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Should I release my medical records to another driver’s insurance adjuster?

When a person is involved in a personal injury claim, an adjuster from the insurance company will request to see all medical documentation concerning injuries as well as medical treatments and more. In some cases, an individual may be asked to have an independent medical examination (IME). When an accident victim deals with this type of situation, there are certain things they must take into consideration.

Necessary Medical Records
There are certain medical records that should be provided by the accident victim with no problems. An insurance company may want to see x-rays of broken bones, MRI results showing specific results. The medications provided for pain experienced after the accident may also be important. The daily treatment provided during a hospital stay and more. The insurance company may also want to view hospital discharge papers covering the notes on the injuries sustained by the accident victim.

Unnecessary Medical Records
There are certain records an insurance company should not be given by an accident victim. Legal experts recommend an accident victim not provide an insurance company with any type of medical documentation that is not directly associated with their accident claim. An insurance company should not be provided any medical records associated with a pre-existing medical condition.

Authorization Agreement
Legal experts recommend an accident victim never sign an agreement giving an insurance company the authorization to obtain any medical records they choose. An accident victim should always have their medical records initially sent to themselves. This will give them the ability to choose which medical records pertain to their accident, injuries as well as treatments.

It’s possible for an accident victim to receive a personal injury demand letter from an insurance company requesting copies of all relevant medical records. Once this request has been met, it’s possible for an adjuster from the insurance company to then ask for additional medical records that were not provided. It is up to the accident victim to determine if this request is reasonable. If the requested medical records are something an accident victim feels comfortable providing, they should request the insurance company pay any fees requested by their doctor’s office to obtain them. If the adjuster offers to pay the doctor’s office copying fees, the accident victim should ask to have that put in writing. Individuals should always carefully review their medical records before sending them to the insurance adjuster. It’s important for accident victims to not provide too much information.

There are insurance adjusters who will request additional medical records to gather more information on an accident victim. They’re looking for any documentation they can use against an accident victim and reduce the amount paid by the insurance company. It is important an accident victim not provide any of their medical records that do not cover treatment for the injuries they experienced during the accident. Legal experts will advise an accident victim not to comply with such a request. When this happens, an accident victim needs to ask the insurance adjuster the reason for the request. If the answer is not satisfactory, the insurance adjuster should be politely told the medical records they are requesting aren’t relevant to their insurance claim. If the insurance adjuster continues to request the records, they need to be reminded an accident victim has a right to maintain privacy when it comes to their medical history.

Recorded Statement
As part of obtaining medical records, it’s common for an insurance adjuster to request an accident victim provide a recorded statement. They will want an accident victim to describe the accident and all of the injuries they experienced. They will ask for as many details as possible about the medical treatment they may have received. Legal experts recommend accident victims not provide such a recorded statement. It will not help their case no matter how strongly the insurance adjuster tries to convince the accident victim the opposite is true.

Medical Report
An adjuster may contact an accident victim and request a report from a physician to clarify certain specific medical issues. This may not be a problem if the request pertains only to specific issues of the accident. It is important an accident victim never let an insurance adjuster speak directly to their physician. An accident victim will want to contact their physician concerning this type of request. They should ask about the costs associated with creating such a report. If the physician indicates such a report will be beneficial for the accident victim, then a letter should be sent to the adjuster confirming compliance with their request.

Legal Advice
Insurance companies know the law and how to use any medical information they obtain to their advantage. In this situation, an experienced attorney will know how to handle the requirement of providing medical records. They will know what authorizations should be signed, which ones should be ignored and more. An experienced attorney will know how to protect their client’s legal rights.

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