Writing a Demand Letter
Writing a demand letter does not require you to have a law degree or hire an expensive lawyer.
Your demand letter should have the following outline:
- Restate the Facts of the Accident.
- Show Who Caused the Collision.
- Describe Your Injuries and how they affected your life.
- List your medical treatment and expenses.
- Include your lost income.
- Ask for a specific settlement amount.
Let's look at each part of writing a demand letter.
1. Restating the Facts of Your Accident
The demand letter begins by describing what you were doing right before the accident
happened and how the other driver caused your crash.
On Saturday October 10th, 2008 around 3:00 PM, I was driving in the right lane on Canter Street heading east. As I drove midway past the intersection of Baker Street, your insurer drove in the intersection and crashed into the passenger side of my vehicle.
This sets up the next part of your demand letter.
2. Showing Who Caused the Accident
When you are writing a demand letter, you should include facts that show how the other driver caused your auto accident. The more facts you have that support your version of how the crash happened, the higher your insurance settlement.
So what facts should you include when writing a demand letter ?
a. Violation of Traffic Laws
If the other driver violated any traffic laws (ex speeding or ran a red light), write them in your demand letter.
Clearly, the other driver was at fault for the collision since the oncoming traffic has the right of way. Your insurer should have yielded before entering my driving lane.
Clearly the other driver was at fault since he didn't slow down at the stop sign.
Typically, if you can show that the other driver violated any traffic laws, it's a clear indicator of their fault.
b. Accident pictures
Having pictures from the car accident scene and your vehicle damage can help show the point of impact and how badly your automobile was hit.
When writing a demand letter, use pictures to describe how the collision affected your vehicle.
Did your vehicle spin wildly out of control?
Was your automobile pushed off the road?
Did you crash into another car as a result?
If your vehicle was so damaged that it had to be towed, writing it in your demand letter will make your damages seem more serious.
Furthermore, as it can be clearly seen from the accident pictures, your insurer slammed into the passenger side of my vehicle. It is obvious from how badly my car was damaged, that your insurer was going faster than is allowed on a road with stop sign.
As a result of being hit, my vehicle was spun all the way around and almost crashed into a wall. My car had to be towed because it was no longer drivable.
c. Car Accident Report
The car accident report has a summary of the how the collision happened. The police report also has a statement from each driver. Before writing a demand letter, read the report to see if there were any traffic violations or statements by witnesses that you can use.
As it is clearly written in the police report, the driver admitted he did not see the stop sign and continued driving at his regular speed.
The police report also contains the other driver's license plate number. If the driver is the owner of the vehicle, you can get a copy of his vehicle history report to see how many accidents he or she has been in. (Check out www.carfax.com)
When you are writing a demand letter, include the number of previous accidents the other driver has been involved in.
If you check your insurer's past driving records, he has been in 3 collisions within the past 2 years. This show that he has a history of reckless and dangerous driving.
Showing that the other driver has a tendency to get into auto accidents will certainly help make your personal injury settlements stronger.
If you have any witnesses, mention how many support your version of the accident. If you were able to get a statement from a witness, include the most important part in your letter.
You do not have to give out the names of your witnesses. If you are asked about them, just say you will let them know of their identities at the appropriate time.
In addition, I have four witnesses who observed your insurer not stopping or slowing down.