I have dedicated my career to helping victims get justice and compensation for their injuries. Throughout my journey, I have encountered numerous cases where insurance companies request access to an individual’s medical records following an accident. In this article, I will share my insights and advice on how to navigate this process while protecting your privacy.
Understanding Medical Record Requests
When you are involved in a personal injury claim, an adjuster from the insurance company will request access to your medical documentation, including records of injuries and treatments. In some cases, you may even be asked to undergo an independent medical examination (IME). When faced with these requests, it is crucial to know what to consider and how to respond.
Necessary Medical Records
There are certain medical records that should be provided without hesitation. Examples include:
- X-rays of broken bones
- MRI results showing specific injuries
- Prescribed medications for pain experienced after the accident
- Details of daily treatment during a hospital stay
- Hospital discharge papers covering notes on injuries sustained
These records directly pertain to your accident and are relevant to your claim.
Unnecessary Medical Records
On the other hand, there are records that should not be provided to the insurance company. It is important not to disclose any medical documentation unrelated to your claim, such as:
- Records associated with a pre-existing medical condition
- Irrelevant medical history unrelated to the accident
Safeguarding Your Medical Records
I strongly advise against signing an agreement authorizing the insurance company to obtain any medical records they choose. Instead, have your medical records sent to you first, allowing you to decide which records are relevant to your accident, injuries, and treatments.
If an insurance adjuster asks for additional medical records, evaluate whether their request is reasonable. If you are comfortable providing the requested records, ask the insurance company to cover any fees required by your doctor’s office for obtaining them. Request written confirmation of their agreement to pay these fees. Always review your medical records carefully before sending them to the adjuster and avoid providing too much information.
Some insurance adjusters may request additional medical records in an attempt to gather information against you and reduce the amount paid by the insurance company. It is crucial not to provide any medical records unrelated to your accident injuries. If an adjuster continues to request irrelevant records, remind them of your right to maintain privacy concerning your medical history.
Insurance adjusters may ask you to provide a recorded statement describing the accident and your injuries. Despite their insistence, I recommend against giving such a statement, as it will not help your case.
If an adjuster requests a report from your physician to clarify specific medical issues, ensure that the request pertains only to your accident. Never allow an adjuster to speak directly to your physician. Instead, contact your doctor to discuss the costs and potential benefits of providing such a report.
Seeking Legal Advice
Insurance companies are well-versed in the law and will use any obtained medical information to their advantage. In these situations, an experienced attorney can help you navigate the process of providing medical records while protecting your legal rights. As a personal injury attorney, I am committed to ensuring that my clients’ rights are safeguarded and that they receive the justice and compensation they deserve.