Dear [insurance adjuster]:
I was injured when your insured, Mr. Policyholder, reversed out of his driveway without looking and crashed into my car as I was driving down Walnut Street in Anytown, USA. I was driving at 25 MPH, which was well within the speed limit in this residential neighborhood. I was paying attention to where I was going, but I did not see Mr. Policyholder until it was too late because of the hedges surrounding his driveway.
Mr. Policyholder's car hit me broadside in the right passenger door and jostled me around in the car, even though I was wearing a seat belt. I felt immediate neck and back pain, and asked the police, who arrived shortly after the collision, for an ambulance to take me to the hospital. [Get tips on what to do after a car accident.]
At the hospital, I was x-rayed, and thankfully nothing was broken, but I was in a lot of pain. As soon as I got home, I made an appointment for the next day with my family doctor, Dr. Johnson. He diagnosed cervical and thoracic (mid and upper back) sprain and strain and recommended that I stay out of work for a week (I am a painter and so I work on my feet with a lot of overhead work). He also gave me the choice of seeing a chiropractor or going to physical therapy.
I chose to see a chiropractor, and set up three-times-a-week sessions with Anytown Chiropractic. They recommended that I stay out of work for an additional two weeks, which I did.
I returned to work after three weeks. I was still in some pain, but I needed to have some money coming in. I saw Anytown Chiropractic for a total of eight weeks, and it helped tremendously. I felt about 90% better after eight weeks, when I stopped treatment, and I felt fully recovered after four months. [Learn more about how medical treatment affects your personal injury settlement.]
As you know, the accident occurred in the winter. I am a regular skier, and, as a result of the accident, I missed almost the entire ski season. I had a ski vacation planned in Colorado, and I had to cancel this special event. The trip cost $1,500, including airfare, and I was only able to get $500 back. I also had to hire someone to shovel the snow and plow my driveway. This is something that I usually do myself. I had to pay a local snow plow driver $500 for the winter.
I believe that this collision was your insured’s fault. I believe that your insured was negligent for failing to look before backing up into the street. If he had looked, as he should have (and as a reasonable driver would have under the circumstances) he would have seen me and avoided the accident. I do not believe that I did anything wrong. I did not contribute to this collision in any way. I was driving carefully, and within the speed limit. [Learn more about contributory negligence and comparative fault.]
As a result of this incident, I lost $2,100 in earnings. I earn $700 a week working as a painter for Anytown Painting, and missed three weeks of work per my doctor’s and chiropractor’s recommendations. I had to rent a car for two weeks until my car was fixed. That cost $400. I also had $2,850 in medical bills, as follows:
- Anytown Hospital 500.00
- Anytown Radiology 150.00
- Dr. Johnson 200.00
- Anytown Chiropractic 2,000.00
You have already paid my car repair bill for this incident; so my total out-of-pocket losses (special damages) are $5,350.00.
Given my special damages and my four months of pain and suffering, and your insured’s absolute liability, I believe that an appropriate settlement for this case is $19,500.00. I have attached copies of all of my medical records and bills relating to this matter, as well as copies of my earnings records and the rental car bill. [Get more details on damages in a car accident case.)
I look forward to hearing back from you with your thoughts on this matter. If I have not heard back from you in four weeks, I will give you a call to discuss this case.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.