If your loved one died because of being hit by a drunk driver, you can pursue a wrongful death claim against the drunk driver and his or her insurer. A wrongful death claim is basically a claim filed to recover damages on behalf of an individual who could have pursued a personal injury claim had he or she survived.
When you are pursuing a claim against another party, you will send the insurance and the liable party notification by writing a demand letter. You would send a wrongful death demand letter seeking damages.
Wrongful Death Demand Letter
A demand letter is used as the central document for negotiating a settlement for a wrongful death. To pursue a wrongful death claim, you will need to be the next of kin of the decedent.
In your letter, you will need to state that the death of your loved one was caused by the negligence of the other party who was driving while drunk. You should include the following details with your wrongful death demand letter:
- A copy of the accident report
- Copies of statements from any witnesses, if applicable
- Proof of any lost wages and/or future earnings
- Copies of any medical bills, if applicable
- Copies of any funeral expenses
- Evidence to prove that the other party was negligent, such as the arrest record or BAC levels
As an important document in your case, you will need a well-crafted letter to serve as the foundation of your wrongful death settlement negotiations. Your personal injury attorney will handle the letter writing process and will ensure a well-written letter is crafted and delivered in a timely manner.
The Sample Letter
The letter will be sent to the drunk driver’s insurance company, so you will address it to them and date it accordingly.
- It should state RE: Your Insured (then the defendant’s full name)
- Claimant: (then list your full name)
- Claim number: You will only list a claim number if a claim number has already been assigned
- Date of Loss: You will include the date of when the accident occurred
- Dear Mr. or Mrs. (claims adjuster name if known)
- You will then write the specifics of the accidents. You will then tally up the costs and itemize them at the letter’s conclusion. For example:
- Funeral expenses: $10,000
- Pain and suffering of the decedent: $250,000
- Pain and suffering of the beneficiary: $250,000
- Total: $510,000
You will then specify that if they don’t respond within 30 days, you will file a lawsuit. In these situations, a settlement can often be negotiated.
Consult With a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one in a crash in which they were hit by a drunk driver, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer. With the help of a wrongful death attorney, you are much more likely to get a fair settlement for your loved one’s loss of life. Get your free case evaluation today from an attorney who handles such claims in your area.