Personal Injury

Sample Bicycle Accident Demand Letter

By David Berg, Attorney
A demand letter is often your best chance to frame your bicycle accident injury claim for a fair settlement. Use this sample correspondence as a guide when drafting your own demand letter to the at-fault driver's insurance carrier.

Dear [insurance adjuster]:

As you know, I was injured in a bicycle-versus-car accident with your insured, Ms. Driver, who made a right turn in front of me as I was bicycling on Eighth Street, here in Anytown, and caused me to crash into her car. We had both been traveling down Eighth Street, between Center Avenue and Locust Street. Ms. Driver was of course in the driving lane, and I was biking by the side of the road. There is no marked bike lane on that part of Eighth Street.

Ms. Driver passed me and then immediately made a right turn onto Locust Street, directly in front of me. She turned so close to me that she cut me off, causing me to crash into the passenger side of her car. I had no time to brake. I honestly don’t even know if she had her turn signal on. I never had time to see it. All I saw was a car coming past me and then immediately turning in front of me. I could not brake and had nowhere to go other than into the right side of her car.

My front wheel plowed into the passenger side of Ms. Driver's vehicle, I flew off the bike and into the right side of the car, then landed on the ground. I remember hitting her car with my left shoulder and then hitting the ground. I was in immediate pain. The police arrived at the scene and called an ambulance to take me to the hospital.

At the hospital, I was x-rayed, and it turned out that I broke my left shoulder (clavicle) and my left upper arm. I also had neck and upper back strain and sprain. I was in a lot of pain, and they started me on pain medication. They put my arm in a cast and then taped up my arm and shoulder and put it in a sling in an effort to properly set and treat these complicated injuries.

The hospital referred me to an orthopedist, and I saw him a couple of days later. I followed up with him several times over the next two months. They took off the cast after six weeks, and the shoulder sling after seven weeks. Then I had eight weeks of physical therapy to restore strength, motion, and flexibility to my shoulder.

Because of the nature of my injury, I was not able to have any therapy for my neck and back injury until I was out of the shoulder sling. So, when I started the physical therapy for my shoulder, I had some therapy for my neck and back as well. I was in therapy four to five days a week, for one thing or another, for over two months.

I was out of work for two months because of this injury. I am a car mechanic, and I obviously could not work in a cast and sling. I have attached a copy of all of my medical records and medical bills from this incident, including a letter from my orthopedist saying that I needed to stay out of work for two months. I make $1,200 per week, and so I am making a claim of $9,600 for 8 weeks of lost earnings.

This incident was completely your insured’s fault. Ms. Driver was clearly negligent for failing to look to make sure that the coast was clear before she made her right turn. If she had done that, she would have seen me and would have avoided the accident. I did not do anything wrong. I was biking where I had a right to be. The attached police report includes the investigating officer's preliminary conclusion that Ms. Driver failed to yield to a bicyclist.

As a result of this incident, I lost $9,600 in earnings. My bike was totaled. It cost $900. I also had $11,000 in medical bills from the hospital, radiology, orthopedics, and physical therapy.

You already paid for my bike; so my total out of pocket losses (special damages) are $20,600. Given my special damages and my pain and suffering, and your insured’s clear liability, I believe that an appropriate personal injury settlement for this case is $65,000.

I look forward to your response. If I have not heard back from you in four weeks, I will give you a call. If we are unable to reach a satisfactory conclusion to my claim, I am ready and willing to turn this matter over to a personal injury attorney.

Thank you for your consideration.

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