__[Name and address of attorney or unrepresented party]__

Re: __[Case name]__

Dear __[name of, e.g., attorney for defendant]__:

   This will confirm your recent telephone conversation with my
associate in which you stated that the total insurance coverage
applicable to this case amounts to only $100,000.

   On the basis of this statement, we have conferred with our
clients and have obtained their authority to accept the sum of
$100,000 in full settlement of their claim against your insureds
for the wrongful death of our clients' son, Jeff Smith. This
offer is conditioned, however, on your (1) providing this office
with proof of the limits of the applicable insurance policy or
policies and (2) payment of the policy limits within 15 days from
the date of this letter.

   As you know, this is an open-and-shut case of liability
against your insureds. Joe Jones negligently and recklessly drove
his vehicle over the center line of Highway 1 in Marin County,
colliding head-on with the automobile driven by Jeff Smith. Joe
Jones was cited by the California Highway Patrol for violation of
Vehicle Code section 21460(a) and was charged with vehicular
manslaughter in the death of Jeff Smith.

   It is also obvious that this case is worth well over the
stated policy limits of $100,000. At the time of his death, Jeff
Smith was a healthy, 25-year-old serviceman stationed at Fort
Honor, enjoyed an extremely close and loving relationship with
his parents, and remained in constant contact with them while he
was in the army.

   The tragic nature of this case is compounded by the fact that
the Smiths lost another son in an accident shortly before Jeff's
death and by the fact that Jeff's father, Jim, suffered a massive
heart attack immediately after learning of Jeff's death. Jim is
now permanently disabled and totally dependent on his surviving
children for support. Given the close bond between Jeff and his
father, there is no question that Jeff would have contributed
substantially to his father's support for the balance of his
life. Both parents have now been deprived of the support as well
as the love, care, comfort, affection, society, and protection
that Jeff would have provided them had he survived.

   The jury verdict potential in this case is further evident
from a review of recent California verdicts involving the
wrongful death of a child. As a matter of fact, our office
recently obtained a jury verdict of $800,000 in the case of Doe v
Roe (Fresno County Superior Court) for the wrongful death of a
four-year-old child. Certainly the death of a 25-year-old son
would yield a verdict far above that figure, particularly in view
of the factors discussed above.

   As previously mentioned, this offer to settle within the
applicable policy limits will remain open for 15 days from the
date of this letter. If it has not been accepted by that time,
this demand will be withdrawn, and we will proceed to trial.

   If you do not fully comply with this demand, we will have to
conclude that the insurance company is acting in bad faith and
proceed accordingly. After we receive a jury verdict over
$100,000, we will seek an assignment from the insureds and
proceed against the carrier for its bad faith and outrageous
conduct in the negotiations pertaining to this case. I need not
remind you of the numerous decisions in which an insurance
company has been held liable for the full amount of the jury
verdict when the company chose to subject its insureds to
personal liability instead of settling the case for the limits of
the insurance policy. See, e.g., Johansen v California State
Auto. Ins. Inter-Ins. Bureau (1975) 15 C3d 9; Gruenberg v Aetna
Ins. Co. (1973) 9 C3d 666; Richardson v Employers Liab. & Ins.
Co. (1972) 25 CA3d 333; Fletcher v Western Nat'l Life Ins. Co.
(1970) 10 CA3d 376; and Crisci v Security Ins. Co. (1967) 66 C2d

   Please feel free to call this office if you have any questions
or need any additional information on this matter.

   Thank you for your cooperation.

Very truly yours,

__[Signature of, e.g., attorney for plaintiff]__
__[Typed name]__

Return to Table of Contents for

Legal Forms : Set Two