If you were in an auto accident because you were rear-ended by another driver, you have the option to file a personal injury claim. The compensation you may receive from this claim could help you cover your medical costs and any lost wages due to missed work.
The first step to filing a successful personal injury claim is writing a detailed demand letter and sending it to the other party’s insurance company. A demand letter is important because it will be used as a reference point throughout the negotiation process.
Your demand letter should include all relevant medical records as well as a detailed account of the accident, your injuries and how they have affected your life.
Sample Demand Letter for an Auto Accident - Rear Ended
This is a sample demand letter that outlines the information and details you will need to include in your own demand letter for your personal injury claim.
[Your City, State, and Zip Code]
[Name of the Claims Adjuster]
[Their Job Title]
[Address of the Insurance Company]
[City, State, and Zip Code of the Insurance Company]
Re: Your Insured, [Name of the Defendant]
Claimant: [Your Full Legal Name]
Claim Number: (Only include this number if a claim number has already been assigned to you, and you have already been contacted about the matter.)
Date of Loss: [Date of Accident or Incident in which the Collision Took Place]
Dear Mr./Mrs. [Name of Claims Adjuster] ,
Please accept this correspondence as my formal demand for settlement in the matter mentioned above.
I have just finished treatment for my injuries sustained from a collision caused by the negligence of your client, Mr. Daniel Devins. As you know, Mr. Devins was driving behind me on Route 118 in [insert location] when he rear-ended my car at almost full speed. Mr. Devins had not been paying attention to the road. Therefore, your insured was negligent and responsible for my injuries.
On March 2, 2015, the traffic on Route 118 from rush hour of the evening commute began to slow to a stop. I stopped, yet Mr. Devins was not paying attention to the road and hit my car from behind at a speed of about forty miles per hour. It is a two-lane highway, and Mr. Devins had the option to swerve to the side of the road to reduce damage, yet he was so preoccupied in his own vehicle that there was no time before the collision.
I was taken to Saint Francis Memorial Hospital at [insert address], where I was treated by the ER physician, Dr. Rodney James. He treated me for a sprained neck, fractured wrist, and minor scrapes and bruises. He x-rayed me to look for further injuries, treated my sprain and fracture, and prescribed me a minor pain medication [name the medication]. He also recommended a two-week stay home from my job at Latimer Construction, LLC to recover and rest.
My medical expenses are detailed in the attached bills, including:
Saint Francis Memorial Hospital: $480.00
Dr. Rodney James, ER Doctor: $300.00
Pain Medication: $74.00
Due to the negligent driving of your insured, Daniel Devins, I experienced severe pain and suffering from my injured neck and wrist and missed out on two weeks of wages from my job, totaling in $1,050.00. Because of this, I am requesting a settlement for these general damages in the amount of $3,500.00.
I hope to hear back from you in no more than 30 days from the time of this correspondence. I appreciate a timely response.
[Your Name – printed]
By asking for an amount of compensation that is more than your medical expenses and missed wages, you are leaving room to negotiate a fair settlement.
What to Expect After Sending a Demand Letter
In rear-end accidents it is almost always the fault of the second driver. By leaving enough space between cars, they should’ve been able to react to any situation. Therefore if you are able to produce a demand letter that give a clear depiction of what happened and how much damage was sustained, you will have a much better chance of getting the settlement that you are looking for.
After sending the letter to the insurance company, you will have to wait for the other driver’s insurance company to make a decision. That decision can be full payment of the damages that you claimed, partial payment of the damages that you have claimed or an outright rejection. If you do not receive the settlement that you are asking for, your attorney will be able to help you make the next move.
It is likely that the insurance company will not offer you the entire amount that you are claiming. This is a negotiation tactic. Do not panic, it doesn’t mean that your ultimate settlement will be low. Just as your lawyer is trained to maximize your settlement, the insurance company will employ experts in minimizing it. If the insurance company sends you a check, be careful about depositing it. This may mean forfeiting your right to continue negotiating.
Getting Help with a Personal Injury Claim
A demand letter is important because it helps make sure you get a fair settlement for your personal injury claim. By hiring a personal injury lawyer, you can get help writing your letter, collecting medical evidence, and ensuring an overall smooth and successful claims process.