Here is an example of what a demand letter might look like in case where the claimant was injured or sickened while on board a cruise ship.
Sample Demand Letter - Cruise Ship Injury or Illness
May 1, 20xx
Mr. Barry Manning
P.O. Box 664
Re: Date of injury: October 4, 20xx
Cruise ship: The Atlantic Princess
Your file number: 33FF12678 [NOTE: Always use the insurer’s file number on all correspondence with the insurer. However, in a cruise ship case, you will generally be dealing with an in-house adjuster for the cruise ship, as most cruise lines are self-insured.]
Dear Mr. Manning:
I have finished my medical treatment, and so I am enclosing all of my medical records and bills related to this case.[NOTE: You always want to make sure that the adjuster has all of your medical records and bills relating to your injury when you send a demand letter.]
As you know, I was injured when I slipped down the stairs going from the 12th deck to the 11th deck at about 2 PM. This was an exterior staircase. I was walking down the stairs when I missed a step on the third step from the bottom. My right foot simply didn’t seem to make contact with the stair. I was holding onto the handrail and had nothing in my hands. I was wearing flip-flops on my feet. I had had nothing alcoholic to drink that day. As a result, I fell down to the bottom of the stairs. I landed on my right foot and broke it. I knew immediately that it was broken. A ship employee came over immediately and called the ship’s medical department.
Quite honestly, I wasn’t sure at the time why I slipped, but I came back to those same steps two days later with my husband. Something didn’t seem quite right about the stairs, so I asked my husband to photograph and measure them. He found out that the height of all of the steps going down from the top was 7 inches, except that it changed to 8 inches on the very step that I missed. He took pictures, and I have attached copies of them.
Now it all made sense. You can’t change the height of the stairs in the middle of a staircase. That is shoddy construction and must violate some type of building code. I would assume that any good lawyer could prove a case of negligence against you for this. [NOTE: As a general rule, your discussion of liability should be short and to the point. However, in a slip and fall case, you need to explain how you got hurt, give some plausible explanation of why the defendant is negligent, and show how that negligence caused your injury. If you can take pictures afterward, make sure to do that. If you can take measurements, that is even better. Remember that as the potential plaintiff, it is your burden to prove that the defendant was negligent.
With respect to my medical treatment, they took x-rays at the ship’s hospital and saw that my right foot (3rdmetatarsal) was indeed broken. They put me in a cast, gave me a CD with the x-rays, and said to follow up with my own doctor as soon as I got home.
At home, I saw my primary care physician, who took new x-rays and said that the bone looked good, that it was healing well. He referred me to an orthopedist, who followed me for a month or so, until the cast came off and the foot was healed. [NOTE: Make sure to summarize your medical treatment and give your exact diagnosis, especially in a smaller case.]
I was on crutches for the first two weeks, and then a walking cast for the next three weeks. Although it was not particularly painful, a broken foot is a real hassle, especially when it was caused by terrible construction that could have easily been avoided. I missed out on most of the activities on the remainder of the cruise. This was a birthday cruise for my husband, and I basically ended up sitting around the ship for a week. I couldn’t dance, and we couldn’t go on any of the day trips on land. Well, he went. I stayed on the ship.
When we got home, I was pretty much laid up for a month. I went to work, but my husband had to drive me. It’s impossible to drive with your right foot in a cast. I couldn’t do anything around the house and chasing my 6 year old son around was impossible. [NOTE: You want to explain clearly and concisely your injuries and your pain and suffering. Don’t exaggerate, especially in a small case. The adjuster has heard it all before. Just explain what your injuries were and how they affected your life.]
My medical bills total $4,000. I have health insurance, but it is high-deductible health insurance, and so I had to pay the bills myself. [NOTE: If you have health insurance, but it for some reason is not paying the bills, you need to explain that to the adjuster.]
My medical bills were as follows:
- Ship’s hospital 1,500
- Dr. Williams (primary care) 500
- Dr. Fredson (orthopedist) 2,000
- TOTAL $4,000 [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 are.]
I was particularly annoyed at getting a bill from your ship’s hospital. You were negligent. You broke my foot, and you send me a bill? At least you could have treated me for free. Not to mention that the cruise cost us $4,000, and it was pretty much wasted. I certainly would like that money back. [NOTE: If you claim any other type of special (i.e., monetary) damages, make sure to mention them. Demanding your money back after an injury on a cruise ship is certainly reasonable.]
This is a small case, but it is important to me. I did nothing wrong. You were negligent. Taking into account your liability and my damages in this case, I demand $40,000 to settle it. 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,
For more in-depth information on getting a satisfactory solution to your injury case, check out all the articles in our Resolving an Injury Claim topic.