Q: After I've been injured in a truck accident, am I required to share medical records with the insurance company?
To receive compensation for your truck accident damages, you must provide proof of the injuries you’ve suffered. Once you’ve been diagnosed by medical professionals, your health records may be used to document the existence and extent of your injuries. However, you’re not required to disclose your entire medical history in order to recover damages.
The Discovery Process
Once a truck accident case is filed, attorneys from both sides may request information from the opposition during a process known as discovery. In truck accident cases, key elements of the claim include:
- Nature and extent of injuries
- Types of medical treatment obtained
- Need for future medical care
- Any resulting disabilities
Medical records may be obtained by issuing a request for production, which allows the insurance company’s attorneys to ask for documents, computerized records, and other electronically-stored information relevant to the case.
Sharing medical records with an insurance company is an effective means of providing proof of injury. Offering documentation from doctors, nurses, and emergency medical technicians is the best way to reliably prove harm.
However, there's a downside. Those same medical records can also document pre-existing conditions, which the insurance company may cite in an effort to limit their own liability. While it’s true a plaintiff must share some of his medical records with the insurance company, he's only required to permit the disclosure of documents directly related to his case.
You Need an Attorney
When you’ve been injured in a truck accident, the fleet company's insurance provider will ask you to sign a release granting access your medical records, and your attorney may review this document before you sign it. He can also help you determine which medical records are relevant to your claim, object to inappropriate disclosure requests, and ask the court to rule that irrelevant documents be withheld. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.