Can Insurers Request Medical Records Unrelated to a Personal Injury?

stethoscope on medical recordsIf you are injured in a car accident and seek medical treatment, the insurance company will likely request access to your medical records. It may be in your best interest to provide at least some of your records to show the treatments you are receiving for your accident injuries.

However, you should be careful to limit what they see. Insurance companies are not your friend. Claims adjusters use all sorts of tactics to try and deny your injury claim such as looking into your medical history for pre-existing conditions.

It is important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side who can deal with the insurance company for you. Call a car accident lawyer in Fort Worth car today to see how we may be able to help protect your privacy while maximizing compensation.

Your Right to Privacy

Knowing your rights before signing any documents for an insurance company is important. It is especially important when those documents are about your medical history.

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), an individual’s health information is subject to the privacy rule. This means disclosure of the person’s medical history is controlled by the individual. If an insurance company wants access to your medical records, you must give them written permission.

In Texas, a patient’s medical records are protected from unauthorized eyes except under some conditions. Health care professionals may be held liable for a breach of confidentiality if they share your health information with someone you did not authorize, such as an insurance company.

Because you have the right to keep your medical information private, you can choose what information remains confidential and what information may be reviewed by an insurance company.

Limiting the Scope of Access to Your Medical Records

A personal injury claim puts your medical condition at issue and so a release of medical records is to be expected. However, that does not mean you should give the insurance company full access to your entire medical history.

When the insurance claims adjuster requests access to your medical records, be sure to request them from your doctor yourself so you may be able to review, and remove, any information that is being sent to the insurance company that does not pertain to your current injury. Never sign a blanket agreement giving the insurance company direct access to review your records.

You can give our attorneys the opportunity to help walk you through this process. Insurance claims adjusters can be pushy and tell you that your claim may be denied if you do not release the information they are requesting. But that is not always the case, and if the information they are asking for does not pertain to your current injury case, a lawyer may be able to argue over this issue in court on your behalf.

How an Insurance Company May Use Your Medical History Against You

Insurance companies are for-profit organizations. This means that for them to stay in business, they need to pay out as little in claims as possible. This is where a claims adjuster’s job and your interests may come into conflict.

When reviewing your medical records, the insurance company may use a pre-existing condition on your file to deny your claim, saying you are using your accident as an excuse to get coverage for a previous accident or injury.

Sometimes, you and the insurance company may not agree on the severity of your injury and they may say you are exaggerating an old injury to receive more compensation.

Let Us Help You. Call Today to Learn More

If you or a loved one are in a dispute with an insurance company over the extent of your injuries after a car accident, or if you think they are requesting access to more medical information than necessary, give our offices a call today.

Our attorneys may be able to guide you through the process of releasing the proper medical records to meet the insurance company’s demands while still protecting your privacy. We have an experienced team of attorneys who deal with insurance companies regularly, so we are familiar with the tactics they use to deny a claim.

Our lawyers are prepared to go to trial to maximize your compensation if we find it is necessary to do so. If your case does end up before a jury, you do not have to worry about paying any court costs because we do not charge you anything upfront while we work on your case. And you do not owe us anything unless we recover compensation on your behalf.

Call us today at (817) 920-9000 to schedule your free consultation.

*These are actual dollar amounts paid to clients after the deduction of attorney fees and expenses.


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