This is a sample demand letter in a slip and fall case where the fall occurred on commercial property. The victim incurred "hard injuries" requiring surgery, underwent "nontraditional" medical treatment including acupuncture, and was expected to have a long recovery period.
Be sure to check the section titled "Issues Affecting a Settlement Amount" (below the sample letter) to understand the key factors in a case like this.
This sample letter is not a replacement for qualified legal advice - it is for instructional purposes only. Always talk to a lawyer before making any written statements following an accident.
Example Demand Letter
236 Sunset Grove
Fontana Beach, FL 00000
September 15, 20xx
Atlantic Risk Insurance Company
2400 Causeway Boulevard
Miami, FL 00000
Re: Your Insured, Medellin Investments
Claimant: Seiji Kurosawa
Claim No.: T11889 PX
Date of Loss: January 13, 20xx
Dear Mr. Casey:
As you are aware, I was injured in a fall on January 13, 20xx in the underground parking lot of a building at 6750 Palm Avenue, Miami, owned by your insured, Medellin Investments. The accident occurred at about 6:00 p.m. when I was heading for my car parked in the garage. I am an employee of the South Florida Import-Export Exchange, which leases offices in the building from your insured. As I crossed the dark garage floor, I slipped on a patch of oil, badly twisting my left knee and falling to the ground.
That night, my knee swelled greatly. In the morning, I went to see my physician, Dr. Rose Parker, who advised that I stay off the leg for the next several days. I went home and rested the leg, missing the next three days of work.
The following Monday, I returned to work and examined the garage where I had fallen. As the enclosed photographs taken that day show, there were grease and oil spots all over the floor, some of which had obviously been there for quite a while. To make matters worse, several of the overhead lights were burned out, leaving dark areas on the floor and hiding the oil and grease spots. Given that there were several lights burned out, it is clear that no one had checked or replaced the bulbs for quite some time. Obviously, your insured fails to maintain the garage in a reasonably safe manner, instead allowing real hazards to exist. [NOTE: Here Seiji demonstrates that he investigated near the time of the accident.]
The situation in the garage is so dangerous that at least two other people in the building have recently slipped on oil spots in the garage. [NOTE: Here Seiji informs the adjuster that witnesses are available to support his claim of danger in the garage. If he has good written statements from them, he should identify the witnesses here and refer to enclosed witness statements.] Further investigation may, of course, show that others have slipped in the garage as well.
The swelling in my knee subsided after about a week, but the knee continued to be painful and to catch when bent. I was examined by an orthopedist, Dr. Ralph Brancusa, who began me on physical therapy in his office. Although I obtained some relief from the soreness, the physical therapy did not eliminate the catch inside my knee when I bent or twisted it. Therefore, I ended the physical therapy sessions voluntarily. [NOTE: “Voluntarily” ended demonstrates that Seiji did not continue treatment any longer than necessary.]
I received acupuncture treatment from Dr. William Chan, which relieved some of the pain in the knee. [NOTE: Shows that nontraditional treatment had positive results.] I was referred by Dr. Chan to a chiropractor, Lilly Sing Rhee, for manipulation to treat the catch in the knee. Ms. Sing Rhee stopped treatment after a short time and suggested that I return to an orthopedic surgeon.
My physician referred me to Dr. Walter Frisch, an orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Frisch X-rayed the knee and performed an arthroscopic examination, which revealed torn cartilage, which Dr. Frisch repaired arthroscopically.
Following the arthroscopic surgery, I missed another week of work, then resumed walking and began home exercises prescribed by Dr. Frisch. After approximately eight more weeks, I was able to begin running again, my regular daily exercise that I was unable to do for almost eight months because of the accident. [NOTE: Emphasizes long time for recovery.]
My medical expenses for this treatment are:
Rose Parker, M.D. $360
Ralph Brancusa, M.D. (including X-rays) $1,260
William Chan $320
Lilly Sing Rhee $640
Walter Frisch, M.D. (including X-rays) $4,520
As the enclosed letter from my employer, South Florida Import-Export Exchange, indicates, I missed eight days of work (three immediately after the accident, five more after surgery), for a total of $1,120 ($140 per day) in lost wages.
Because of the obvious negligence of your insured in failing to properly maintain its building, a dangerous hazard was created that resulted in serious cartilage damage to my knee, requiring surgery and an eight-month period of recovery and rehabilitation. Because of the seriousness of the injury and the long time for its recovery, I demand $80,000 in compensation.
Because the statute of limitations requires me to file a lawsuit against your insured in this matter within three months from now, I look forward to resolving this claim in the near future. Please provide me with a response within 14 days from your receipt of this letter. [NOTE: Here Seiji demands a prompt reply.]
Very truly yours,
Supporting Documents to Include With This Demand Letter
- Photos of garage showing grease spots and burned-out lights
- statements of others who have fallen there
- medical records and bills from all doctors and other medical providers, and
- letter from employer stating wages and work time missed.
Issues Affecting a Settlement Amount
For more examples, see our sample personal injury demand letters.
This sample letter is an excerpt from How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim by Attorney Joseph Matthews (Nolo).