Should I sign the insurance company's request for medical records?

by Anonymous
(Las Vegas, NV)

A week prior to my car accident (I was not at fault), I had an MRI of my cervical and lumbar spine due to pain. The MRI revealed I had bulging discs in a couple areas of my lower back. I feel that I am in more pain in the same areas after the accident.

My question is: Can the other driver's insurance company demand I sign a medical authorization that allows them to receive any and all of my medical records?

The form I got from the insurance company even states they can obtain medical records about blood work, drug tests, STD tests and HIV tests! I understand requesting records pertaining to preexisting conditions that may be related to the car accident, but everything else feels like an invasion of my privacy. What can I do about this? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Should I sign the insurance company's request for medical records?":

Anonymous (Las Vegas, NV):

Nevada law does not require injured parties like yourself to authorize the release of their medical records to a third party's insurance company.

However, in injury cases (when compensation is sought from a 3rd party's insurance), while the injured party is not legally required to release his or her medical records, refusing to do so may result in the insurance company refusing to settle, or offering an amount the injured party believes is unfair.

In your case, the claims adjuster wants all your medical records just so he or she can look for previous injuries or maladies which can be used against you to "muddle" your claim for compensation. Unfortunately, that's their job.

The request for your complete medical records is unreasonable. Demand the adjuster explain why the ­additional records are needed. Inform the adjuster you think the records are not relevant to your claim and are an invasion of your privacy. The adjuster should only need your medical records related to your current claim.

If the adjuster persists, ask to speak with the adjuster's supervisor. Tell the supervisor you don't believe the release of all your medical records are relevant in the negotiation of your injury claim.

If that doesn't work, consider telling them you are not going to argue with them anymore and will be consulting with a personal injury attorney. That may be enough to convince them to ask only for the for medical records directly related to the injury claim you believe are relevant.

If that still doesn't work, consult with several personal injury attorneys in your area, Fortunately, most do not charge for initial office consultations.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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