The defendant's (or their insurance provider's) request for a copy of your medical records may seem very fair if you have been hurt in an accident and want to file a personal injury claim for compensation. After all, they obviously need to confirm the type and severity of your injuries before determining how much money to provide you in compensation.
It is crucial to realize that even though you will have to permit access to your medical file in order to support your claim, you can regulate the time and breadth of this access to your advantage. Here are four key points to remember before allowing access to your medical records to an insurance company. If you have questions about them, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 to consult with a personal injury attorney.
1. Disclosure of pre-existing conditions is required
You must tell the insurance provider about any pre-existing conditions or past injuries that might be connected in any way to your present medical condition. For instance, it's possible that you just sustained a back injury in a car accident that not only worsened an existing ailment but also produced new soft tissue damage. The insurance provider has a right to see the medical records for the earlier injury.
You have nothing to gain by attempting to conceal records of prior injuries. In fact, trying to hide records can backfire since your lack of candor will make your claims about your present injury seem less credible.
2. A blanket release is not required
Your privacy may be violated if you sign a general release permitting an insurance company to obtain all of your medical records. We'll talk about a variety of private health matters that you don't want discussed. It is advisable to just permit access to the precise records that are relevant to your case rather than signing a general release.
3. It's best to hold off until all of your records are finished
You run the danger of giving the insurance company an inaccurate image of your injuries if you give access to your medical data too soon. A release you signed a few days after an accident is a prime illustration. It's possible that some of your injuries haven't yet manifested symptoms or haven't received adequate diagnosis or care.
Waiting until your health is stable, all of your symptoms and injuries have been accurately assessed, and your therapy is either well under way or has really ended is much preferable.
4. Always seek legal advice first
You need an experienced attorney on your side if you want to make sure that your best interests are promoted at every stage of your personal injury claim. Ideally, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible following your injury. Even if you've already missed this chance, you can still avoid disaster by consulting a lawyer before you consent to the release of your medical data or accept any settlement offers.
In order to help you understand your rights and your alternatives for pursuing full and just compensation for your injuries, The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker conducts free and private first case reviews. To schedule your consultation, contact us at 800-333-0000.