No matter how you feel following an accident, seeking immediate medical attention is a good idea. Follow-up visits are also necessary to monitor progress. Every item that is added to your medical records will be important to your personal injury case, and may help determine the amount of your settlement. An insurance adjustor will make requests for all sorts of information and documentation, and it’s important to know how to handle those requests. A professional personal injury lawyer can help along the way.
Expenses and Other Details
Once the insurance company gets involved, they will want as much information as possible. Until and unless your case goes to court you are under no legal obligation to turn over your records. Do not sign any authorization or agreement for an insurance adjustor to obtain records for you. It is important that the adjustor comes to you—do not give anyone permission to discuss anything with your doctor directly. Maintaining control over access to your medical files is one way to ensure your privacy is maintained.
For all requests, ask the adjustor if the insurance company is willing to foot the bill for copies of records or the doctor’s time when it comes to clarifying the record. Be sure to get the information in writing and have it sent to you.
Take the records to your personal injury lawyer first; you can review them together to make sure that the new information is complete, accurate, and relevant to your case. Again, the insurance company does not have a need or a right to your entire medical history.
Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs)
Occasionally, an insurance adjustor will ask you to get an Independent Medical Examination (IME) by a doctor they appoint, who will provide them with a second opinion on your condition. You are not required to do so, and you may refuse on the grounds that you are not comfortable with a doctor you don’t know. If your claim goes to court, the insurance company can then follow the appropriate procedure to request an IME.
It is up to you to decide whether or not the requests of the insurance company are reasonable. That’s why it’s extremely important to get guidance from an experienced personal injury lawyer who may be able to help you communicate with insurance adjustors, who rarely if ever have your best interests in mind. Remember that they are looking to save money, and possibly capitalize on the fact that you are not aware of your rights.
How Your Personal Injury Lawyer Will Help
Working with your personal injury lawyer will help you to decide what information is needed by the insurance company, and what information isn’t. Limiting access to your personal medical information is not being sneaky or dishonest, it is protecting your personal information and privacy, and you are well within your right to do so.
A personal injury lawyer at Parrish DeVaughn can help you navigate through the process. The days, weeks and months following a car accident can be a whirlwind of phone calls, meetings, appointments, and a whole lot of confusing legal terms. Having a personal injury lawyer on your side can really help you understand your rights. Contact Parrish DeVaughn to stand by your side today.