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How do I find out medical or claim status?

Buffalo, NY |

NY state. I was involved in a MVA around 3 months ago involving 2 other cars. Deemed at fault since car stopped suddenly and I hit them and they struck the other. No one claimed injuries at the time. The car I struck the driver was alone and claimed injury,got attorney later. I had State minimum insurance at time of $25k per injury and he has a $25k of underinsured coverage. I come to find out that she has been out of work and treating with chiropractor and PT. I was told by adjuster that he will not see her diagnosis, status, treatments, or medical bills until she is done treating which could be years. Is that true? I just want to know her status, injuries, etc to see if I should worry about a personal suit against me. Is there a way to find out? Are personal suits common like this?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. First, underinsurance does not apply in this type of situation. Your adjustor is mistaken. If a claim is presented the carrier is almost always aware of treatment, etc. Your post is a good one. Speak with a local attorney, particularly if you did not have the appropriate amount of coverage for you situation. She has 3 years in which to file a lawsuit. Hopefully, she was not hurt badly.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff

  2. In this instance, what your liability adjuster has told you is probably correct. Your insurance company's liability adjuster cannot get access to medical information unless or until the injured victim or the victim's attorney provides it to you. They do not have an obligation to provide anything at this juncture.

    As you have probably realized, you are very seriously underinsured in this day and age. While medical bills of the victim will be covered to a certain extent under applicable PIP or med pay, the real value of a claim is contained in the pain and suffering and potential lost earnings that occur when someone is injured in a car collision. I suggest that you visit with an independent insurance agent and review your income and assets that need to be protected and secured adequate insurance for yourself for the future.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.

  3. In NY, no-fault covers up to $50,000 in coverage for medical treatment and loss of wages (combined); and, if you are lucky, she may have "optional" additional coverage for another $50G on top of that. It is presumed that a letter of reprentation and notice of intended claim was sent to you and/or your insurance company by her attorney, but until the attorney provides authorizations to your insurance carrier's adjuster handling the claim for you, there is no way to compel disclosure of the medical records until the commencement of a lawsuit, upon which she is obligated to provide such authorizations. Be aware that in NY, a person can not collect compensation for "pain and suffering" unless he/she has suffered "serious injury, that meets the "not-fault threshold for serious injury" as defined by the statutes. 3 months of physical therapy and chiropractice treatment, by itsel, does not usually meet that threshold, Right now, you just have to take a wait and see approach. If she does have a "serious injury", the 25G limited coverage you have is, to be frank, on the low side; which if not enough would expose you to personal liability.

  4. In your state the person must have sustained serious injuries to recover.