The demand letter is an essential part of your personal injury claim. You will write it once you’ve fully recovered from your injuries. By this time, you should have all the necessary evidence, including medical and chiropractic bills, receipts for your out-of-pocket expenses, and proof of lost wages. If applicable, you should also have a copy of the police report and witness statements.
This sample demand letter deals with a car accident caused by a driver who was texting. You can use this example as a guide when composing your own demand letter. While you may find some of the language repetitive, the repetition serves a purpose. It helps avoid confusion, confirm the facts, and add greater force to your claim.
Along the way you’ll see buttons. We’ve added these hints to help you understand the rationale behind the wording and substance of a demand letter. While this letter deals with a claim where chiropractic care was the sole treatment, the format can be used for injuries requiring any type of medical care.
Learn more about texting accident claims here.
Texting Accident Demand Letter Example
February 17, 2014
Dontcair Insurance Company
Ms. Wanna Sedle
123 Street – Suite A
Houston, TX 54919
FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY
Most personal injury claims are settled out of court. To facilitate pretrial settlements, most judges afford settlement negotiations a form of confidentiality. This means what you write in your demand letter can’t later be used against you if your claim ends up in court. This is especially important when addressing issues of comparative negligence, prior injuries, criminal history, etc.
While it’s not a legal requirement to title your demand letter with the phrase FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY, doing so makes clear you have a reasonable expectation of confidentiality if trial becomes necessary.
Dear Ms. Sedle:
As you are aware, on January 30th, 2014 at approximately 12:30 p.m., at the intersection of Main Street and Lakeland Boulevard your insured, while driving her 2010 Ford 150 pickup truck, violently and without notice crashed into the rear of my 2012 Chevy Malibu. The collision resulted in my having sustained a serious neck injury.
The collision occurred because your insured was distracted while texting on her cell phone. Your insured’s negligence was the direct and proximate cause of my neck injury and resulting damages.
Your insured contends I contributed to my injuries by failing to wear my seatbelt. That is wholly untrue.
I was treated for my injuries at the Wemakubtr Chiropractic Clinic at 110 Gilbert Street, Tucson, AZ. I also incurred expenses for over-the-counter medications, a cervical collar, gasoline, and parking costs. During my treatment and recovery, I was unable to work and incurred lost wages.
I want to make clear from the outset that I never asked for any of this to happen. Immediately prior to January 30, 2014, I enjoyed a full life free of pain and discomfort. On January 30th, however, all that changed. Because of your insured’s negligence, my life was unnecessarily and unalterably changed. The collision caused me to suffer personal and economic damages, as well as enduring pain and discomfort.
As you are aware, I am currently not represented by an attorney. I am writing this letter in good faith, in hope of settling my claim amicably and without the need for litigation.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
On January 30, 2014, at approximately 12:20 p.m., I was returning to my job at the Haverford Printing Company at 1246 Mill Street in Tucson, AZ. I was driving north on Main Street. As I reached the intersection of Main Street and Lakeland Boulevard, I came to a full stop at the stop sign.
While stopped, I was suddenly and violently struck from behind by your insured’s 2010 Ford 150 Pickup Truck. The collision caused my head, neck, and shoulders to snap violently and repeatedly forwards and backwards, with my head finally slamming into the headrest. After the collision, I pulled over to the shoulder on the east side of Main Street. As I did, your insured pulled behind me and stopped. So did another driver whose name I learned was Ima Truthfull.
I called 911 and asked for the police to be dispatched to the scene. The dispatcher asked if anyone was injured. At the time I was in shock and my adrenaline was still pumping. I didn’t believe I was injured. Your insured said she wasn’t injured. The police dispatcher said police aren’t dispatched to an accident scene unless there are injuries or the collision is impeding traffic.
I was told I could come to the police station and file my own report. I did so later that afternoon. You possess of a copy of that accident report.
At the crash site, your insured made the following statement to me: “I’m sorry. I didn’t see you. I was texting my boyfriend.” Ms. Ima Truthful also said: “I was directly behind (your insured) and right before she hit you I saw her with her head down, holding what looked like a cell phone.”
Your insured and I exchanged insurance information at the scene. I also took down Ms. Truthful’s contact information. She told me she would agree to act as a witness to the collision. It is my understanding from our discussions, you have Ms. Truthful’s written statement.
The next morning, January 31st, I awoke terribly sore. I could barely move my neck without sharp pain. My shoulders hurt and I felt nauseous. I called in sick to my job as a computer programmer at the Brandon Computer Company at 55 Skidmore Street, Tucson, AZ.
The same day I called your company to file an injury claim. I knew I needed physical therapy and wanted your company to pay for it. Later that day, my sister Susan drove me to the Wemakubtr Chiropractic Clinic at 110 Gilbert Street, Tucson, AZ. I explained to the administrative nurse I was rear-ended in a car collision. The clinic took down your insured’s insurance information and agreed to treat me while my claim was pending.
I was treated by Dr. Avery Smith. After an extensive physical evaluation, including a set of x-rays, Dr. Smith diagnosed my injury as a serious hyperextension and flexion injury to the neck. Dr. Smith indicated the most effective and expeditious treatment was electrical stimulation, exercise, massage, cold therapy, rest, and adjustment. He also indicated it would take approximately three to five weeks of therapy for my injury to properly heal.
To expedite my recovery, Dr. Smith indicated I should not return to my job as a computer programmer for the first two weeks of treatment. During the first two weeks, Dr. Smith ordered me to wear a cervical collar to restrict movement of my neck.
On February 2, 2014, I began treatment at the Wemakubtr Chiropractic Clinic. I fully followed the regimen set out for me by Dr. Smith. Treatment was painful and exacting.
In addition to the pain and discomfort I endured during treatment, I was also unable to enjoy the love and companionship of my spouse and young children. I was unable to pick my children up, play with them, or help them with their homework. I was also unable to perform simple tasks such as bathing, shaving, dressing, and other personal activities without great difficulty.
Because I was not able to work for the first two weeks, I had no income during that time.
INJURIES AND TREATMENT
I was treated for my injuries at the Wemakubtr Chiropractic Clinic located at 110 Gilbert Street, Tucson, AZ. Dr. Avery Smith evaluated me on February 2nd, 2014. After a thorough physical examination and a set of x-rays, Dr. Smith diagnosed my condition as a serious hyperextension and flexion injury to the neck.
Dr. Smith indicated the most effective course of treatment for my injury would be electrical stimulation, massage, cold therapy, rest, exercise, and a minimum of three adjustments. In an effort to speed my recovery, I closely followed the treatment regimen set out for me. You have a copy of Dr. Smith’s written diagnosis and prognosis, as well as copies of all chiropractic records related to my claim.
I am a 30-year-old male with an unremarkable medical history. My past treatment includes a visit to the Tucson County Hospital Emergency Room in June of 2010 for a broken left clavicle. At the time of the collision made the basis of this claim, my injuries were fully healed.
I have been employed full-time for the last five years as a computer programmer for the Brandon Computer Company at 55 Skidmore Street, Tucson, AZ. Before that, I was employed for three years as a computer salesman at the Energic Computer Company at 357 South Boulevard, Tempe, AZ.
Before working, I was a full-time student studying computer science at Arizona State University, where I received my bachelors degree in computer science in June 2007. During the last five years I have missed less than eight days of work due to injury or illness.
The following is a list of my damages. I have sent you copies of my chiropractic records and bills, along with copies of receipts for my cervical collar, over-the-counter pain medication, and the cost of travel to and from treatment. You also have a letter from my employer confirming my lost wages.
After careful consideration of liability and damages, and a review of standard settlements for similar injury cases with similar fact patterns, I am convinced a fair and reasonable settlement inclusive of my pain and suffering is $9,315.00.
For soft-tissue injuries like whiplash, you can use a multiple of 2 to 5 times the victim’s medical bills, plus expenses and lost wages, to come up with a total settlement demand amount. The multiple represents compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering.
Expect your final settlement to be lower than your initial demand. There is almost always some back-and-forth negotiation. For soft-tissue injury claims, especially chiropractic claims, some insurance companies may only offer a token amount for pain. If you aren’t satisfied with the amount of compensation offered, you can always seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney.
I look forward to hearing from you.
325 Oak St.
Tucson, AZ 32520
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