might include:
Before writing your demand letter, calculate the settlement value of your injury claim by adding your “special damages” and “general damages.”
Special damages, or “hard costs,” are injury-related expenses you can prove with bills, receipts, and wage statements.
You won’t have receipts for your “general damages,” but there are other ways to justify the cost of your pain and suffering.
Make copies of your supporting evidence to enclose with your demand letter. Original documents should be saved in your accident claim file.
Write an Impressive Demand Letter
With some attention to detail, your demand letter can look just as professional as one from an attorney. Be sure to:
- Check spelling and grammar with your program’s review functions
- Manually check the spelling of names and places
- Double-check your math
- Print your letter on white or cream-colored bond paper
- Sign your letter in blue or black ink
Your demand letter should include:
- Statement of Facts: A detailed description of the events surrounding your injury
- Liability: Why the property owner is at fault for your injuries
- Injuries: A description of your injuries and how they impacted your life
- Damages: Dollar amounts of what you can claim for damages
Make a copy of the complete packet for your files. It’s good to have your copy in front of you during discussions with the adjuster.
Send the letter by USPS certified mail, return receipt requested. When the receipt comes back, attach it to your copy of the packet.
Sample Demand Letter for Slip and Fall on Ice
Here we’ve created a sample demand letter to a negligent building owner’s insurance company. Our fictional victim was injured at an apartment building where the landlord allowed ice and snow to accumulate on the front steps.
Click for practical hints about writing your demand letter.
2710 Main Street, Apt #237
Albany, NY 10502
March 4, 2020
ABC Insurance Company
123 Gray Street, Suite A
Albany, NY 10327
Attn: Ann Smith
Your Insured: Shelton Arms Apartments
Re: Injury on January 16, 2020
Claim Number: PL000236
FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY
Dear Ms. Smith:
As you know, I was painfully injured on January 16, 2020, at the Shelton Arms Apartments when I slipped and violently fell because of ice and snow that your insured allowed to accumulate on the front steps of the building.
I had to have emergency treatment for the severe sprain to my left ankle and scrapes and bruises to my hands and knees. The crippling ankle injury kept me off my feet and out of work for a full month.
The Albany area had endured freezing temperatures and wintry precipitation for several days. Your insured was notified that the front steps of the apartment building were slick and dangerous. Like any apartment dweller in New York, I expected our landlord to keep the steps and sidewalk cleared of snow and treated with salt or de-icer.
Everybody around here knows that in Albany, walks have to be shoveled within 24 hours of any snowstorm. It had snowed the day before, so I assumed the walks and steps would be safe by the time I got home from work on the evening of January 16, 2020.
When I got home from work, at around 9:00 p.m., I could see the landlord hadn’t touched the steps. There was no other way to get into the apartment building, so I had no choice but to try to go up the steps carefully.
I was wearing good winter boots and walking as carefully as I could, when my feet suddenly flew out from under me. My leg twisted as I tried to keep from falling. There was nothing I could have done to keep from falling on those dangerous, icy steps. I was severely 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 bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, and my pain and suffering.
SUMMARY OF FACTS
Your insured owns the Shelton Arms apartment building at 2710 Main Street, Albany, New York. At approximately 9:00 p.m. on January 16, 2020, I was seriously injured when I slipped and fell on ice and snow that had accumulated on the front steps of your insured’s building.
I got home around 9:00 p.m. from my shift at the Pleasant Valley Nursing Home. Despite prior requests to your insured, the front steps had not been cleared or treated for ice. There was no other way for me to get to my apartment. I had to use the front steps to enter the building.
I was walking carefully and wearing low-heeled boots with good tread. I began to climb the steps to the front of my building with one hand on the masonry sidewall running along with the steps. In my other hand, I carried my purse and a tote bag with my work shoes and other belongings.
While climbing the steps to my apartment building, I suddenly felt my legs go out from under me. I screamed and tried to steady myself, but my right ankle turned unnaturally to the left. I immediately felt a searing pain in my right ankle. The pain was so severe that I thought my ankle was broken.
My hands and knees were scraped and bruised from the fall. My ankle was throbbing and already swelling inside my boot. I sat stunned on the snowy sidewalk in a state of shock from the pain.
One of my neighbors, Juan Gomez, heard me scream and came out to see what was happening. When he saw me on the ground in terrible pain, he called for his family to help. Mr. Gomez and his teen sons got me into the building, nearly falling themselves on the slick steps. Mrs. Gomez called 911.
The ambulance came and took me to Haley Hospital emergency department.
Three days before my catastrophic fall, I called the management office and complained about the steps being very slippery. No one responded to my complaints, and the steps remained icy and dangerous. I also spoke with other tenants in my building.
Mr. Juan Gomez said he called the landlord on January 14th and 15th to complain about the icy conditions on the steps. Ms. Anita Balor informed me that she called your insured on January 15th to report she had fallen on the same icy steps I slipped and fell on. Copies of their statements are enclosed.
INJURIES AND TREATMENT
When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics stabilized my ankle with soft splints and transported me to Haley Hospital emergency department. At the hospital, I was examined and treated by Dr. Irving Lazzar.
X-rays and a CT scan ruled out bone fractures. However, Dr. Lazzar diagnosed my injuries as a severe sprain to the Achilles tendon and deltoid ligament in my right ankle.
My ankle was wrapped with a compression bandage, and I was fitted for a walking boot to support the ankle while the tendon heals. I was ordered to stay off my ankle for at least two weeks, then begin gradual weight-bearing with the continued aid of crutches.
Because my nursing job requires me to be on my feet and moving through twelve-hour shifts, I was ordered not to work for at least four weeks.
Dr. Lazzar advised me to follow up with an orthopedist if I didn’t see improvement after two weeks. The doctor prescribed Tramadol for acute pain and released me from the hospital.
I was not willing or able to attempt icy steps on crutches, so rather than return home, I called my brother to pick me up from the hospital.
While waiting for my brother to arrive, I called the landlord and told him about my injury. He told me he meant to de-ice the steps but ran out of de-icing chemicals. He said he was sorry and would send someone over to de-ice the steps.
I stayed with my brother and his family for three days before going home to my apartment. By that time, the landlord had cleared the steps of ice and snow, but facing those stairs again was terrifying.
For a full month after the day my ankle was seriously injured, I was forced to hobble around on crutches. During that time, I continued to experience substantial pain and discomfort. I couldn’t drive, had trouble dressing and showering, and otherwise experienced significant stress and hassle caused by my injury.
My friends and family had to bring me groceries, and help me with laundry, cleaning, and other necessities. I missed being at work. I love being a nurse, yet I was stuck at home.
I was in pain, isolated, and frustrated, all because your insured failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent harm to tenants in his building.
I diligently followed the doctor’s orders and was able to slowly bear increasing weight on my right ankle. Although I’m still careful of that ankle, I returned to my nursing job on February 14, 2020.
I have been employed full-time for the last seven years as a registered nurse at Friendly Nursing Home in Albany. Friendly is a skilled-care home, so my duties include passing medications, IV care, wound care, breathing treatments, and supervising a team of nursing assistants. I have to be able to move fast if there’s a patient emergency.
I typically work four twelve-hour shifts per week. I often work extra shifts as the need arises. Before your client’s negligence seriously injured me, I had a nearly perfect attendance record.
The following is a list of my medical bills and other injury-related damages. Copies of my supporting documents 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 $21,760 to resolve my injury claim.
Please respond within fifteen (15) business days. I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.
Get an Attorney When You Need One
When you’ve organized your paperwork and taken the time to find out how to negotiate an insurance settlement, you can usually settle minor injury claims after a few rounds of offers and counteroffers with the adjuster.
Most slip and fall claims are straightforward, but some situations are complicated, like injuries that occur on government properties. Injury claims against the government have different rules and timelines that are hard to navigate on your own.
There are many reasons your claim negotiations can stall. It’s good to know that whatever the reason, you have the right to consult an attorney at any point during negotiations.
Don’t settle for less. Get the legal information you need to protect your rights and your financial restitution.
Most injury attorneys don’t charge for their initial consultation. There no obligation on your part, and it costs nothing to find out what a good attorney can do for you.
How Much is Your Injury Claim Worth?
Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney…