Car insurance companies ask accident victims many questions. One common request they make is for the victim’s medical records. Below, learn more about why insurance companies want this information and what to do if you are asked for records after a car accident that injured you.
Call our Harrisburg car accident lawyers today for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your accident and requests for medical records.
Reasons for Medical Records Requests
Insurance adjusters request a victim’s medical records to gather information for the victim’s injury claim. They do this for a few reasons:
- Verifying your claim: The insurance adjuster compares your medical records to the medical bills you submitted to ensure the expenses are related to injuries you sustained in the accident.
- Accessing missing records: If you already submitted copies of your medical records, the insurance adjuster may ask you for additional records if information is missing. For example, this might happen if you had lab testing or an x-ray but the records you already sent only included notes from your physician and not the lab report or radiology records.
- Finding something to use against you: Insurance adjusters often try to gain access to your complete medical history from before the accident. They want to find information about past injuries and other medical conditions so they can blame your current injuries on a pre-existing medical condition. They may also be trying to find inconsistencies in your story about your accident-related injuries.
Do They Have a Right to This Information?
The insurance company does not have a specific right to access your medical records. However, these records are still needed to investigate your claim and determine its value. Because you have the right to privacy, you must grant the insurance company access to your medical records.
You do not have to allow the insurance company access to your entire medical history. You do not have to grant medical records requests when the requests are unreasonable – it is up to you to determine whether a request is reasonable or unreasonable. You should never sign a blanket records release, which allows access to your complete medical records.
What to Do if You Are Asked for Medical Records
Whenever you release medical records, you want to do your best to protect your privacy while still providing the information that is necessary for your claim. There are several ways to try to do this:
- Limit the scope of the records the insurance company is permitted to access by specifically listing the medical providers who have treated your accident injuries and give a date range for records.
- If the insurance company is asking for something you feel is unreasonable, ask the adjuster why these records are needed. If you are not satisfied with the answer, you can choose to deny access to the records.
- Before sending any medical records to the insurance company, carefully review every piece of information and remove or redact anything that does not involve your accident injuries.
- Never allow the insurance company to directly access your medical records from the provider. Gather this information yourself and review before submitting to the insurer, removing irrelevant information.
- Do not give permission to access your medical records verbally. Always have your attorney review the records release form before signing.
It is recommended that you have your car accident attorney handle medical records requests. A licensed attorney can work to protect your best interests and private information while getting your claim processed and helping you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.
Get Help from Our Licensed Attorneys Today
If an insurance company requests your medical records while investigating your personal injury claim, you should discuss the request with an attorney before signing a release. We can review the request and determine how to protect your best interests.
Request a free, no obligation consultation today and learn how we may be able to help you throughout the legal process. There are no upfront fees to pay, and we are only paid if we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. If you have a case, we are prepared to pursue compensation for your damages.