Here is an example of what a demand letter might look like in a motorcycle accident case where a rider was hit by a car.
Sample Demand Letter for Motorcycle Accident
March 12, 20xx Mr. Alfred Thomas Western Insurance P.O. Box 102 Portland, OR
Re: Your insured: Rick Chapman
Date of injury: August 12, 20xx Your file number: 45GG6878-12 [NOTE: Always use the insurer’s file number on all correspondence.]
Dear Mr. Thomas:
I have finished treating and so I am enclosing all of my medical records and bills on this case. [NOTE: The adjuster will not consider your demand until he/she has your entire medical file.]
As you know, I was driving my motorcycle on Elliot Avenue in Portland, when I was hit by your insured, Mr. Chapman, as we approached the intersection with 12th Street. I was driving approximately 25 MPH. Mr. Chapman was probably doing the same. It was a two lane road. I was in my lane, and Mr. Chapman swerved into my lane and hit me and knocked me over. I don’t know if he was trying to change lanes or whether he was just not paying attention. But the fact is that he entered another lane while a vehicle (me!) was already in it. For this reason, I believe that your insured was negligent and is liable for my injuries. [NOTE: If liability is relatively obvious, you don’t need to get into too much detail. If the defendant admits liability or makes any statements tending to admit that he/she was negligent, you definitely want to mention that in your demand letter. Learn more about Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents.]
As a result of this incident [NOTE: Never refer to the incident as an “accident.” An accident means that no one was at fault, and it was "just one of those things." Get into the habit of referring to it as an “incident.”], I broke my right shoulder and got a concussion when I hit the ground. I was wearing a helmet. Someone called the police, and they called an ambulance to take me to the hospital. I spent overnight in the hospital per their concussion protocol and they strapped up my shoulder. Then they told me to get hooked up with an orthopedist of my choice. I did not need further treatment for the concussion.
I saw the orthopedist, Dr. Manning, several times over the next three months to follow up. After six weeks, he sent me for physical therapy to strengthen my shoulder and regain my flexibility. I was in physical therapy (Portland Physical Therapy) for six weeks, going three times a week. It has now been seven months post-accident, and I believe that I am 80% recovered. My right shoulder is still weaker than it was before the injury, and my range of motion is about 80-85% of what it was before the injury. I still have occasional twinges of pain and some difficulty sleeping on my right side. If I sleep too long on my right side, I wake up in pain. I still take Tylenol probably twice a week because of shoulder pain. I used to play a lot of basketball before the injury. The injury stopped me from playing for six months. I just started again last month. I am definitely not the same since the injury. I also did a lot of cross country skiing. I have not skied this winter, and can only hope that my shoulder can handle it next winter when I try to get back into it.
Dr. Manning told me that I will still improve some, but that he does not expect me to reach 100% improvement. He has put that in his final medical note as well. [NOTE: Summarize your medical treatment. You don’t need to give all of the details. You also 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.]
My medical bills total $7,000.00. I paid $500 in co-pays. My health insurance paid the remainder of the bills, but they sent me a letter claiming a lien of $2,500 on any settlement that I may get. [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. Manning (orthopedist) 1,000.00
Portland Ambulance 1,000.00
Portland Hospital 2,500.00
Portland Physical Therapy 2,500.00
I work as a electrician for Robinson Electric. I earn $1,000 per week and missed six weeks of work. I have attached a letter from Dr. Manning saying that I needed to stay out of work for that period of time. Accordingly, my lost earnings claim is $6,000. [NOTE: State your lost earnings claim briefly and clearly. Make sure that you have a doctor’s note saying that you needed to miss work for the entire time that you were out.] My motorcycle was damaged, but my insurer has already paid me off for that, so I do not need to make a claim against you. My total special damages are thus $13,000.00.
Taking into account your insured’s absolute liability and my permanent injuries in this case, I demand $135,000.00 to settle this case. [NOTE: If your injuries are going to be permanent, make sure to emphasize that in the demand letter.] Would you please advise as to your thoughts on this matter. [NOTE: You should wait three or four weeks after sending the letter before following up with the adjuster. Don't push. The adjuster will usually get to a new demand letter in a month or so.]