Writing a demand letter in a car accident injury claim can be daunting if you wish to settle an insurance claim on your own, but feel you lack the legal "savvy" to write one. You can create a persuasive demand letter by relaying the details of your accident and medical treatment in chronological order, using everyday language. Attach copies of medical bills and records, the police report, wage loss information, photos, and property damage bills to support your claim for damages.
What is a Demand Letter?
A demand letter is a letter sent to the negligent driver’s insurance company demanding payment or reimbursement for damages sustained in an accident. The letter specifically demands a payment amount as well as a time limit for a response.
How to Write a Persuasive Demand Letter
Be polite and non-threatening. Address the letter to the bodily injury adjuster assigned to the adverse driver’s claim. Add the claim number, date of injury, and the name of the insured party in the subject line.
Begin your letter with a description of the accident. Include the date, time, names of all parties, location of the accident, year, make and model of the vehicles, and precisely how and where the other driver's vehicle collided with your vehicle. Specify if you were wearing a seatbelt. Attach the police report.
Describe your injuries and incident-related medical care in detail, beginning with the date of accident until final treatment. Attach bills and records for each medical provider. Itemize and total your medical bills and prescriptions. Add photos of injuries.
Attach the wage loss verification from your employer.
Assemble, and total your property damage bills. Supply photos.
It is important to add all of your "special damages,", i.e. medical bills, repair bills, and other bills together. Indicate in writing, the exact dollar amount of the special damages owed to you. Also list the amount of any "future damages" you anticipate.
Summarize your letter by adding a description of past or present pain and suffering from accident-related injuries. In the same paragraph add your "demand" amount as well as the time limit for the opposing party to respond. Sample: "I demand settlement in the amount of [ ] dollars. I respectfully request that you respond to this demand within 30 days."
The amount of money you demand is your decision. You may wish to multiply your damages by anywhere between 1 1/2 and 4 times to reach a settlement value that seems fair to you.
Sign your letter. Assemble and your documents neatly behind the letter using divider pages and tabs. Send the demand packet via certified mail.
When to Seek an Attorney
Only an attorney can offer legal advice. Seek out a personal injury attorney to write a demand letter specific to the complexities of your case. He is your best advocate in disputes involving the other driver's insurance company and can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.