Personal Injury

The Settlement Demand Letter – Structure and Its Contents

A settlement demand letter should be written and delivered to an insurance company when you are ready to release any rights against the at fault party, in exchange for award of money (what you are demanding).

Although your settlement demand is nothing more than a letter describing your accident, injuries, and the effect the injuries (not the accident) had on your life, it can be the key piece of documentation that makes or breaks your claim.

As a matter of fact, the settlement demand letter is not a letter, it’s a package. You will see how to split it up to get the best results below.

You should think of your demand letter as a portrait of the accident, leading to the injury, and the suffering it has caused you.

Remember, your demand is just that: a demand!

It should not give you the appearance of a meek claimant – one that makes a “kind of -maybe- please” type of request. You are demanding compensation to which you are rightfully entitled – stemming from injuries you should have never sustained!

The point that I am trying to make is that no matter how large or small your claim is you should present yourself in the same aggressive manner as you would if you had sustained a debilitating and permanent injury.

You will be taken much more seriously if you take a firm and demanding, yet professional and polite, stance with solid documentation backing up your claims. They are not doing you a favor; they are paying you what you are entitled to, and it is up to you to make them see that.

The structure of your demand letter is also provided for you by the sample form letter. You should use it as a model for your own settlement demand, describing your treatment and damages and, of course, referring to yourself instead of “Jane.”

The sample demand is structured much in the same way as these materials, divided into categories of discussion. This is the most effective way to keep your thoughts, discussion, and argument organized.

You will first communicate a detailed description of the facts pertaining to your claim, followed by a discussion regarding your injuries and treatment.

You want to be sure to point out any “sins” of the responsible driver! You will also have to provide a summary of all medical treatment and special damages incurred in relation to your claim.

Be sure to make sound logical arguments. Avoid personally attacking the adjuster, the insurance company, or the party who caused the accident. Personal attacks will negatively impact the settlement negotiations.

You will make mention of the damage photographs, commenting on how they detail the severity of your impact and/or injuries.

You will discuss the significance of your injuries and the impact they have had on your life, followed by a brief discussion regarding liens and subrogation, just prior to delivering the final blow – the demand for payment. That is the structure or “flow” of the professional demand letter.