See below for a sample demand letter that is sent to insurance companies after another driver hits you from behind and you are injured. Providing a letter like this to the other parties insurance company will help them understand your loss and how to get you the maximum amount of compensation possible for your claim.
No Fault States:
In some states, like California (and numerous others), when another driver hits your from behind they will automatically be placed at fault for the crash. Insurance companies love to talk about “low impact collisions” that “couldn’t possibly cause injuries.” These are tactics used by most auto insurance adjusters and this demand will help you see right through their dirty tricks.
“INSURANCE COMPANY NAME”
123 Anywhere Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90010
- (XXX) XXX. XXXX
- (XXX) XXX-XXXX
HINT: Having all of the insurance companies info; i.e. address, adjuster name, etc lets them know that you are organized and on top of things! Also, it lets them know that you know where to serve a lawsuit if need be.
SENT VIA FACSIMILE TO (xxx) xxx-xxxx
RE: Your Insured: John Smith
Claimant: Jane Applewood
Claim Number: 111-2222-3333
Date of loss: July 4, 2016
Settlement Demand: $15,000.00
Expiration of Demand: August 31 2017
SUBJECT: Settlement Offer: All Rights Reserved Pursuant to Evidence Code Sections 1152 and 1154
Dear (“adjuster name”) and “Insurance Company”,
This letter shall serve as a representation of damages I sustained after your insured struck me from behind while I was stopped in my vehicle waiting for a red light. Attached to this letter are medical bills/reports from the various medical providers I saw as a direct result of the injuries I sustained in the crash.
HINT: It’s good to use words like “hit” or “crash” because it helps the insurance company and adjuster visualize the accident and how it effected you. Always make sure to include a section which states why you believe the other party is at fault for the crash. This will help the insurance adjuster agree with your position and pay your damages
FACTS REGARDING LIABILITY
No issue of liability surfaces in this matter: On (insert date) I was stopped at a red light on apple Avenue when your insured struck me from behind at a high-rate-of-speed causing my injuries and damages which are attached to this demand.
HINT: In some states like California, when someone rear-ends you the fault is automatically placed on the individual driver that struck the other from behind. It is important to let the adjuster know you were hit from behind and there is absolutely no liability on your end and the accident is 100% the other parties fault. Additionally, in the liability section of your demand, writing less is always more and will benefit you more in the long run. Insurance companies love to take your words and twist them into saying something that in fact was never said. They commonly do this to deny claims and avoid paying damages.
HINT: Always put the accident location so the insurance company and adjuster know you’re familiar with the area and so they can locate it on a map it will almost always help your position with respect to liability.
BODILY INJURY AND MEDICAL TREATMENT
Immediately after the hit (hint: using words like hit or crash helps the insurance adjuster visualize your pain, and thus, provide more compensation for your losses) I began experiencing back and neck pain. I have never felt back or neck pain before in my life, so I’m confident that it was as a result of your insured striking me from behind.
HINT: Always list medical providers so and provide records/bills so the insurance company knows you were actually injured. Your medical bills and records prove it! Additionally, always make sure to write the doctors full name and try to include a paragraph for each date you went to the doctors office to be treated for your injuries.
Dr. Applewood, M.D.
On (date) I saw Dr. Applewood, M.D. due to my persistent pain and discomfort. He treated me for the injuries I sustained in the crashed and diagnosed me as follows:
Cervical dysfunction, Lumbar pain and spasm, abrasion to right shoulder from seat belt, etc. Make sure you always write the doctors diagnosis and put any ICD-10 codes so the insurance company can objectively identify your injuries.
HINT: Doctors use codes that correlate to a diagnosis that insurance companies use to identify your injuries. However, you should always write down ICD-10 codes along with the diagnosis whenever possible.
HINT: Always provide the doctors diagnosis, orders, and recommendations. In rear-end crashed, people generally sustain back and neck injuries due to the head, neck, and body being thrown forwards, then backwards on impact. This type of impact generally result in back and neck injuries.
HINT: This is arguably the most important section of your demand because it lists the amount of your medical bills, lost wages, etc. These items are commonly referred to as, “damages.”
On July 15, 2016 I presented to Diagnostic MRI in Los Angeles California for an MRI of my cervical and lumbar spine. The impression revealed the following:
Cervical MRI: C2-3: 2 mm Disc protrusion indenting the thecal sac
Lumbar MRI: L4-5: 1 mm Disc protrusion
Wellness Physical Therapy
Approximately 1 month later on August 4, 2017 I presented to Wellness Physical Therapy for treatment of the injuries I sustained in the crash and to help regain my strength. My physical therapist told me to return 2-3 times per week and I followed his treatment plan accordingly. During the course of my treatment my back, neck, and shoulder pain slowly began to resolve. The doctor used hot/cold packs, and over the counter medications to treat my pain.
Over the course of 4-6 weeks my pain began to subside and I was discharged from Wellness Physical therapy and told to return for a follow-up should my pain flare-up or become exacerbated for any reason.
FUTURE MEDICAL CARE AND TREATMENT
As a result of the injuries I suffered as a result of your insured’s negligence, I was injured and require future care and treatment. Dr. Applewood recommended I return for 2-3 follow-up visits at a cost of $500.00 per visit. For these reasons, I am requesting $1,500.00 for future care and treatment costs.
HINT: The insurance company is required to compensate you for your future care and treatment costs. For these reasons, always make sure to include a section entitled, “future care and treatment.” In this section, always put the cost of any future care or treatment that was recommended by your treating doctors.
Please see below for a list of damages I sustained as a direct and proximate result of your insured striking me from behind:
HINT: Proximate is a word meaning “legal” and helps the adjuster understand they are required by law to pay for your damages
Dr. Applewood, M.D.………………..……$5,000.00
The previously referred to attachments provide you with sufficient documentation to reasonably evaluate this claim. While I have been doing my best to recover from my injuries, it is likely that I will suffer exacerbations or flare-ups of my pain in the future. For these reasons, I am making a demand for settlement of my injury claim in the amount of $15,000.00.
Please get back to me no later than Wednesday August 31, 2017 by 5:00 PM. As always, please contact me with any questions.
Very truly yours,
Ph: (222) 345-5545