Here is an example of a demand letter in a car accident claim in which the injuries were caused by a drunk driver.
Sample Demand Letter - Injured by a Drunk Driver
January 6, 20xx
Mr. John Smith Smith Insurance P.O. Box 1 New York, NY 10001
Re: Your insured: James Johnson
Date of injury: October 1, 20xx
Your file number: 1234567 [NOTE: Always use the insurer’s file number on all correspondence with the insurer]
Dear Mr. Smith:
I have finished treating and so I am enclosing all of my medical records and bills on this case. [NOTE: You always want to make sure that the adjuster has all of your medical records and bills when you make a demand. The adjuster will not consider your demand until he/she has your entire medical file.] As you know, your insured ran a stop sign and hit my car broadside. The police came and arrested him for drunk driving. The police have informed me that your insured pleaded guilty to DWI. Accordingly, your insured was negligent, and there should not be any problems with liability. [NOTE: Your discussion of liability should be short and sweet. The other driver ran a stop sign and was drunk. Therefore, he was negligent. That’s all that you need to say. Learn more about Alcohol and Car Accidents.]
I was taken by ambulance to Community Hospital, where I was diagnosed with lacerations on my face, arms, and legs, a broken right arm, and a broken jaw. Dr. Jones performed emergency surgery on my jaw and put my arm in a cast. I was hospitalized for three days. [NOTE: Say exactly what they did to you at the hospital. Details are important. Tell the story.]
I had my jaw wired shut and had to be on a liquid diet for six weeks until Dr. Jones surgically removed the hardware from my jaw on November 15. It is common knowledge that having one's jaw wired shut is a pretty unpleasant time, and this time was not good at all for me. I lost 25 pounds during these six weeks, and it was hard for me to speak. It was hard even to breathe. I had to try not to sneeze or cough. I couldn’t yawn or laugh.
Basically, I could not do anything for those six weeks. I couldn’t exert myself because I couldn’t breathe well, and it was very difficult to use the computer because my right arm (which controls the mouse) was in a cast for a month. I certainly couldn’t type. It was hard to eat (I am right-handed). I couldn’t shower without a plastic bag for my cast. I certainly couldn’t work.
My jaw hurt a lot for the first three weeks. After that, it wasn’t too bad. My arm hurt for the first two weeks. I took prescription Tylenol every day for three weeks, and, after that, took regular Tylenol. [NOTE: You want to explain clearly and concisely your injuries and your pain and suffering. Don’t exaggerate. The adjuster has heard it all before. Just explain what your injuries were and how they affected your life.]
I had one post-operative followup with Dr. Jones on November 17, and was released from care. I saw Dr. Robinson several times for my broken arm during this time, and he took off my cast on November 2. I had six sessions of physical therapy at Adams Physical Therapy in order to regain mobility and strength in my right arm (my dominant arm).
My medical bills total $22,412.50. I paid $1,225 in co-pays. My health insurance paid the remainder of the bills, but have sent me a letter in which it claims a lien of $11,257.88 on any settlement that I may get in this case. [NOTE: If you have to repay your health insurance (and you almost always have to), make sure that you tell the adjuster.]
My medical bills were as follows:
City Radiology 1,000.00 City Medical Partners (Drs. Jones and Robinson) 5,000.00 Community Hospital 14,000.00 West Side Physical Therapy 2,412.50
TOTAL $22,412.50 [NOTE: You always want to put together a little chart listing your medical bills. Don’t make the adjuster read through them to figure out how they are.]
As you know, I am a plumber and work for ABC Plumbing. I earn $1,000 per week and missed seven weeks of work. I have attached letters from Drs. Jones and Robinson saying that I needed to stay out of work for seven weeks. Accordingly, my lost earnings claim is $7,000. [NOTE: State your lost earnings claim briefly and clearly. Make sure that you have a doctor’s note saying that you needed to be out of work for the entire time that you were out of work.] My total special damages are $29,412.50.
Taking into account your insured’s absolute liability and my serious damages in this case, I demand $90,000.00 to settle this case. Would you please advise as to your thoughts on this matter.