Medical Records And Insurance Companies After a Car Accident
After suffering injuries in a car accident, a person may seek compensation or coverage for the medical bills related to these injuries, either from their own insurance company or from a third party insurance company. Whichever insurance company a person is dealing with, there may come a point in the claims process where additional medical information is requested by the insurance company. These requests can sometimes lead to the insurance company refusing to pay for further medical treatment, and should be handled carefully.
A person’s medical records are often protected under state and federal privacy laws. When an insurance company wants to take a look at a claimant’s medical records, it can do so with the claimant’s permission. The claimant can send medical records related to an accident injury to a claims adjuster when filing for compensation. However, sometimes the claims adjuster may request that the claimant sign a medical release form that would allow the claims adjuster to view a claimant’s medical records, even beyond the accident time frame.
When such requests are made, injured claimants need to be careful when releasing the information, even when dealing with their own insurance company, the information may be used to deny coverage on the basis of previous or pre-existing injuries. Claimants should remember that pre-existing injuries do not necessarily mean that they are not entitled to compensation. An accident can aggravate pre-existing injuries to an extent that is just as compensable as injuries arising from the car accident. Depending on the injuries, the insurance company’s denial can be challenged in court by showing evidence of the claimant’s recovery or treatment that had the pre-existing injuries under control before the accident, and the aggravation after the accident.
Before handing over medical records or signing a release form, a person injured in a car accident should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that providing the information is in their best interest, or required under the insurance policy.
In some cases, even after payment for treatment has been approved, an insurance company may seek to limit the treatment that an injured party is seeking or receiving, and to do this, the insurance company may request the injured party be examined by the insurance company’s doctor. These kinds of examinations are referred to as Independent Medical Examinations, or Compulsory Medical Examinations. This kind of a medical examination may be a requirement of the claimant’s policy, but nonetheless, the claimant should seek legal advice before agreeing to attend the examination. The insurance company’s doctor may have a differing opinion as to your injuries, and this could be the basis for the insurance company’s refusal to continue making payments. Consulting before going to an examination can prepare a claimant for what may be an unpleasant trip to the doctor.
Let Us Assist You
If you suffered injuries as a result of a car accident with a negligent driver, you may need assistance dealing with the insurance company to ensure you are covered for your medical expenses. Contact the experienced Jacksonville, Florida and Brunswick, Georgia personal injury attorney at Gillette Law, P.A. We can help you throughout each step of your case.