Does the other drivers insurance company have the right to request my medical records? 47 Answers as of July 11, 2013

I was a passenger in a vehicle that was rear ended a few months ago. I was taken by ambulance to the hospital where I was treated and released. The driver of the other car was cited. Now his insurance company wants me to release my medical records before they will pay the bills. My medical insurance would not cover the expenses. What are my rights? Do I have to comply in order to have my expenses paid? Can the insurance company use the information from my medical records for something other than my case? Thank you.

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Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Just because they get your medical records, does not mean that they will pay your medical bills. Often insurance companies collect records and subsequently come up with reasons to deny the claim. You don't have to comply at this point in time, but to get them to pay, you will likely have to get a court involved by suing the insured driver. At that point the defendant driver, who's lawyer is provided through his insurance, will be entitled to subpoena your medical records. However, in the context of litigation, you can ask the court for a protective order restricting the use of your private health information. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/30/2011
Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
The insurance company wants your records for two reasons: (1) so they can evaluate your injuries (this is what they tell you) and (2) so they can find a reason not to pay your claim. You should find an attorney for this case, to make sure you receive full compensation for your injuries. I'd be happy to help you.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 6/20/2011
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
The short answer is yes. In order to properly evaluate your claim the insurance company will want to know what type of treatment you underwent and whether you ever injured this same area of your body in the past. On a significant case it is unlikely that they will pay out what the injury is worth without a review of your treatment records. If you were to file a lawsuit the relevant records would have to be disclosed to the defense during the discovery process. If you decide to allow them to view your records, my suggestion is to get a lawyer and let them order the records and redact portions that are irrelevant first. If you absolutely do not want to hire a lawyer you should order the records yourself and only send the insurance company the relevant records. It is my opinion that it would be unwise for you to just sign a blanket release for all of your medical records allowing the insurance company to have your complete medical history since birth. I don't know what they do with those records, but they would likely go into their computer system and if you ever filed another claim they certainly would have access to your previously submitted records.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/20/2011
David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
Yes medical records used for your claim and are necessary.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/17/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
Insurance Companies always want more than they are entitled to. If you have suffered some pretty severe injuries, see an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/17/2011
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S.
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S. | Richard Eugene Lewis
    You will need to release your records related to this injury if you intend to make a claim. I am not certain why your medical insurance did not pay. They should pay unless you have medical coverage for people in your car. They cannot refuse to pay because the other driver has insurance. They must pay and then seek repayment from the other drivers insurer, if you do not have medical coverage on your car. I hope this helps.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
    Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
    They will not pay anything until you provide this information. They are looking to confirm your injuries were solely related to the accident, as opposed to another cause or pre-existing. There is no way to guarantee that they will not use your records in an improper manner, but as long as you do not send them a medical authorization, they would be in violation of federal privacy laws if they disclose the records to anyone else. It is standard procedure to send an insurance company all medical bills and records related to an injury when negotiating a settlement.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    The insurance company from whom you want money wants to verify what your injuries were. That's reasonable, isn't it? Once they have the records, they can likely use it for any purpose they wish. Why not ask your attorney about this as well. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC | Andrew N. Ackley
    The defendant's insurance company is adverse to you, so they have a right to say "prove it," i.e. your medical damages, even if it appears obviously related to the accident. The scope of the records to which they are allowed is another story, and it depends on your injuries and your medical history. Typically, a lawyer will work to not only maximize an injured person's recovery, but protect his/her privacy as much as possible. And no, insurance companies cannot divulge personal information at will. I'd be curious to know why your health insurance won't cover it. They may believe you have PIP coverage under the driver's policy, which is primary to health insurance. If you do have PIP coverage, apply for that. If not, make sure health insurance providers know it. Many lawyers will advise that you not release your medical records at the front end if possible.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Premier Law Group
    Premier Law Group | Jason Epstein
    The short answer is 'yes'. When you are making a claim, you have the 'burden of proof'. That means that you have to prove what your injuries are. When you retain a lawyer, the lawyer handles getting the appropriate medical records to the insurance company. However, when you don't have an attorney the insurance company will want to get all of the medical records themselves, and if you want them to pay you don't really have a choice. It is common for the insurance companies to go on a fishing expedition when you give them the medical records release. They will dig around in your history and try to find something else that they can pin your injuries on, such as a prior injury or a worker's comp. claim from your past. My advice is that if you were injured you should speak to a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law | Daniel Hoarfrost
    Usually, medical bills are paid first by your own car insurance under what's called PIP insurance.Later, they are reimbursed by the other driver's insurance.You should contact your agent and start a PIP application. B.Insurance co.'e won't pay for much of anything without seeing some underlying documentation.So, in order to reach a settlement with them, at some point you'll have to supply chart notes and billing statements for all the medical treatment for your injuries. Please feel free to call me at the office for a free consultation regarding your injury claim.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    Standard operating procedure to request records. They can only be used for purposes of this claim. If you file suit against the driver of the other car they can subpoena the records as a matter of law. If you do not file suit you do not have to release the records but they do not have to pay your bills. In that case the ambulance, hospital and doctors will hold you personally responsible. I would release the records.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Sounds like you are trying to handle the case yourself. Don't do that. Get you a good PI lawyer. Yes, when you make an injury claim you open the door. Your medical history is an open book. They are not supposed to use your records for any other purpose but they keep your medical history in common with other insurance companies so that if you ever make a claim they can check their common case histories.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
    They probably want you to sign something that would give them unbridled access to all your medical records and possibly other private personal information. I never allow my clients to sign those releases. That said, if you are making a liability claim for personal injury the liability insurer has the right to see those records before settling the case. If your injuries are serious you really need to get a lawyer to deal with this. If the injuries are minor you could, of course, get the records yourself and give them to the insurer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    The insurance company is entitled to have all of the medical records that relate to the particular body part in question. In other words, if you hurt your back and are taken to the ER, the insurance company is entitled to the ER records, but is also entitled to any of your ongoing and even PRIOR medical records that relate to your back. If you do not think the insurance company is being fair with you, you should contact an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Deal & Hooks, LLC
    Deal & Hooks, LLC | Shawn P. Hooks
    In Ohio if you are seeking to have your medical bills reimbursed from another party's insurance they have a right to a reasonable inspection of your medical records to substantiate the claim. They can go back in time to be certain that it was not an injury that was preexisting. However, that being said, they can only access what is reasonably related to your claimed injuries. An example would be if you are claiming back, neck and head injuries they are not entitled to medical records from your gynecologist that are fifteen years old. When dealing with insurance companies you should be sure to consult an attorney to be sure that you are being compensated fairly and that you factor in all the things that you should be compensated for.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    To prove your injuries, you have to produce copies of relevant medical records. Relevant medical records are those that relate to the same injury or body part that was injured in the accident. Your driver's car insurance company should be paying all of your medical bills (up to 1 year or $15,000). You need an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    Yes. The insurance company for the other driver can insist on seeing your medical records before they pay any money to you or for your bills. You contact me or another experienced lawyer in your area for further advice and assistance. The call is free, whether or not you decide to hire a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    One of the most helpful services provided by an injury lawyer is the collection medical payments expenses for the client. Our firm does not even charge a fee for this service. As you are discovering, dealing with an insurance company can be frustrating. I think that the company is entitled to documentation of the bills and the services provided. The records should not be used for any other purpose. The refusal of your health insurance to cover the bills is another issue. You may need to retain a lawyer to assist you with this claim. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    You may have a case, based upon the information that you have supplied.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    I would consult a lawyer. You do not have to reveal all of your medical history but some of it will eventually have to be provided if you are making a claim for damages.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Under New York law it is NOT the other insurance company that should be paying your medical expenses. It is the insurance company for the car that you occupied. You file your claim with your own insurance company for medical bills, lost wages, etc. You go after the other driver and owner, and hence their insurance company, if you are claiming property damage (no medical release required) or personal injury damages (i.e. pain and suffering). If you are making a claim for personal injury damages, then you must really consult with a lawyer before you even communicate with the other insurance company in any way. For Heavens sake, dont give them a recorded or written statement!
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    E. Ray Critchett, LLC
    E. Ray Critchett, LLC | Ray Critchett
    Generally, if you claim injuries, the insurance carrier will want to review the related medical bills and records; however, you may not need to provide them with a medical release. You may be able to obtain the information for them. While I would hope that the insurance company would not use any of the information obtained from you for any other purpose than evaluating your case, I would not be surprised if it was not limited in this way.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 10/25/2012
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    You need to retain a personal injury attorney to legally advise you and protect your rights, which includes the obtainment of compensation for your injuries and loss of income. The insurance company should keep your medical information confidential when and if you provide it.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
    Your questions are the reason many people get a lawyer to deal with the insurance companies. The insurance company is not going to pay until they determine the treatment is related to the accident. They should not disseminate the insurance information nor make it public.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Any release of your records should be strictly limited to the injuries from the accident.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    In Florida each driver is supposed to carry PIP insurance which will pay his bills. If you are making a claim, then they would have the right to get the medical records for the treatment for which you are seeking to claim for medical bills.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A.
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A. | Joseph Lipsky
    As Florida is a "no fault" state, your own insurance company is required to pay 80% of the first $10,000.00 of your medical bills from a car accident. If you intend to make a claim against the other driver's insurance company for anything other than the remaining 20% of your medical bills, such as for compensation for your pain and suffering, we certainly suggest you contact an experienced personal injury attorney before you sign any general authorization from the other driver's insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    Through the request of medical records, they are confirming the treatment before payment. There is no way around this. There may be some concern on their part that the treatment is not related to the accident. Also if there is a personal claim made, the insurance company will want to see the medical records as well. Of course they cannot disclose the information or use it for any other purposes other than the claim itself.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    If you make a claim for medical injuries, they have the right to insist on your medical records for this injury only. They often seek all records. For example, you may have been going to Dr. X for the past 10 years for what ever reason. They this happens and you go to Dr. X for treatment. They are absolutely entitled to the medical records for the incident from Dr. X, but their requests almost never have date limitations on them. If it was in court, they would try to do the same thing, but you can get a protective order unless theres some indicaction that you were treated in the past for the same part of your body that was injured in the accident. Your right of medical privacy is very strong, but not as to the injury from the accident. If you are doing this without a lawyer, they will send you a medical release. I recommend that you hand write on there that it is limited to records from the date of the accident going forward ONLY. The insurance company has no reason to use your medical records for any other reason. You should not be concerned about that.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    The insurance company owes a duty to its insured (the at fault driver) to defend any claims or lawsuits brought against its insure. It also has a duty to make reasonable efforts to settle all claims. Ultimately, you have a right to sue in court to recover any damages that you suffered in the accident. You have the burden of proof, which means that you have to produce medical bills to prove that you have incurred the costs of medical treatment. You also have to produce some medical evidence that your medical bills were caused by the accident. To settle outside of court, this means you have to provide medical records showing that the medical bills are for an injury caused by the accident. You do have a right to refuse letting them have access to your medical records. They have a right to refuse to pay you. If they do not pay you, you have to file a lawsuit to collect your damages. In a lawsuit, they have a right to get access to your medical records, employment history, your sex life, hobbies, names and addresses of relatives, etc. I would not worry about giving them access to the medical records and bills that you are asking for them to pay for. While you have a right to refuse, no insurance company will pay without the medical records and medical bills
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    West law Office
    West law Office | Russell West
    You should hire a personal injury attorney to represent you in this case. An attorney will request all your medical records and bills and submit with a settlement demand to the insurance. You are entitled to medical costs, wage loss, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, etc. I would not just let the insurance pay for medical. It is not a problem to let the get your records but they won't pay anything until the case is settled. If you have medical insurance they should be paying your bills and then are entitled to reimbursement at time of settlement.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    The Doan Law Firm
    The Doan Law Firm | Shawn Doan
    Yes, if you are making a claim against his policy for reimbursement of expenses resulting from his negligence.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq.
    The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. | Bradley Kramer
    They can request your medical records if you're asking them to pay for your bills. They cannot use these records for any other purpose.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    The short answer is yes, the other party's insurance doesn't have to pay bills until you show proof. However, the car in which you were riding should have coverage to pay bills related to the accident. This is called personal injury protection or PIP. If for some reason there is no PIP, your medical insurance should cover the bills.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Painter Law Firm PLLC
    Painter Law Firm PLLC | Robert Painter
    The insurance company should be entitled to a reasonable amount of your medical records in order to evaluate your claim. Some insurance companies will try to get a broad release of records going back 10 years or more, which is just a fishing expedition to try and deny your claim.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    The insurer for the at fault driver is probably entitled to review your medical records before agreeing to pay the bills. They have no right to use the information for any other purpose, but a lawyer could help you ensure that the company agrees in writing that your records will be used solely in connection with compensating you. Your medical insurer may have a clause in the policy that makes it secondary in the event of an accident covered by insurance. If not, they really should be willing to pay your expenses and then seek compensation from the auto insurer, especially if the auto insurer is giving you the run around. Note that you also have the right to seek compensation from the at fault driver's insurer for any other losses you incurred due to the accident such as lost wages, pain and suffering, and related damages. If you attempt to navigate these waters without a lawyer to help you, the insurance company will probably seek to have you sign a release that relieves them of further responsibility before you even know what your total damages may be. Your best course of action would be to consult a local personal injury lawyer. Most will talk to you for free, and will not charge you unless they recover for you. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2012
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    They want your records to see that your treatment was related to the accident. No, they can't use your records for another purpose.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Yes you will have to sign release. No try won't use for anything other than thins related to your case.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Magnuson Lowell P.S.
    Magnuson Lowell P.S. | Richard S. Lowell
    They are not entitled to your medical records - but they don't have to pay your medical expenses either. Assuming you have your own auto insurance coverage, you should ask them to pay your medical expenses under your PIP coverage. (This may be why your medical insurer wouldn't pay. The medical insurer typically won't pay if you have available PIP coverage. Once the PIP coverage is exhausted, the medical insurer will normally step in and start paying.) Once you are ready to settle your entire claim - after you are better - the other driver's insurance company will want to review your medical records.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    If you want the bills paid, then you have to release the records. They have a right to determine whether the bills are related to the accident. I doubt they would do anything else with the records.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Offices of Steven R. Kuhn & Associates
    Law Offices of Steven R. Kuhn & Associates | Steven R. Kuhn
    The other insurance company normally makes a lump sum settlement and will not pay medical bills as they are incurred. They will not settle until they have all of your medical bills and records. Your own medical insurance or your medical payments coverage for your own auto insurance should be paying your bills as they are incurred. I would suggest you retain an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you. Feel free to contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    I would release only those record that relate to the accident. They are entitled to see some of your records to determine that your expenses are legitimate. Anything more and they are fishing for information in order to try and claim that your injuries were "pre-existing" and thus not covered under the driver's policy. They are in the business of collecting premiums and not paying claims.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Yes; you are trying to get your bills paid under a no-fault insurance claim. They have a right to see the records.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/16/2011
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