Can I settle a personal injury claim by just sending my medical bills or do I need to send all my medical records in my demand letter?

I am about to settle my personal injury. I was injury during a car accident 2 months ago, other driver’s fault. I am almost done with my chiropractic; I need 2 more visits. The thing is my health provider does not want to give me all my medical records;they say I need to have a lawyer so they can release all my records. They only want to give a simple copy of what my medical costs were. That does not specify all my injuries. So can I settle with only 2 pages of my medical bills or do I need all my medical report?

Asked on October 14, 2011 under Personal Injury, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) There is no legal rule about what is required to settle a lawsuit. Since settlement is voluntary--the other party and/or its insurer has to choose to settle--anything that satisfies them is what you need to send; if they are not satisfied, either by the evidence or by the amount you're seeking, they won't settle. Therefore, you can try with just the medical bills if you like.

2) YOUR medical records belong to YOU. Your medical care provider has *no* right to withhold them from you. If you want them, you can get them. They may be allowed to charge you the reasonable cost of reproducing them (I believe they can keep a copy for their own files; or in this case, they'd most likely keep the original and provide a copy), but again, these are your records and the medical care provider cannot withhold them.


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