Can car insurance companies request medical records?
Auto insurance companies often request an accident victim’s medical records before agreeing to pay on a claim. They may do this for multiple reasons, such as verifying that your injuries were caused by the wreck and not by a pre-existing condition.
Rarely is it within your best interests to sign a waiver giving the company unlimited access to your records. After all, this is private information. Instead, you should acquire the records yourself and send them to the adjuster on your own. This helps to protect your confidentiality.
If your insurer requests records that have nothing to do with the injury, then you have the right to challenge the request. Hiring an attorney can help to protect your privacy. It can also result in a better outcome since insurers know that accident victims who work with attorneys are serious about getting fair compensation for damages.
“Reasonable” is in the eye of the beholder
Insurance companies are like other businesses. They want to make as much money as possible, which means charging high rates for premiums and being careful about paying off claims.
This creates a conflict of interest between adjusters and accident victims. The former is interested in protecting the employee’s profit margins whenever possible. Sadly, this can set accident victims up for intimidation, needless delays, or high-pressure tactics.
Insurance companies try to create the impression that they’re all-powerful. But this is not true. You do have a duty to cooperate with their fact-finding efforts, of course. But you don’t have to submit to unreasonable or time-wasting demands.
For this reason, it’s usually better for accident victims to obtain the requested records and forward them. If the company then demands additional records, you should respectfully refuse until the company can demonstrate why it needs the added information.
There are many possible reasons why an insurer may want unlimited access to your medical history. Often, their true motivation is to find a reason to deny your claim.
If at any point you feel that the insurer is trying to slip out of its contractual obligations, then you should contact a car accident attorney in New York from our firm right away. Hiring a lawyer to protect your interests shows the other side that you’re serious about getting fair treatment.
How an attorney can help you in an auto insurance matter
It’s well-known that big companies sometimes try to intimidate car accident victims. Even savvy negotiators can end up with the short end of the stick– if they lack the specialized legal knowledge that only lawyers typically possess.
That’s why it’s important to seek the advice of a qualified car accident attorney in New York after your wreck. They will supervise the claims process to ensure that your rights are protected.
An attorney may be able to help in other ways, such as referring you to medical experts who are qualified to treat your injuries. Like lawyers, doctors vary in their level of skill. Why not trust your case to the best possible practitioner?
If the insurance company wants to send you to their doctor
Insurance companies sometimes insist on an independent medical exam (IME) before paying a claim. This means going to their preferred doctor and letting him or her render a diagnosis.
In some cases, insurance companies do this as a matter of standard procedure. Occasionally, however, it might be yet another tactic for denying a claim. It’s best to politely decline the offer for a second exam unless your attorney gives you the green light.
Contact Douglas and London today
Dealing with insurance coverage after an accident is never easy. But knowing your rights and insisting on legal help can maximize your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with us here at Douglas and London today—we look forward to advocating for you.