If you think you may have a personal injury claim stemming from an accident with a commercial truck, use this sample letter as a template when you're putting together your own demand letter to the insurance carrier.
Sample Demand Letter - Car Accident with Commercial Truck
January 30, 20xx
Mr. Robert Hickey
P.O. Box 25
Boise, ID 83616
Re: Your insured: Bartlett Trucking
Date of injury: October 3, 20xx
Your file number: 4533-3XX [NOTE: Always use the insurer’s file number on all correspondence with the insurer]
Dear Mr. Hickey:
I have finished treating and so I am enclosing all of my medical records and bills on this case. [NOTE: You always want to make sure that the adjuster has all of your medical records and bills when you make a demand.] As you know, your insured’s driver, Frederick Johnston, was turning onto 4th Ave. in Boise, Idaho, and sideswiped my car while I was waiting at a red light. My car was entirely on my side of the double yellow line. Mr. Johnston turned too wide, and that is why he hit my car. Accordingly, your insured was negligent, and there should not be any problems with liability. [NOTE: Your discussion of liability should be short and sweet. The truck driver turned too wide and hit you while you were stopped. Therefore, he and his employer were negligent. That’s all that you need to say.]
Although Mr. Johnston was not going particularly fast when he turned, whenever a truck hits a little car such as my Prius, it is going to give the car and driver a pretty good whack. When he hit my car, I immediately felt pain in my mid-back. After the collision, I told Mr. Johnston that my back hurt. [NOTE: Never use the word accident in a demand letter. Always use the word collision or some similar word. Accident could imply that no one was at fault. It was not an accident. It was negligence.]
My back kept hurting for a week, and so I finally saw my primary care physician, Dr. James, the following week. He diagnosed me with back strain and sent me for physical therapy. I saw the physical therapist a few days later and had physical therapy for three weeks, three times a week. That got me a lot better. At the beginning, my back was really tight and painful. I couldn’t bend over and turning was extremely painful. As you know, this accident happened in early October, and the leaves were starting to fall. I couldn’t rake the leaves, and had to pay someone $50 to do it. I also couldn’t bike for several weeks and found it very uncomfortable to walk my dog. I am retired and did not miss any work. You may not think that these are very serious complaints, but this is what happened to me because your truck driver couldn’t stay within his lane. [NOTE: You want to explain clearly and concisely your injuries and your pain and suffering. Don’t exaggerate. The adjuster has heard it all before. Just explain what your injuries were and how they affected your life.]
I have attached copies of all of medical records relating to this incident. [NOTE: Always attach copies of your medical records. Organize them so that it is easy for the adjuster to look through them.] My medical bills total $4,000. I paid $500 in co-pays. I am on Medicare, and Medicare paid the remainder of the bills, but it sent me a letter in which it claims a lien of $2,000 on any settlement that I may get in this case. [NOTE: If you have to repay your health insurer and/or Medicare (and you almost always have to), make sure that you tell the adjuster.]
My medical bills were as follows:
Dr. James 400.00
Boise Physical Therapy 3,600.00
TOTAL $4,000.00 [NOTE: You always want to put together a little chart listing your medical bills. Don’t make the adjuster read through them to figure out how much they add up to. Always make it easy for the adjuster to calculate your damages. The more work you make the adjuster do, the less interested he/she will be in giving you what you deserve.]
Taking into account your insured’s absolute liability and my damages in this case, I demand $20,000.00 to settle this case. Would you please advise as to your thoughts on this matter.
Very truly yours,
Learn more about what to expect in an injury claim after a commercial truck accident in our Trucking Accidents section.