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What’s The Biggest Delay In Settling Personal Injury Lawsuits?

For me, it’s getting the medical records.

If you have a substantial injury, the insurance company can’t settle it without proof that you were hurt, that you needed treatment, how much treatment you needed, and – depending – that you hadn’t been hurt before.

Whose job is it to get them the records? For my cases, its my job. I can’t trust anyone else to get my client’s records, unless there are unusual circumstances.

What does this mean? When I learn that you’ve stopped treating with a particular doctor or hospital, I order a copy of the records. I ask the doctor or hospital to certify the records, so the other side can go through all of them, and so they know they are the real thing.

But there are two reasons there might be a delay. First, I can’t get the records if you are still treating. I can, but it won’t be all the records, and we need all the records to get you the most we can.

Second, doctors and hospitals don’t always have it together in producing records.

Right now, I have a lawsuit that I really want to settle before the statue of limitations, which expires in a couple months. My client is done with her treatment.

I requested records from four different doctors or hospitals as soon as she told me that she wanted me to represent her – three months ago.

I still don’t have the records. My secretary is calling the doctors every day.

There are a lot of reasons for this. Doctors leave one group, and go to another. Sometimes they take their records, and sometimes they don’t.

And they didn’t go to medical school to learn medical record retrieval techniques.

All the same, as they say in the Godfather, “This is the live we’ve chosen.” Part of the work of being a doctor or hospital is getting people their records. It would be easier for everyone if they could do it faster.

I have a friend, Mike. Mike is one of the best personal injury lawyers I know. People ask me why Mike’s so good, thinking I’ll say it’s because he’s smart, or scary. (He is both.) I tell them : “Mike is better at getting medical records than anyone.”

I have been a lawyer over 30 years. The first thing I do is order my client’s emergency room records, and any other records from providers he isn’t treating with any more. If you’ve been injured in an accident, talk with an experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer about the case. Call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775.

Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed.

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