Medical Record Release
(Kansas City MO)
The insurance company made an absurd offer and is requesting I release medical records for the last 3-5 years. I did not sign a release and instead submitted my medical records related to the accident myself. I have nothing to hide but I am a nurse and do not feel like it is their right to go through every aspect of my medical history when my injuries are clearly and medically documented to be related to the accident. How can I stick to my guns and refuse total access to my records and still continue to negotiate without a lawyer?
Hi there, Michelle here...
Thanks for writing. Well you are in a bit of a pickle. Right now the insurance company is going to use whatever they can against you in order to try to force you into a lower offer. The company is going to state that you are trying to hide something from them in your records, and will then use that to not settle with you for a reasonable amount.
The insurance company, as you have already guessed is trying to look through your records to see if there is a reason why you might have been injured - that is not their fault. This is typical, and complicated.
PROS: If you release your records, you prove you did not have an injury prior to the accident, thus the accident is their drivers fault, they need to up the payment.
CONS: Invasion of privacy is very real. And, also, there may be something you don't realize is in your records which is now used against you to keep the offer low.
I am going to recommend an lawyer. I think it is too easy for insurance companies to negotiate in bad faith (which sounds like this one is doing), and leave the accident victim out in the cold. I completely agree with you your medical records are none of their business, and I believe a lawyer will have more power to limit the scope of the inquiry.
Further, in most cases, people with lawyers settle for significantly more then patients without lawyers. Because the lawyers are paid out of the settlement, there is no fee or costs for you up front. The challenge you are having with the insurance company tells me that likely you have a decent sized settlement possible, and the insurance company knows it. A lawyer will protect you.
I want you to know I appreciate your desire to settle yourself. But before you make more contact with the insurance company, at least speak to a lawyer trained in these matters. The consultation is free and will give you the confidence to either move forward alone with new information (almost all lawyers will answer questions about your case during the consultation), or you will know the lawyer can get you a more solid settlement.Talk to a lawyer here
. Fill out the form on this page, its free, easy and you are making no obligation, just gathering information before you move forward.
Good luck, hope this is helpful. M.