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Should I give permission to release past medical records not related to my car accident?

La Center, WA |

In June 2012 I was involved in a hit/ run accident .Car totaled.Driver never found. Have neck,back injuries, PTSD. Doctor diagnosed.I have 10K PIP.Went through PIP by October 2012 so I made a claim for the rest of my medical exp. and treatment through the Uninsured coverage.I have repeatedly requested a settlement, but all they do is to continually request my bills and chart notes and now say they need to see ALL of my past medical records to see if injuries were the result of a previous incident, even though I have letters from my providers stating that my injuries were a result of THIS accident- not any previous incident. Should I release all records to them? I fear a stall as they try find some reason not to pay. My doctor says I should not release as my privacy will be compromised

Attorney Answers 9


  1. You did well to question the insurance company. You would do better to consult with a personal injury attorney directly about your case. The insurance company may be entitled to the records in order to evaluate your claim, but, we cannot properly advise you without a better understanding of the facts of your case and the facts of earlier injuries. Best to not put such specifics on here for the world to see. Speak directly with an attorney. UIM claims are complicated and it sounds as if your claim has some fairly significant value. Give me a call if you would like to discuss your claim.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. DISCLAIMER: This information is for general information purposes only. Nothing stated above should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Scott W. Edwards Attorney at Law Schauermann Thayer Jacobs & Staples 1700 E. Fourth Plain Blvd. Vancouver, WA 98661 PHONE: (360) 695-4244 FAX: (360) 696-0583 E-MAIL: ScottE@stjs.com


  2. No you should not. What you should do is consult an experienced injury attorney. There are time periods you must comply with to bring your claim, and many times the insurance company only wants to delay you as long as they can. It is also not likely that you will obtain fair compensation without an attorney handling the claim for you.


  3. Yes. Otherwise it looks like you're trying to hide something.


  4. Authorizing the release of your records for 3-4 years prior to this MVA is probably reasonable because it will give the insurer a sense of your past medical history. Beyond that time period is not reasonable, in my opinion, and I would not authorize it. It looks like you are simply getting the runaround from the insurance carrier. Get an attorney to help you move the case along. The company is simply trying to wear you down.


  5. You don't necessarily need to give your insurance carrier access to your past medical records, but if you don't, you may be forced to litigate your claim, in which case your insurance company's attorney will be able to collect the records through the discovery process. I agree that if you have nothing to hide, it probably won't serve you to deny access to the records. However, given the insurance carrier's footdragging, I also think you should consult with an attorney soon.

    This answer is intended to provide general guidance only and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please consider retaining legal counsel if you remain uncertain about your rights.


  6. No...have a local personal injury lawyer investigate first


  7. Insurance companies do not offer a fair settlement just because someone requests one. Unless you retain an experienced personal injury attorney, you are jeopardizing your case and limiting its ultimate value. There are many strategic issues like the one you raise that need to be addressed. It takes years of experience to appreciate and negotiate the nuances involved.


  8. I agree with most of the attorneys answering here, you should see a lawyer who specializes in motor vehicle and personal injury claims and litigation. As a practical matter, you are probably going to be forced to give them an authorization. But some authorizations are written in ways that allow them to disseminate the medical records to other insurance carriers and third parties to the case - you need a lawyer to examine the release requested and insist on payment of the full amount of your UM coverage. You may have a case for bad faith if they do not pay it, and believe me you won't have a clue on how to handle that by yourself. Good luck!

    Every situation is different, and good legal advice cannot be given based on a short question without an exploration of all the facts that may bear on your situation. This is not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship has been established.


  9. People often think they can save money by doing a settlement without an attorney. Even the insurance industry has stated this is a big mistake. You will usually receive an offer automatically doubling any other offer you would get on your own and will more likely than not ultimately receive an offer 3-10 or more times the amount of the original offer from the insurance company without an attorney. Most attorneys, such as myself, offer free consultations and can value your case for you after you provide us with the facts of your case. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Good luck.

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