Should I Release My Medical Records to Another Insurance Company?
Posted on: November 14, 2023
When you file a personal injury claim after a car accident, an adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company will likely request access to your medical records. It is also common for insurance adjusters to ask accident victims to undergo an independent medical examination (IME) with a treater of the insurer’s choice. While insurance companies other than yours may have the right to view some of your medical records, you also have the right to protect your private and personal medical history.
You should never release your medical records to another insurance company without consulting an experienced lawyer. Attempting to negotiate with insurance companies on your own puts you at risk of accepting an unfair settlement. Your attorney can handle all communication with insurance representatives.
Why Does Another Insurance Company Want My Medical Records?
There are two basic reasons why another insurance company wants your medical records:
- Insurance companies want your entire medical history to try and pay as little as possible. Adjusters may look at any pre-existing conditions and argue that your injuries are not the result of the accident.
- Insurers need medical records related to your accident to pay for your claim. A knowledgeable attorney can help you understand what is reasonable for an insurance company to request.
What Are Necessary Medical Records?
Certain medical records directly relate to your accident and are relevant to your claim. A lawyer can help determine what medical records you should provide to another insurance company.
Examples of necessary records include:
- X-rays of broken bones or fractures.
- MRI and CAT scan results showing specific injuries.
- Prescribed pain medications for your injury.
- Documentation of treatment received in the hospital.
- Hospital discharge papers with notes on your injuries.
What Are Unnecessary Medical Records?
Some medical records should never be provided to another insurance company after a car crash or any other accident that causes injuries. The general rule is that you are not required to provide medical documentation unrelated to your personal injury claim. Unnecessary medical records include records associated with a pre-existing medical condition and irrelevant medical history.
Should I Sign a Release Request?
If you receive a medical records release request, it is crucial to discuss it with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer. Your lawyer will review the paperwork and ensure you only release the medical records pertinent to the accident. If you sign a release that grants full access to your medical records, the insurer may find something in your past history to connect to your current injuries.
Do I Have to Undergo an IME?
Another driver’s insurance company may try to undermine your doctor’s medical opinion and reports. Insurers often request that a claimant submit to an IME conducted by doctors the insurance company pays to give their opinions. However, independent medical evaluations are rarely independent or unbiased.
Submitting to an IME without the advice of a lawyer can put you at risk for limited or no financial recovery. In most cases, there is no legal requirement to submit to or report for an IME. Our lawyers at Ellis Law can help you understand your legal obligations and options regarding your personal injury claim.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help With My Case?
Filing a personal injury claim after a car accident can be a complex process without legal guidance. Insurance companies will typically try to use any medical information they obtain. A skilled lawyer can help you navigate the process of providing necessary medical records while protecting your best interests.
When you hire a lawyer, insurance companies and all opposing representatives are immediately cut off from contacting you. All requests have to go through your attorney, who will review them and determine which requests are reasonable. Our car accident lawyers at Ellis Law can provide the insurance companies involved in your case with only the necessary records while protecting your privacy at every step.
New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers at Ellis Law Protect the Rights and Privacy of Car Accident Victims
Our New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Ellis Law are committed to ensuring that your rights are safeguarded. If you were injured in a car accident, call 732-308-0200 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients in Asbury Park, East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Long Branch, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, Monmouth County, Marlboro, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn and New York City.