Is it standard or beneficial to release your medical records to the other driver’s insurance company? The short answer is no. There are two main reasons why another driver’s insurance company wants your medical records.
First, they want to find a way to pay you as little as possible. If they have your medical history, they can look at your pre-existing conditions and undermine your claim. They will use these pre-existing conditions to argue that your injuries are not the result of the accident that occurred with their customer.
Second, they need accident-related medical records to pay out on your insurance claim. Some examples include emergency room records, doctor visit records, and X-rays, among others.
Under few circumstances will the insurance company need your complete medical history. Unless the documentation is causally related to your accident, it is best not to provide complete records to an insurance company. This is especially true if you have pre-existing medical conditions.
It’s Risky To Release All Your Medical Records
Chances are, you have not seen everything on your medical records. By releasing all your medical records without reviewing them first, you run the risk of providing information that an insurance company can use against you.
If you provide your complete medical history, it can minimize the amount you receive in a settlement. Additionally, if you value your privacy, it does not make sense to provide medical records that do not relate to your accident.
The Best Way To Release Medical Records
There are certain best practices you can follow to prevent insurance companies from using your medical records to their advantage. They include:
- Working with a car accident lawyer. Your West Palm Beach car accident attorney will understand what is reasonable for an insurance company to request. Instead of speaking directly to you, the insurance agency will speak directly to your attorney. Your attorney can then determine for you whether any requests are worth complying with.
- Do not record a statement with another person’s insurance company. It will not help your case to speak with another company about your case. Most likely, it will reduce your claim. Avoid speaking to the insurance company and let your attorney handle any requests.
- Review your medical records before releasing them. First, provide a copy of your medical records to your attorney. Your lawyer can help you decide which records are relevant to your insurance claim. You should not release any records that do not relate to the injuries from your automobile accident. Likewise, anything that shows pre-existing conditions should not go to the insurance company.
The other driver’s insurance company wants to talk to my doctor. Should I allow this?
Instead of requesting your medical records, an insurance company might want to speak to your physician directly. Unless told by your attorney that this is okay, you should never allow an insurance company to speak with your physician.
Instead, your attorney can ask about the specific information the insurance company needs from your doctor. If your doctor believes it will be helpful for your case, with your attorney’s approval they can create a medical report to provide to the insurance agents.
Do I need legal advice before releasing my records?
It is in your best interest to always receive legal counsel before speaking with or releasing information to an insurance company. This will protect you and help maximize the amount you receive for automobile accident injuries.
How an Auto Accident Attorney Can Help
Have you been asked to release your medical records to the other driver’s insurance? Before you consent, work with experienced attorneys that can help answer all your legal questions.
Receive a free consultation about your automobile accident from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath by contacting our experienced Boca Raton car accident attorneys at (561) 655-1990. We can keep insurance companies from taking advantage of you in your time of need.