If you have suffered a motor vehicle accident, an insurance adjuster has probably contacted you about your injuries. You may have been asked to sign an authorization for the release of medical records, giving the insurance adjuster the right to access your medical bills and records. Do not authorize the insurance company to access your medical records until you speak with a lawyer first.
By signing a blanket release, you give an insurance company access to all of your charts, notes, x-rays, etc. This access also includes information unrelated to the accident. Your medical records would presumably include any statements you (and potentially anyone who accompanied you for treatment) made to your health care providers in the course of obtaining treatment.
These requests can seem invasive, unnecessary and unnerving. How should you proceed?
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Why Insurance Companies Want Your Records
Insurance companies want to know which original injuries were presented to the health care provider for treatment and what prognosis the health care provider made concerning maximum medical improvement. An insurance adjuster will also be looking for inconsistencies in your statements, and any opportunity to argue that the accident did not cause the injuries of which you complain.
Insurance companies may have their own timetables for different types of injuries. Chances are good that the insurer’s prognosis will be different from your doctor’s prognosis.
Insurance companies have health care experts working for them who will assess your records. In some cases, an insurance company may request that you visit one of their doctors for an evaluation. Do not agree to any further evaluations with the insurance company doctor until you first speak with a lawyer.
How to Handle a Medical Records Request
If the insurance company is requesting authorization to access your medical records, politely decline to provide it until you have a chance to review the request. Then speak with a lawyer at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine. Our lawyers will review any requests you receive from the insurance company, advise you appropriately, and can even take over communication with the insurer.
If an insurance company insists that it will close its file on your case unless you sign a release or see a doctor of its choosing, politely inform the insurer that you will review the request but will not provide authorization at the moment. Then inform your lawyer of the insurance company’s request. In some cases, insurers act in bad faith to trick claimants into providing unnecessary access to records, and our lawyers can hold the insurer responsible for those tactics.
Speak With a Lawyer at Anidjar & Levine
To speak with an attorney about the specific medical records challenges you face, call Anidjar & Levine today to schedule a free consultation.