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?

UPDATED: Oct 14, 2011

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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