Just as injuries are unique to every victim, so are the facts of each injury claim. This sample demand letter for a whiplash settlement is meant to serve as a guide to help you construct your own demand letter. When writing your letter, substitute your case information in each section. You can write in your own style, but always maintain a professional tone.
Read the sections to better understand the reasoning behind each passage and its importance in settlement negotiations.
Learn more about whiplash injury claims here.
Sample Written Demand for a Whiplash Settlement
August 19, 2014
Weercheep Insurance Company
Mr. G. Smith
123 Street – Suite A
Tempe, AZ 04419
FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY
The courts know if information discussed between the adjuster and the victim during settlement negotiations could be used during a trial, it would stifle a free and open dialogue.
Let’s say the victim’s demand letter asked for a settlement of $10,000. But the insurance company refused and the case went to trial. Fortunately for the victim, the judge didn’t permit the settlement offer to be brought up in court, and the jury awarded the victim $15,000. If the judge had allowed the original settlement request to be known, the jury might have thought that’s all the victim wanted and only awarded $10.000.
Dear Mr. Smith:
I was seriously injured on July 15, 2014, at approximately 11:30 a.m. when your insured failed to yield at the intersection of Jericho Turnpike and Coelo Ave in Hoboken, New Jersey. It was later determined your insured was texting at the time his vehicle collided with mine. At all times related to the collision, I was observant and driving in accordance with local motor vehicle laws.
As a direct and proximate result of your insured’s negligence, I sustained a serious injury to my neck. The injury was medically determined to be whiplash. I was treated for my injuries at the Vanzant Hospital Emergency Room and later at the Springsteen Chiropractic Clinic. Both facilities are located in Hoboken, New Jersey.
The damages for which I am seeking compensation include my medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the injury, and my pain and suffering. As a result of your insured’s negligence, I was in serious pain and discomfort for four weeks. Following the doctor’s orders, I was unable to work for that period.
I want to make clear from the outset I never asked for any of this to happen. Before July 15, 2014, I enjoyed a life free from physical pain and discomfort. But it all changed on that day when my life was altered by your insured’s negligence.
As you are aware, I am currently not represented by an attorney. I am writing this letter in good faith, in hope of settling this matter amicably and without the need for litigation.
On July 15, 2014, at approximately 11:30 a.m., I was en route from my home at 1267 Sandhurst Road, Hoboken NJ, to my office at 67 Jericho Turnpike, Hoboken NJ. I was traveling north on Jericho Turnpike. As I was approaching the intersection of Jericho Turnpike and Coelo Ave, suddenly and without warning, your insured pulled out directly into me.
I had no time to stop or take evasive maneuvers. Your insured’s vehicle crashed into the front left quarter panel of my vehicle. The collision was violent and spun my vehicle around almost 360 degrees. At all times I was wearing my seatbelt, and I had the right of way.
Your insured pulled over to the side of the road. Two other drivers pulled over as well. All three drivers came to my aid. The police were called and arrived several minutes later. Immediately after the collision I felt a sharp pain in my neck.
The paramedics treated me at the scene and then transferred me by ambulance to the Vanzant Hospital Emergency Room where I received further medical treatment. X-rays and an MRI showed a cervical strain to the C-5 region of my neck. The treating physician, Dr. Freedman, diagnosed me as having sustained a whiplash injury. He prescribed pain medication and indicated I would need physical therapy to treat the cervical strain.
The morning after the collision, I awoke in acute pain and discomfort. I was barely able to turn my neck without excruciating pain. My wife, Susan, drove me directly to the Springsteen Chiropractic Clinic. There I received treatment from Dr. Fixur for my whiplash injury. My therapy lasted four weeks, from July 17, 2014 to August 15, 2014. It was long and painful. At times, the pain was so bad I thought I wouldn’t be able to continue.
Three days after the collision, my wife Susan obtained a copy of the police report. The report listed Mary Lewis and Steve Richards as witnesses to the collision. Both informed the police they saw your insured texting as he approached the stop sign at the intersection of Coelo Ave and Jericho Turnpike. They also stated your insured failed to stop, drove into the intersection, and struck my vehicle.
The police report indicates your insured was issued three citations: failing to stop at a designated stop sign, failure to yield, and texting while driving. I did not receive any citations.
At the time of the collision, I was employed as a painter with the Hill Brothers Painting Company. Their office is located at 67 Jericho Turnpike, in Hoboken, NJ. I have been employed with Hill Brothers for approximately two years, from July 1, 2012 through today.
My injuries made it impossible for me to work, as my job requires using my neck to freely look up and down. Because my injury was not work related, I was’t eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. From the date of the injury through August 15, 2014, I had no income. I had to rely solely on my wife’s income and money borrowed from family. I was finally cleared by Dr. Fixur to return to work on August 15, 2014.
INJURIES AND TREATMENT
I was treated for my injury at the Vanzant Hospital in Hoboken, NJ. There, I had an MRI exam and x-rays were taken. I was diagnosed by the emergency room treating physician, Dr. Freedman, as having suffered a whiplash injury to the C-5 region of my neck. Dr. Freedman prescribed Vicodin 10mg #30, every four hours, and Flexeril 15 mg, one every 6 hours, and attached a cervical neck brace. Dr. Freedman also ordered therapy.
I was later treated by Dr. Fixur at the Springsteen Chiropractic Clinic. My treatment included electrical stimulation, massage therapy, and neck exercises. At Dr. Fixur’s order, I visited the clinic bi-weekly for treatment for four weeks, from July 17, 2014 to August 14, 2014. I worked diligently at my therapy sessions so I could return to work as soon as reasonably possible.
I am a fifty-year-old male. My prior medical history includes treatment in 2012 for high blood pressure. I presently take Diovan to treat my blood pressure. In 2013, I was also treated for a benign growth on my left leg.
I have been employed by Hill Brothers Painting Company for two years, from July 1st, 2012 through today. Before that, I was employed for sixteen years as a painter with the Oslon Development Company located in Maspeth, Long Island. In the last two years, I have missed only four days of work due to illness, and three days while serving on jury duty. Since I began at Hill Brothers, I have been promoted to painting foreman.
The following is a list of my medical bills and other financial losses related to my injuries and treatment. I have attached copies of representative bills and receipts, and a letter from my employer confirming the wages I lost while recovering.
After careful consideration of liability and damages, and an in-depth review of standard settlements for injury cases with similar fact patterns, I am convinced a fair and reasonable settlement, inclusive of my pain and suffering, is $25,175.00.
For soft-tissue injuries like whiplash, you can use a multiple of 2 to 5 times your medical bills, plus expenses and lost wages, to come up with a total settlement demand amount. The multiple accounts for your pain and suffering.
In the above example, the victim’s medical bills total $6,250.00. By demanding 3.5 times medicals ($21,875.00), plus expenses and lost wages ($3,300.00), the victim will be reimbursed for his financial losses and will receive an additional amount for pain and suffering ($15,625.00).
Your initial demand should be slightly higher than you expect to get. It’s rare for an adjuster to accept the first demand, so expect some back-and-forth negotiating before you get to a final settlement.
I look forward to hearing from you.
1267 Sandhurst Road
Hoboken, NJ 24105
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