When you sustain injuries in an accident, such as a motor vehicle accident or fall, the insurance provider for the other party will likely send you several requests after you file the insurance claim. Before responding to these requests, it is wise to consult a California car accident attorney. Some of the insurance company requests may be legitimate, but some requests are designed to gain information that could potentially harm your injury claim. Let’s look at why allowing an insurance company access to your medical records without talking to an attorney may be an unwise decision.
Why Does an Insurance Company Want Access to My Medical Records?
There are two primary reasons why an insurance company would want access to your medical records after an accident.
First, the insurance company needs to verify your injuries and determine the extent of your injuries. Verification of your injuries for an accident claim is a valid reason for requesting access to your medical records.
However, the second reason the insurance company wants access to your medical records could hurt your injury claim.
The insurance company may want access to your medical records to search for pre-existing conditions and injuries from a prior accident. The insurance company should limit its review of your medical records to records that relate to the injuries or conditions caused by the accident. However, many companies do not limit their review of medical records to the records related to the accident unless you restrict their access specifically to records related to the accident.
It is a common insurance tactic to send a medical record release form to an accident victim requesting access to medical records to verify you sustained your injuries in an accident. However, the company does not include any restrictions or dates in the form. An accident victim that is unaware of this insurance tactic or who is not familiar with legal forms may sign the form giving the insurance company access to the person’s complete medical history.
Why Is Access to My Medical History Important?
If the insurance provider discovers a pre-existing condition or prior injury, the company may argue that it does not owe you as much money as you claim. It may allege that your current injury is based on a prior condition, so it should only pay you a small amount for the claim. The company may argue that you are claiming the injury was caused by its insured when you actually incurred the injury years ago. There are many ways the insurance company could use your medical history to argue against paying your insurance claim in full.
Contact a California Personal Injury Attorney First
Before you allow an insurance company access to your medical records or send medical records to an insurance company, contact a California personal injury attorney to discuss your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation with a California car accident attorney. Our attorneys know exactly which records the insurance company needs to verify your claim. By hiring an attorney, you may avoid making an innocent mistake that could result in a denial of your insurance claim.