IfIfell at a restaurant and injured my knee, can the owner’sinsurance company ask for all of my medical records?

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IfIfell at a restaurant and injured my knee, can the owner’sinsurance company ask for all of my medical records?

I slipped in whip cream and fell on my left knee. The the manager came to my side and he took my information for their insurance company. Now their insurance company is demanding my medical records to determine their liability. I received the form before I decided to go to the doctor. They are asking for all my medical records – I understand giving them those that pertain to my injury but not my entire medical history. The restaurant had the whip cream on the floor not me.

Asked on September 20, 2010 under Personal Injury, Washington

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The insurance carrier's request for medical records is probably to see if you had any pre-existing injury to your left knee.  That form you were given requesting all medical records may have been their general or standard form.  At this point, I would not give them the records.  When you finish your medical treatment and are released by the doctor, obtain your medical bills and medical reports.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine the amount of compensation you receive for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to your medical bills.  Your claim should include the medical bills, medical reports, compensation for pain and suffering and documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills and wage loss is straight reimbursement.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, you can file a lawsuit for negligence against the restaurant.  If the case is settled, no lawsuit is filed.  If the case is not settled, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.  If a lawsuit is filed, your medical records might be subpoenaed but at this point it would be premature to provide those records of your medical history.  The only medical records to be provided at this point in the case would be those pertaining to your slip and fall at the restaurant.  If you had a pre-existing injury to the left knee, the medical report by the doctor from the slip and fall at the restaurant might mention it.  That should be sufficient for the insurance carrier without requesting your entire medical history.


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