Using old, incorrect medical information in a current case?
Recently, I was injured on the job and my employer hired an attorney right away to fight my claim. The attorney told me I had to sign a Medical Release form and I did. I thought he (the lawyer) would be going to my doctor for the medical records.
Instead, he went to an attorney who had fought against me in a different workers comp injury seven years ago. One of those doctors is now dead, but he was quoted anyway. The new WC doctor (chosen by my current employer) "summarized" these former medical records, throwing in misinformation about medical problems that I never had.
1. Can opposing council get your medical records from a former attorney who worked against you and not from your doctors?
2. Can the current WC doctor put misinformation into your past medical records?
3. What if the former medical records contains incorrect negative information about me that my former employer erased from their employment records as part of their settlement with me... Can the current lawyer use this incorrect negative information which has already been refuted by the former employer to discredit me in the present case? Is that a violation of the settlement agreement that my former employer made with me through that employer's lawyer?
Thank you very much for any information you can give.
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ANSWER for "Using old, incorrect medical information in a current case?":
Let’s try and answer your questions one at a time...
First: To be covered by workers' compensation, the workers' comp insurance company has a right to know about your past medical records. Without that information they would be unable to tell if your new injury is just that...a new injury, or if it's an exacerbation of a prior injury.
While you don’t have to sign an insurance company medical release, if you don’t, you won’t likely be compensated for your latest injury. You need to take a close look at the medical release you signed. If it is open-ended, and stipulates you agree to permit the insurance company (or its attorney) to review your past and present medical records, then you will be bound by that medical release.
Second: Of course, any doctor, including your current workers' comp doctor, can not place misinformation in your medical records. Yet, your questions begs for an interpretation of what you consider to be “misinformation” as opposed to downright falsehoods.
If you have proof the doctor intentionally placed complete falsehoods, and not mere interpretations of your injuries, then you have a strong negligence, if not fraud, case against him.
Third: It’s difficult to understand how your employer can use erased medical information. If it was erased from your medical records, then it doesn’t exist. You may mean your employer maintained a record of the erased information in your current personnel file.
To fully understand the rights you have relative to the dispersal of your medical information, you must review the facts of the settlement agreement. If the medical information you claim was misinformation, or erased information, you have a right to refute it. Doing so will include a thorough investigation of your past medical records.
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,
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