If you have lost a loved one in a car crash, you might be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. As the next of kin of the accident victim, you will need to send a demand letter or ask your attorney to do so.
The demand letter is used to negotiate your claim, so it should be accurate, detailed and clearly explain the facts. A wrongful death claim is basically a personal injury claim that is filed on behalf of the estate of or the next of kin of the decedent, who could have pursued a personal injury claim had he or she survived.
The Demand Letter Details
Wrongful death claims are filed by the next of kin of an individual was died because of someone else’s negligence. When you write the demand letter, you will need to include:
- Proof of the decedent’s lost wages and future income
- Proof of funeral expenses
- Copies of any medical bills if applicable
- Statements from witnesses
- Evidence that shows the other party acted negligently
- Copy of the police report
- Photos of the vehicle damage
An important document, a demand letter should be well-crafted. It will serve as the foundation for negotiating a fair settlement. Because of the complexity of such claims, and because the letter plays such an important role in the claims process, you should consult with a personal injury attorney before you write the letter or try to pursue your claim.
Sample Wrongful Death Claim Demand Letter
When you write your wrongful death demand letter, you should be sure to include all the pertinent facts. You should type the letter, not handwrite it, and it should be properly formatted. You should leave the letter writing up to your wrongful death lawyer. Here is a basic rundown of the formatting.
- Format it like a regular letter, including your name, address, and the date in the upper left.
- Address the letter to the claims adjuster, including their title, the insurance company name, and the mailing address.
- You should indicate the name of the insured, who is the defendant and a claim number, if one has already been issued.
- Include your full legal name.
- State the date of the loss, which is the date of the car accident.
In the letter, you should itemize the damages. As an example:
- Medical expenses - $45,989
- Funeral expenses - $10,800
- Pain and suffering of the decedent - $950,000
- Pain and suffering of the beneficiary - $1,000,000
- Total requested for damages - $2,006,789
Consult With a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one in a car crash because of someone else’s negligence, you should consult with a personal injury attorney about pursuing a wrongful death claim. Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis so your attorney will not be paid until you are compensated for your damages through a judgment or settlement.
There is a strict statute of limitations for pursuing a wrongful death claim or a personal injury claim. Get your free case evaluation today. Fill out the Free Case Evaluation.