When you are hurt in an accident and want to seek compensation from the responsible person or entity, you will typically file a claim under an auto, business, property, or other insurance policy. Because the nature of your injuries is a key factor in getting monetary damages, you can expect that the insurer will want to see your medical records. On its face, this does not seem like an unreasonable request, so you may think there is nothing wrong with providing them.
However, the exact opposite is usually true. You could be making a huge mistake that has extensive, negative implications for your rights. Instead of discussing the issue with the insurance company directly, you should trust a Miami personal injury attorney to deal with an adjuster. After reviewing the information below, you will understand why.
Reasons You May be Asked to Provide Medical Records
Generally speaking, an insurance company will typically request your medical records for reasons that have nothing to do with your interests. Instead, adjusters will reach out to an accident victim as soon as possible after the crash because they seek to:
- Deny your claim on the grounds that your injuries were not serious;
- Make a lowball offer to resolve your claim, before you can incur additional medical costs;
- Contest your credibility, by comparing your medical records to your statements;
- Find pre-existing medical conditions that were not a result of the crash – relieving the insurer from liability; or,
- Dispute any claim for lost wages, because your medical records do not include any references to physical limitations.
Requests for an Independent Medical Exam
The truth is that you will probably need to provide your medical records at some point in the claims process. It is only fair that the insurance company has a chance to investigate before paying out. Still, you should have your lawyer respond to the request, since the timing on release of this information is critical. If you have not fully recovered or are still receiving treatment, giving over your medical records is premature. Your medical bills, related costs, lost wages, and other losses may still be adding up – which means any offer to resolve your claim may not include these amounts.
How to Handle a Medical Records Request
The best way to respond is to provide the insurance company with your attorney’s contact information. If you have not yet retained one, your best bet is to state that you are still going through treatment, so it is inappropriate to provide medical records at this time.
A Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Will Protect Your Interests
From this overview, you can see how voluntarily handing over your medical records at the wrong time could derail your entire claim. There are multiple strategies for when and how to give this information to the insurance company, so do not put your rights at risk by trying to deal with the situation yourself. You can rely on our attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, PA to handle all requests and discussions, so please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL for assistance. We are happy to schedule a no-cost case evaluation regarding your circumstances.