When you are injured in a car accident, slip and fall, defective product accident, or any other personal injury accident, an element of your claim is to prove you were injured. You must prove you suffered an injury and the accident directly caused the injury. If you cannot prove these elements, you cannot recover money for your claim. Therefore, your medical records become a very important component of your personal injury claim.
Who Can Access My Medical Records?
The other party cannot automatically access your medical records without your consent. The insurance adjuster for the other side may ask you to sign a medical authorization or a medical release, especially if you have not consulted an attorney yet. The adjuster knows that he cannot simply ask your doctors for copies of your records, he must provide the doctor with a release or authorization signed by you. He also knows that once you hire an attorney, your attorney will take care of this for you.
However, your attorney only provides the insurance company with relevant medical records. The adjuster would prefer to have copies of your entire medical history. If the insurance company can find something in your medical history, such as a prior accident, injury, or illness, the company might try to use that information to claim your current injury was not caused by the accident.
Our Fresno accident attorneys have experience handling these types of situations, but it is best to allow our office to prepare the settlement packaging, including copies of medical records. We do not hide anything; however, we do head off potential problems by reviewing all medical records before those records are turned over to the other side.
Avoid Signing Any Documents Before Seeing an Attorney
Insurance adjusters do not work for you — they work for the insurance company. Keep this thought in mind when dealing with an adjuster. If the adjuster asks you to sign releases or authorizations, you need to consult our attorneys first. If the adjuster asks you to provide a signed or recorded statement, you need to consult our attorneys first. Anything you do after an accident can have a direct impact on your ability to recover full compensation for your injuries.
Other ways you could hurt your ability to recover compensation in a case include:
- Failing to collect evidence at the scene of the accident
- Refusing or delaying medical treatment
- Failing to follow your treatment plan
- Using social media
- Discussing your claim with other people
- Failing to document your recovery
- Attempting to negotiate with the insurance company without an attorney
- Settling your claim too quickly, especially before you reach maximum medical recovery
- Admitting you could be partially at fault for the accident
- Failing to hire a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following your accident
Let our team of attorneys help you avoid mistakes that can harm your claim.
Call for a Free Consultation with a Fresno Personal Injury Attorney
You can reach the California personal injury attorneys of Torem & Associates by calling (559) 500-5000 or 1-800-954-4444 or by using the contact form on our website. If you are ready to hold the negligent party who caused your injury accountable and liable, our legal team is ready to provide the support and legal representation you need as you continue to recover after a terrible injury.