Releasing Medical Records for a Personal Injury Case

October 29, 2021

If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury as a result of the negligent actions of another individual or entity, you may find yourself involved in a personal injury lawsuit. At some point, your medical records will have to be sent to insurance carriers or the attorneys for the at-fault party. However, you have to be careful about releasing medical records because the other side could use your past medical history against you.

Authorization for Release of Medical Records

If you have decided to file a claim or personal injury lawsuit against someone else, you need to go ahead and expect that you will have to release your medical records at some point. There is no way that an insurance carrier or at-fault party is going to hand over compensation without actually having proof that you have sustained an injury.

Injury victims will typically be asked to provide various information about themselves so that their medical records can be released to the parties involved in the personal injury case. This will include their name, Social Security number, date of birth, address, patient account number, etc. A release may ask for specific records, records for a certain date range, or even all medical records related to a person’s care.

If you are working with an attorney for your personal injury claim, the personal injury attorney can request the records on your behalf if you give them written permission to do so. These requests can be sent by mail or fax, though many larger health care facilities may allow individuals to recover their records through an online portal.

Releasing too Much Could be a Problem

There are various reasons why you will have to release your medical records:

  • This allows both sides to assess the injuries and viability of the case.
  • This provides details on the extent and nature of the claimant’s injuries.
  • This helps calculate all damages sustained by the injury victim.
  • This allows medical experts to analyze the records to determine the cause of the injuries.

However, it is crucial to understand that there is such a thing as releasing too much information when it comes to your medical records. One major reason why insurance carriers and at-fault parties want to see a person’s complete medical history is so they can look for pre-existing injuries.

Defendants in a personal injury case will typically use any pre-existing injuries or illnesses to try and explain away the current pain and suffering experienced by the injury victim. They will look for things like previous work injuries or car accidents.

However, it is crucial for injury victims to understand that pre-existing injuries will not keep them from recovering compensation if a new incident occurs that causes new injuries. Additionally, even if a new incident aggravates pre-existing injuries, injury victims should still be able to recover compensation for their losses.

Working With an Attorney

Before you decide to hand over medical records for a personal injury claim, you need to speak to an attorney. A skilled lawyer in Martinsburg will have the resources and experience necessary to handle your entire claim. They will be able to advise you about what records to turn over and how to go about getting them to the right parties.


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