Personal injuries happen every day, and many people don’t get the compensation they richly deserve. Knowing your rights and standing up for yourself can mean everything when trying to settle a claim. A demand letter is often drafted and is the centerpiece of the negotiation process. In it, you let the insurance company know your toughest arguments regarding your claim.
This formal letter should be drafted as such. It should state what the injuries sustained were, why the other party is liable and the loss and damages that you have suffered. The letter should conclude with a dollar amount and a demand to settle the claim.
What To Emphasize
Before writing the letter, have the details of the accident-- pain, distress, inconvenience, disturbance of life, and medical issues, all in order. You will need this information when drafting the letter. You want to start with the liability and describe the accident. If the other party was at fault, state how and why. Describe the incident in its entirety and state what you were doing when this occurred. Don’t go on theory, use outside reports as proof. Gather police reports and any eyewitness statements to help substantiate your claim.
Because of the nature of personal injury accident, there may be a dispute about whether your careless acts contributed to this event. Even if the other party is clearly at fault, insurance companies will do whatever it takes to keep from paying you. Raise the issue and demand that you were not at fault in any way, shape or form. Even if you think you were. Never admit fault to anyone, always claim innocence. It is the insurance companies’ job to make comparative negligence arguments, not yours. If they bring up the subject during negotiations about the claim, it is acceptable to discuss it then.
Injuries and Treatment
So many people want to sugar coat their injuries. Make sure that that injuries and treatments are accurate. Make sure to emphasize how much pain you are in and how long and hard your recovery has or will be. Talk about the negative effects the injury has caused and how you are permanently scared. Don’t be overly dramatic, but don’t be shy about the issues either. If you make the letter so over the top, insurance companies tend to overlook fraudulent claims, as they get a ton of them.
Have a list of all the medical providers who have treated your injuries. Attach a copy of this with the letter. Also, make sure to have a statement from your employer about lost wages. Make sure the statement says you missed work because of the injuries. Having the employer verify is big in the eyes of an insurance company. Put a dollar amount on the total loss of work. Mention everything that you have suffered, including inconvenience and embarrassment on top of the medical issues.
The Demand Figure
Wrap up the letter with a specific amount you demand. This should be a figure that you feel the claim is worth. Always make it a little higher than what you would settle for, just in case they want to negotiate. You may need to do some research to find out just exactly how many your injuries are worth. Don’t just come up with a number out of the air, study and find a good amount that is fair for your injuries. Attach any supporting documentation to the letter. The more foot work you do before sending the letter, the easier you make it for the insurance company to just simply cut you a check.
Sample Personal Injury Demand Letter
Jennifer St. Thomas
78 Biglow Way
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068
April 16, 2016
Global Insurance ABC Companies
89 Santa Monica Way
Santa Monica, CA 90878
To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing regarding a personal injury accident that occurred on Saturday, January 27, 2016. I was walking down Main Street on my way to the local post office. James Louder was traveling heading East on Main Street and wasn’t paying attention at the intersection. He ran right into my leg and caused me to fall.
As a result of this incident I have suffered a broken leg that required surgery. I have pins in my leg and have to learn to walk again. I have been in excruciating pain and have had to miss a great deal of work. I have attached statements from the police department and also eye witnesses on the scene. Attached you will also see my medical reports and the seriousness of my injuries.
While I am not looking to get rich off of Mr. Louder or the insurance company, I want the compensation I deserve. After doing some research on my injuries, I feel the total package is worth $120,000. I have attached my medical bills, which totaled $70,000 and the rest is for my pain and suffering. I expect to hear from you within 10- days regarding this matter.
Jennifer St. Thomas
By Andre Bradley