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I'm from NY, its been 7 weeks since my accident, can i get a dwi or dui? My insurance company notified me I was above the limit.

New York, NY |

I was in an accident 7 weeks ago and today the insurance company called me and told me they got my toxicology report from the hospital and told me I was over the limit, i haven't received any ticket from the police, will my insurance company contact the police as i am aware i gave them permission for my records, also will they drop me? And will i have to pay the medical bills

Attorney Answers 10

Posted

I am presuming that you filed a No-Fault claim with your insurer if you were injured in the accident, which would be the only way to understand how they got your hospital records so soon after the accident. Giving your carrier permission to get your hospital records does not give them the right to turn those records over to the police.. If there was no serious injury or death involved in your accident, then the more time that passes the better your chances become each day at not being charged. However, if the police call or come knocking on your door, do not voluntarily speak to them or make comment, but retain a criminal defense attorney immediately. Unfortunately, you do run a real risk of being "dropped" if you as a matter of fact DWI or DUI, even if not charged. As for coverage of the med bills, which has to be paid by the carrier under no-fault (again, presuming you filed an application for benefits within 30 days of the accident) , if the carrier has not sent you a clear and unequivocal "denial" letter as soon as possible following investigation (often considered to be a 30 day period), then it will be obligated to pay your bills. If you do get a denial, consult with an Insurance Law or Personal Injury attorney to see about the possibility of bringing an action to force the carrier to pay.

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Asker

Posted

My accident was about 7 weeks ago i went through no fault insurance i received a call from my insurance in which they told me they will cover my medical bill to the extent they believe i was stable and the rest i have to cover. But from what your saying since 30 days have passed they have to cover the whole bill?

Jeffrey Ira Schwimmer

Jeffrey Ira Schwimmer

Posted

What you say they told you is confusing. Either they are covering the bills or they are denying payment becauses you were DUI/DWI. There is no inbetween. The more they pay, and do so without formally disclaiming, the better you position if you have to litigate it. As an aside, the time for them to disclaim starts to run as of the date they were tendered your no-fault application, which usually is later than the date of accident.

Asker

Posted

It was not on my police report that i was Drinking, but through my toxicology medical records they told me that i was, so since they believe i was drinking and driving they want to cover a potion they feel is necessary and the rest is up to me to cover.

Posted

Why would you waive your doctor-patient priviledge and let the police have your medical records?
The statute of limitations is 2 years so you can still be arrested.
Do not make any statements to the police if you get arrested. Hopefully a good criminal defense lawyer can find a way to keep the blood test out.

The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

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Asker

Posted

I did not waive it to the police i waived it to geico to pay for my medical bills

Posted

It is unclear from the information you provided if you were at fault in the accident. If you were, your insurer may very likely drop you as an insured. Even if you were not at fault but were driving under the influence, they may decide to drop you as an insured as well. If the police suspected you were under the influence, they may have requested a blood sample and could possibly be provided with the results from the hospital.
As far as your medical bills are concerned, you will be held financially responsible for any medical treatment you were provided. If the medical bills are unpaid, you may be sued by the hospital for any unpaid portion.
It sounds as if you many want to start looking for a good attorney to represent you in case you are charged with a DUI.

All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. No attorney client relationship has been formed nor should one be inferred. Our office only represents plaintiffs in personal injury matters such as wrongful death, liquor liability accidents, dram shop cases, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and other catastrophic injuries.

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Asker

Posted

It was a no fault accident, I slipped on black ice, plus i was on cold medicine and antibiotics,

Posted

There are a few issues here:
1. As pointed out by my colleague - at what point did you waive your medical privacy to the insurer?
2. If there is no police activity, how is the insurer capable of determining that you were "over the limit?"
3. How can you even be sure that the insurance company received the medical records pertaining to your accident?

Clearly the insurance company does not want to pay this claim, but the means by which they are seeking to do so seem a little out-of-the-ordinary to me. I would retain the services of an insurance attorney immediately.

This does not constitute legal advice or the engagement of my services as an attorney.

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Glenn Johnston

Glenn Johnston

Posted

Oh, and be sure to ask about injunctions against the insurer from making your medical records public/sharing them with the police.

Asker

Posted

The insurance company looked at my blood work from the hospital, so i was curious if they would give that to the police

Glenn Johnston

Glenn Johnston

Posted

The first issue is how they were given access to your medical records in the first place. The second is whether they have a duty of confidentiality with regards to these records. It is for these reasons you need to retain an attorney immediately.

Andrew T. Velonis

Andrew T. Velonis

Posted

My reading of the situation is that the individual applied for no-fault benefits, and it is routine that the insurance company obtain the medical records to review the claim, so there would have been an authorization in the claim application. The BAC would be in the lab reports, and this will allow the insuror to disclaim. But, the insurance company cannot re-disclose.

Glenn Johnston

Glenn Johnston

Posted

@Andrew - that was my reading as well, but in this instance, I cannot see how the asker could have signed authorization and waived privacy if she was, in fact, intoxicated.

Posted

This is really not one of the many lousy things that insurance companies do.

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Posted

Sure. Retain a local DUI lawyer to fight it when you are charged.

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Posted

At any time did you say to yourself "self, I think I need a lawyer...."

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Posted

Based on your post you should consult a local attorney asap

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Posted

They can't disclose the records without authorization. They will drop you, but you can get new insurance from the assigned risk pool at the highest rate allowed by law. You will be stuck with the medical bills. This next part may sound harsh,but: tell all of your friends this is what happens when you drink and drive.

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Asker

Posted

If they drop me and i have not been convicted of a DWi/DUI, will other companies know?

Posted

No, they will not contact the police. They obtained your records for their own purposes which do not include voluntarily disclosing confidential hospital records to law enforcement. Before doing anything else, get a copy of the hospital records and confer with an attorney to determine if you truly were intoxicated. Simply put, just because your insurance carrier tells you something, it isn't necessarily accurate.

The responses provided to your questions are not legal advice, do not create any attorney client relationship, and are provided for informational purposes only.

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