Q: Should I release my medical records to the insurance company?
As you talk to insurance adjusters after an accident, they might request medical documentation of your injuries. In most circumstances, it is not a good idea to release medical records to the insurance company. Of course, the insurer will need to have some of your information as you file your claim. The important thing is differentiating between what is necessary and what isn’t.
Medical Records the Insurance Company Will Need
When an injured person in Atlanta gets to the point of the claims process where she sends a demand letter outlining the damages sought and supporting evidence, it will be necessary to send some medical documentation. It should only be records and information that proves the severity and extent of injuries, though.
Release anything of relevance to the insurance company. For instance, if the demand letter is asking for compensation because of a back injury that has resulted in chronic pain, it might require a copy of an MRI showing the specific injury and a pain journal that tracks its effects on a day-by-day basis. Records might also include hospital discharge papers that include notes on the injury.
Keep in mind that the burden of proof lies with you when it comes to establishing injuries. So there must be enough medical evidence to build a strong case.
Medical Records the Insurance Company Won’t Need
On the other hand, you don’t want to allow the insurer open access to all of your records. Don’t make anything that isn’t of relevance available to the insurer. It would be unreasonable for the insurer to ask for immunization records when the claim is about a head injury, for example.
The insurance company also won’t need to see medical records that show pre-existing injuries; unless of course, the previous injuries were made worse as a result of their insured’s negligence. Oftentimes the insurance company will try to dig deeper into someone’s medical history to uncover other information that can help diminish the claim.
Don’t let this happen to you. If you were seriously injured in the Atlanta area, talk to attorney Jason R. Schultz before you release any medical records to the insurance company. Call 404-474-0804 or fill out our contact form to set up an appointment.