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Your Rights to Access Your Medical Records for a Personal Injury Claim

Medical records play an important role in fighting a personal injury claim. As an accident victim who has sustained injuries, you must document your injuries and recovery. The outcome of your claim will depend on the availability of medical records. These records are necessary when investigating a claim, preparing a demand for settlement, and preparing for a trial. 

To assess your claim, insurance companies will review your medical records carefully. You must follow the orders of your doctor for a treatment plan and never miss appointments during your recovery. An experienced Rutland VT Personal Injury Attorney will make sure that they have copies of all relevant medical records for your claim. 

Understanding Your Rights to Privacy of Your Medical Records

Because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, you have the right to maintain privacy to your medical records and personal health information. This Act limits access to these records and information without your consent. 

Your personal injury lawyer and an insurance company may just access your medical records with your consent. Thus, your attorney will have you sign an authorization to get copies of these records.

Should you Authorize the Insurance Company?

Insurance adjusters may ask you to sign a medical release or authorization to get copies of your medical records. Your attorney will advise you not to sign it until you have met with them. 

The majority of insurance adjusters may get you to sign a form that does not specify the medical provider and the dates of treatment. If you fail to read it carefully and make sure all blanks are completed correctly, the insurance company could end up requesting copies of your entire medical history. Keep in mind that this company will look for information that can be used to mitigate or lower its risk for your claim. Should the company find details in your medical history about a past injury, medical condition, or accident, they may use it to deny or devalue your injury claim. 

The best thing you can do is to let an attorney get medical records for you. They will put together just the records that apply to your injury for the insurance company.