A car accident demand letter is used when demanding for compensation after suffering damages caused by a car accident. In most instances, it involves the driver or the passenger not at fault that was injured in the accident. A demand letter serves as a warning to the other party that if they do not compensate you for the damages, you shall be taking legal actions against them.
What You Must Do After Suffering an Accident
- Request your medical expenses
- Document your injury
- Establish the extent of property damage
- Document your expenses
- Be organized
- Do not overstate and do not be greedy
- Calculate your Pain and Suffering
- Seek professional Legal Advice
Why Send a Letter of Demand?
After suffering from damages caused by a car accident, and you believe that the driver was at-fault, then you are entitled to receive compensation from them. One of the most commonly used methods to obtain compensation is filing a claim with the insurance company of the liable person by writing a detailed personal injury demand letter summarizing your complaint as well as the amount of money you are requesting.
Your demand letter should inform the other party that:
- You believe they were at-fault in the accident
- They should pay for the damages they have caused and any other losses incurred with relation to the accident
- The time frame when they are expected to have paid the money and how it should be paid, e.g., bank cheque, or direct deposits to your bank
- You will take legal actions against them should they fail to comply with the demands made.
By simply sending a demand letter, you may get the other party to pay for the damages, thereby avoiding legal battles which are usually costly and time-consuming. Make sure to draft your letter well and include the evidence so that if the matter ends up in court, then you shall have proof showing that you sent the letter.
What to Include in a Car Accident Demand Letter
For your demand letter to be effective, you should include the following:
Relate the Facts: Describe the facts surrounding the accident in detail, including the weather, road directions, and the direction you were headed in and where the at-fault driver was headed. You can also refer to police reports containing citations against the driver, relevant laws such as distracted driving infractions, and other pertinent facts. The account should be composed and not emotional. You should also provide a clear and poised explanation of the physical effects of the accident and provide the insurance company with your version of the events that took place during the accident.
Be Polite: Be polite when writing the letter. Do not attack your adversary in as much as you may be tempted to do so—be polite but serious at the same time. The more you attack the recipient, the more you push them to respond similarly. When you are calm, you will sound more believable, as this demonstrates that you are confident in your position. This also holds when presenting an argument in court too.
Injuries and Medical Treatments: Give a detailed explanation of the injuries you’ve suffered as a result of the accident. Attach any supporting documents such as medical reports, bills, or photos showing the damages. It is recommended you provide all documentation of your claim for your medical treatment, including your medical records or correspondence from your doctor describing the diagnosis of your injuries and the treatment you received.
You should describe your injuries in detail, including any long-term disability that resulted from the accident. In case you had to undergo a surgery, then a video of the operation would be great in case the matter escalates and is tabled before a Jury.
Medical Expenses: Provide all the medical expenses you incur that are reasonably connected to your accident. Add proof to back up the demand in the forms of medical reports, hospital bills, and receipts. Do not send the demand letter to the insurance company until after you’ve completed your treatment.
Damages: Damages can be divided into two: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical expenses and lost income as a result of the accident. At the same time, non-economic damages, also referred to as pain and Suffering, including any emotional distress resulting from the accident, for example, depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic disorder (PTSD).
Even though you may not have any documentation to prove that you suffered non-economic damage because it is subjective, you still have to describe how your physical injuries negatively impacted your quality of life.
Your settlement demand amount: After giving a descriptive explanation of the facts and circumstances of the accident, injuries sustained, emotional damages, medical expenses, and lost wages, the last step is now, to sum up, the letter with a specific demand for compensation for all your combined losses. The primary objective of a demand letter is to reach a reasonable settlement without the need for litigation.
Set a deadline: Include a time frame, usually one or two weeks, for the recipient to respond to the letter. Creating a sense of urgency will push them to respond faster to resolve the matter; otherwise, they will be less motivated to deal with you right away. Conclude by stating that if they fail to respond within the stipulated period, you will take legal actions against them.
Supporting Documents for your demand should include:
- All the medical expenses, hospital bills, medical records, and any notes from your doctor;
- Police incident report;
- All receipts for out-of-pocket expenses such as gas used when seeking treatment, and purchase of any pain medications;
- An official letter from your employer concerning your wages and time off work;
- Any photos, videos, or any other material collected from the scene; and,
- Any other relevant paperwork.
After writing the letter
- Make a copy and keep as it will come in handy if the matter escalated to the court
- Send the original letter by a registered mail, fax or email or personally hand it to the other party
- Keep a clear record of the date, time and where you delivered the letter
Sample Car Accident Demand Letter
Sample Car Accident Demand Letter
6536 Main Street
Las villa, AZ 64764
June 10, 2020
Empire Insurance Company
375 River Road
New York, NY 26526
Attn: Lou Jones
Insured: Tom Wesley
4232 Convey Lane
Phoenix, AZ 54317
Re: Auto Collision on January 13, 2020
Claim No.: A87SYH7ST
FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY
Dear Mr. Jones:
As you already know, on January 13, 2020, I was seriously injured in an automobile collision on the Northview Expressway caused by your insured, Tom Wesley. Had it not been for his negligence, I would not have suffered my injuries and subsequently lost wages.
My doctors say that I have reached a level of maximum medical improvement. Nonetheless, I still have painful symptoms that may continue for several months. For this reason, I have decided to bring the matter to a conclusion with a reasonable and equitable settlement of my injury claim.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
On January 13, 2020, at approximately 8:30 a.m., I was headed home from the Farmers market in my 2018 Honda Accord, traveling North in the Northview Expressway. I made sure that I observed the speed limit of 65 miles per hour, wearing my seat belt and fully aware of the incoming traffic.
As I was preparing to enter the exit ramp for Springbay Road, when suddenly and without any notice, your insured moved from the center lane directly in front of my car. As he did, the left rear quarter panel of his 2019 Mercedes Benz slammed into the right front quarter panel of my Honda.
The impact caused my Honda into the exit ramp’s concrete retaining wall. My head and neck fiercely jolted back and forth and from side to side, and my shoulder was slammed heavily against the door, causing it to dislocate.
As my Honda finally came to an abrupt stop, I felt an acute pain in my head, neck, and shoulder areas. Your insured got out of the car to help me out, and we began to speak.
On asking you’re Insured why he cut in front of me, he said that he was distracted. He said that upon realizing that he was about to miss the Springbay Road exit, he quickly changed lanes to exit.
Your Insured quickly called 911 and reported the collision, and the police, together with the emergency medical services, arrived within several minutes. Your Insured informed the medical services that he had not injured in any way and that I was in excruciating pain. After evaluation by the paramedics at the scene, I was transferred to the General Hospital’s emergency department.
A driver by the name James Walker witnessed the collision as he was traveling directly behind my car. He pulled over immediately after the collision. Mr. James described what he had witnessed to the officer.
The police reports show that the officer issued a traffic citation to your insured for “illegal lane change.” This police report clearly shows that your Insured was at fault.
INJURIES AND TREATMENT
I was examined by Irene Synes, an M.D at the General Hospital’s Emergency Room, and an MRI confirmed that I had sustained a Grade 3 right shoulder separation, involving ligaments connecting the scapula and clavicle.
I was given some drugs to use and instructed to use over-the-counter pain relievers. I was afterward referred to an Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Gregory Washington, for a follow-up. Dr. Gregory explained that my dislocated shoulder could heal without any surgery; however, I would still have to keep my shoulder immobilized by wearing a sling and remain out of work for nine to twelve weeks.
Driving distance to and from my medical appointments totaled 250 miles, at the standard mileage rate, equals $154. Medications, slings, and bandages totaled $92
Total out-of-pocket expenses are $246.
As indicated in the enclosed statement from the employer, I have worked as an advocate for the Richardsons and Associates since 2002. Before the accident, I was making $32 an hour. I did not receive any income during my recovery as my injury was not related to my job. For this reason, I lost $8272 in wages.
PAIN AND SUFFERING
The entire ordeal has been devastating. I never asked to be in this situation. Before the accident, I led a full life, free of pain and discomfort. Ever since the collision, I have had to endure a life of pain, discomfort, anxiety, and guilt all because of your Insured’s negligence.
The loss of income has negatively impacted on my family. I have been forced to borrow money from my family members, and the embarrassment adversely strained my marriage. Consequently, I have also been unable to enjoy any intimacy I previously shared with my wife due to the pain and Suffering.
ITEMIZATION OF DAMAGES
General Hospital Bills: $4,500
Orthopedic Specialist: $3,000
Out of Pocket Expenses: $246
Lost Wages: $8,272
Pain and Suffering: $25,000
Total Damages: 41,018
I hope to hear from you soon, no longer than 14 days from the date of this letter.
Very truly yours,
__ [signature and name]
- MS Word
Car Accident Demand Letter Templates & Examples
Benefits of a Car Accident Demand Letter
The court will, in most cases, require you to make a formal demand before filing your lawsuit. Even though this is not legally necessary, there are two reasons why sending one makes sense:
Promotes Case Settlement: In most instances, demand letters usually catalyze the settlement—your chances of getting paid increases when you make your case in writing. A concise letter demanding payments helps you avoid the trouble of filing a small claims case. A demand letter will convince the court of your efforts in trying to resolve the case. It will also inform the other party that they should be prepared to make a settlement, for if you sue, they may end up using a lot of resources in defending a case which they might end up losing.
Helps You Organize Your Case: With a demand letter, you will be one step ahead of the defendant, when asked to provide evidence to support your case. The letter will help you think through every aspect of your case, including the facts, law, and the evidence you will have to provide to support your case. In short, the letter will make you more prepared to litigate if the need arises.