If you're making a car accident claim for injuries after a crash in which you were rear-ended by the at-fault driver, use this sample demand letter as a template when drafting your own correspondence to the insurance adjuster.
Rear-Ended in a Car Accident - Sample Demand Letter
June 18, 20xx
Mr. August Edwards
Southern States Insurance
P.O. Box 10203
Re: Your insured: Francine Helton
Date of injury: August 1, 20xx
Your file number: 33DD45-P9 [NOTE: Always use the insurer’s file number on all correspondence with the insurer.]
Dear Mr. Edwards:
I have finished my medical treatment, and so I am enclosing all of my medical records and bills on this case. [NOTE: You always want to make sure that the insurance adjuster has all of your medical records and bills relating to your injury when you send a demand letter. The adjuster will not make a settlement offer until he/she has your entire medical file.] As you know, I was injured when your insured rear-ended my car as I was sitting at a red light on 3rd St. at Main St. in Tulsa. The police came to the accident scene and gave your insured a ticket for failure to yield. Because this is a rear-end collision and because your insured was given a ticket, there can be no question that your insured was negligent in this matter. [NOTE: Your discussion of liability should be short and to the point, especially when liability is strongly in your favor, like in a rear end collision case. First, you should explain how you got hurt. Second, you should explain exactly why you claim that the defendant was negligent. That’s all that you need to say.]
I felt low back pain as soon as your insured hit my car. I reported my pain to your insured and to the policeman. He offered to call an ambulance for me, but my car was drivable, and I just wanted to get home. I laid down on the sofa for the rest of the day. It was a Saturday, and I did not have to work. I stayed on the sofa the next day, Sunday. I dragged myself to work on Monday. I am a production assistant at Channel 8 in Tulsa. I do most of my work sitting at my desk, but I also have to walk around and visit other offices on the average day. By mid-afternoon, I was in extreme pain, and my boss suggested/insisted that I get to the doctor.
I saw my primary care physician and he diagnosed me with low back strain. He told me to stay out of work and stay off my feet for a week. He gave me a prescription for 4 days of full strength Tylenol, then told me to switch to over-the-counter Tylenol after the prescription runs out. After a week of full bed rest, I saw him again and he said that I could return to work, but that I should continue to take it easy (no lifting) for another three weeks. When I went back to see him at that point, he said that I could resume my usual activities, but that I should be careful not to overdo it for another 4 to 6 weeks. [NOTE: Say exactly what your diagnosis is and do your best to summarize the high points of your treatment chronologically.]
I did return to work after one week, but I was pretty uncomfortable for the next month. It was painful to sit at my desk too long. I took Tylenol every day for at least a month after the injury. I am a runner and biker (motorcyclist), and I had to take a month off, per doctor’s orders. That was very frustrating. There was some work that I needed to do on my car, which I had to postpone. I couldn’t carry anything around the house. I wasn’t even supposed to carry files around at work. [NOTE: Say how the injury has affected your life. You want to explain clearly and concisely your injuries and your pain and suffering. Don’t exaggerate. Just explain what your injuries were and how they affected your life.]
My medical bills total $1,000.00. I paid $100 in co-pays. My health insurance paid the remainder of the bills, but they sent me a letter claiming a lien of $500.00 on any settlement that I may get in this case. [NOTE: If you have to repay your health insurance (and you almost always have to), make sure that you tell the adjuster.]
My medical bills were as follows:
- Dr. Judson 800.00
- Prescription 200.00
- TOTAL $1,000.00 [NOTE: You always want to put together a little chart listing your medical bills, even if you only have a couple of bills. Don’t make the adjuster read through them to figure out how they are.]
As I mentioned, I work for Channel 8 in Tulsa. I missed one week of work. I earn $1,500 per week, and so claim that amount in lost earnings. I have a letter from Dr. Judson that clearly states that I needed to take a week off from work. [NOTE: State your lost earnings claim briefly and clearly. Make sure that you have a doctor’s note saying that you needed to be out of work for the entire time you missed.] My total special damages are $2,500.00.
This is a small case, but it is no less serious to me. [NOTE: This is always a nice touch in a small case. Remind the adjuster that it is not just the big, six figure cases that are important.] Taking into account your insured’s absolute liability and my damages in this case, I demand $15,000.00 to settle this case. Would you please advise as to your thoughts on this matter. [After sending the letter, you should give the adjuster three or four weeks to respond. If you don’t hear from the adjuster in a month, then give him/her a call.]
Very truly yours,[signature]
For tips on putting your demand letter together, check out all the articles in our Demand Letters in Injury Cases section.