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Medical Records in a Personal Injury Claim

Medical Records in a Personal Injury Claim

Millions of Americans are walking around with some type of a medical condition or disability. Some of these conditions are a natural result of aging, while others are a result of heavy lifting, a repetitive motion injury sustained at work, or even an autoimmune disease.

So, if you’re injured in a serious car accident and the other driver takes a mental note of how you climbed out of your car with a cane, or how your spine obviously has abnormal curvature issues, or how your hands gave away the telltale signs of arthritis, you may be caught off-guard when the insurance company asks to see your medical records from before the accident.

Even if the other driver didn’t report back to their insurance company about how you appeared to be already suffering from a disability of sorts, that doesn’t mean that a nosy insurance adjuster won’t ask to snoop around your old medical records.

When the Insurance Adjuster Wants Your Medical Records

Occasionally, an insurance adjuster will calmly and confidently tell the injured party that they have to see their medical records from before the accident. This insurance “trick” works part of the time, especially when the injured person is unaware of their rights to privacy.

No matter what, never sign an agreement that authorizes the insurance adjuster to obtain your medical records directly, and don’t give them verbal permission either. Instead, always have your personal injury attorney or you (after consulting your lawyer) obtain the medical record first.

Review your records very carefully and use your discretion; if they do not pertain to your claim or if they reveal your private medical history, you don’t need to hand them over to the insurance company.

Why Adjusters Want to Know About Old Injuries

You must know that some insurance adjusters want access to a person’s medical records so they can blame a claim on a pre-existing injury. Meaning, they’re looking to dig up anything that can be used against you or to devalue your claim.

If the insurance company’s request for your old medical records seems farfetched and unrelated to your claim, do not comply with their request. You want to be firm, and besides, you have every right to protect your privacy and your medical history that’s unrelated to the accident.

Injured in an accident in Columbia, SC? Contact our personal injury firm for a free consultation!


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