If you’re involved in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, the company has a right to get relevant medical records to evaluate your claim and defend the insured. But don’t sign a blank medical authorization. It could allow the company to access any and all medical information about you.
This “fishing expedition” could result in medical and other documents the company could use to cook up defenses to deny your claim or lower your case’s value. Anderson Injury Lawyers never allows an insurance company to have limitless power to snoop into our clients’ confidential records. If you’re injured in an accident and an insurance company is trying to push you around, contact our office.
What an Insurance Company May Seek
An insurance company will want a signed medical release because federal law (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)) protects your privacy. The only ways the company can get your medical records is through a signed release, a subpoena (which could be challenged in court), or through your attorney.
The authorization’s language could make your life an open book beyond medical issues. Signing it could result in the release of:
- Records from mental health professionals
- Personnel records from current and past employers
- Criminal records
- Military service records
Why the Insurance Company Wants a Signed Release
There are many reasons why an insurance company wants your records:
- It’s entitled to information about the injuries you claim were caused by the accident. They want to know the amount you were billed for your medical treatment, what care you received, and when you received it to make sure your claimed injuries are accident-related
- The insurance company may also want records and information going well beyond what you suffered in the accident. They’re looking for a reason to deny or reduce your claim. If you say the accident caused your neck injury, if it finds a neck problem several years earlier, it might deny your claim because it’ll allege it existed before the accident happened
- They may try to use personal, unrelated, embarrassing information against you. A past criminal conviction might be used to make you appear less credible. If you’ve worked many jobs, an insurance company may claim you’re faking or exaggerating the claim to generate income. If you say you’ve suffered depression because of your injuries, the company may blame it on your relationship problems. If substance abuse was an issue in the past, the insurer may claim you caused the accident because you were impaired at the time
What the insurance company could seek may be barred from use at trial. Efforts to dig up damaging information can just be an attempt to wear you down, scare and frustrate you. This could be a bluff to make your claim more painful and time-consuming.
How to Prevent an Insurance Company from Abusing Your Records and Information
Anderson Injury Lawyers will carefully review your medical records before producing them to the insurance company. If there are potential problems, we will talk to you and deal with them. If the insurance company tries to deny or lessen your compensation because of irrelevant or unrelated matters, we will file a lawsuit against the responsible party, and a jury can decide the case.
Anderson Injury Lawyers are contacted by people all the time who’ve tried to resolve their case on their own. They’ve dealt with the insurance company, became frustrated, and came to us for help. They’ve signed these blank releases and they can be absolute case killers.
We handle accident cases every day. We know what’s relevant to a claim and admissible in court. Anderson Injury Lawyers won’t allow an insurance company to look at everything and anything in your life to intimidate or threaten you into taking a lowball offer.
How Anderson Injury Lawyers Can Help You and Your Family
Our team of legal professionals knows the ins and outs of the Texas and Fort Worth court system, how insurance companies work, and what it will take to win your case. Anderson Injury Lawyers has a track record of success. We’ve won millions of dollars for our clients over the years.
To learn more about us and how we can help, contact us at 817-294-1900 or through our online form. Your consultation and phone call will be free and they require no obligation.