In the wake of an automobile crash, there may be times when another driver’s insurance company requests your medical records. If this happens, you need to know exactly how to proceed. Knowing what you are and aren’t legally required to share with them is of great importance.
For help after a Fort Lauderdale car accident, Call 1800-INJURED to connect with a lawyer near you.
Rights to Privacy
Flex your rights. Considerations of patient privacy and health records are issues that have been heavily scrutinized in the U.S. The judiciary and legislative branches have gone to great lengths to ensure that the rights to privacy of all citizen’s health records are thoroughly and carefully secured. Insurance companies know this, but they may act as if they don’t.
The freedom from the interference of one’s medical records is secured under Ciox Health, LLC v. Azar, No. 18-cv-0040 (D.D.C. January 23, 2020), which created The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. HIPAA protects medical records from being shared without permission. Only patient signatures or power of attorney can grant access to records.
The goal of HIPAA is to ensure that individual health information is properly protected while enabling the exchange of health information needed at the healthcare level to supply high-quality care and safeguard the public’s health and well-being.
Why Would Another Driver’s Insurance Company Request My Medical Records?
There is only one reason why another driver’s insurance company would request your medical records — to secure an advantage for themselves and to gain an advantage regarding litigation of claims. No matter how the request is packaged and presented to you, remember this fact — they’re looking to beat you.
Using Your Medical History Against You
Insurance companies won’t tell you that their seeking an advantage over you for their benefit, but this is exactly what they’re doing. If granted access to your medical records, their sole agenda will be to search your past medical history for something that’ll weaken your position. This is a big reason why granting access is generally a bad idea.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Some insurance companies are shameless about the dirty tactics they employ to execute their goals. Many companies may attempt to trick, harass, or bully you into compliance. Without knowing your privacy rights, you could unwittingly place yourself at a legal disadvantage. No matter what they tell you, don’t share records. Call 1-800-INJURED to connect with a seasoned lawyer to help you understand your rights.
Keeping Insurance Companies Honest
Staying vigilant when dealing with your insurance company is difficult enough. Introducing another insurance company into the equation only serves to further complicate matters. Insurance companies are usually bold when dealing with individuals, as they have an upper hand against the average person. To make them respect you, hire a seasoned lawyer.
Protecting Yourself From Insurance Companies
Many insurance companies are formidable organizations in their own right. They can possess access to a great number of resources, and it isn’t unusual for them to wield their power ruthlessly. Due to these factors, it’s generally difficult for any individual to take on an insurance company by themselves.
Managing Requests to Share Records
There are many ways a request to share records can be presented to you by another driver’s insurance company. You can receive emails, home visits from adjusters or the other driver, and receive letters in the mail. In all cases, the correct course of action is to politely decline to engage and not to sign anything.
Requests for a Medical Examination
It’s perfectly legal for the other driver’s insurance company to request records. However, all access granted to your medical records is strictly a courtesy — one that should never be given without conferring with reputable legal counsel. Unless a court order to share records goes out, records generally will remain private.
Securing the Legal Advantage
Rather than talking with an insurance company about these matters on your own, the most secure route is to have their lawyers talk to your lawyers.
Sometimes medical records are subpoenaed. When this happens, you are legally required to share them. Failure to do so is punishable by law. Cases don’t usually advance beyond settlement negotiations. These settlements usually take place well before claims ever breach into judicial arenas.