The at-fault party’s insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster to your case shortly after they are notified of the incident. One of the insurance adjuster’s responsibilities is to investigate the incident to determine the extent of your injuries. The insurance company will not simply take your word for it—instead, they will ask for a copy of your medical records. Here’s what you should know about releasing medical records in a personal injury case:
Personal Injury Victims Must Authorize the Release of Records
There are federal laws that ensure your healthcare records are kept private. This means the insurance company cannot get their hands on your information without your approval.
The insurance adjuster may ask you to sign something that authorizes the release of your records, but do not sign this until it has been reviewed by an attorney. The wording of the agreement may give the insurance company permission to review all of your medical records, not just those that are applicable to the case. This allows them to look for pre-existing conditions that could lower the value of your claim.
To avoid this problem, it’s best to let an attorney review the wording of the authorization agreement before you sign it. Another option would be to authorize the release of records to your attorney so he can review the records prior to sending them to the insurance company.
What Insurance Companies Look For When Reviewing Medical Records
First and foremost, the insurance adjuster will check your records to make sure your injuries are documented. If there is no proof of the injury, the insurance company will not compensate you for it.
The insurance adjuster will also look at treatment you received for these injuries. If the insurance adjuster believes a treatment was unnecessary, he could argue that you should not be compensated for the cost of this specific procedure.
The insurance adjuster will review the dates of doctor visits as well to make sure there were no gaps in treatment. If there were significant gaps between each treatment, this could indicate you were not following the doctor’s orders, which will lower the value of your claim.
Finally, the insurance adjuster will review the doctor’s notes to determine the extent of your injuries. These notes help the insurance adjuster figure out how your injury has affected your life, which is information that is used to calculate pain and suffering damages.
The insurance adjuster may seem as if he is on your side, but his goal is to settle the case for as little as possible. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible so we can handle the insurance company on your behalf. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.