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Protecting your medical privacy: Why you need an attorney, reason no. 184

Protecting your medical privacy: Why you need an attorney, reason no. 184

July 2, 2013
By Willis, Willis & Rizzi, Personal Injury Attorneys

Insurance companies have taken a keen interest in invading your private medical history. When someone has been injured and is presenting a claim, it is only fair that the insurance company be permitted to look at the medical records for the treatment the claim caused. The only fair way to evaluate such a claim is to look at the relevant medical treatment. However, insurance companies have increasingly been pushing injured persons to sign stacks of medical authorizations permitting the insurance company to dig into every aspect of an injured person’s medical history and personal background.

Insurance companies have been pushing the boundary on this issue using any and all negative comments in your medical records to weaken the claim with the goal of paying you less than your claim is worth.

With an attorney, you will not face this fight alone. Even in court insurance companies have stepped up their campaign to force injured parties to sign blanket authorizations. The law is clear that you have the right to refuse to give them such access to your history, but the insurance companies are acting as if that law does not exist. The only time prior medical history is relevant is if someone has had prior treatment related to that area of the body or symptom. In such cases past medical history is extremely relevant. Accordingly an injury to your left knee will necessitate a look at prior records if your left knee had previously undergone treatment, an operation or other injury. 

If the insurance company obtains your prior and unrelated medical records through authorizations you have signed, that genie can’t be put back in the bottle. You need legal representation to help navigate you through this process.

This isn’t about hiding anything from the insurance company. They have a right to review all relevant records, and it is our experience that providing all relevant prior records is the right way to maximize your recovery. This is really about your privacy. When we have clients come into the office to review their medical records, they are usually shocked at how much sensitive personal information is contained in them.

Often, battling back against these invasive fishing expeditions can seem like a distraction from the main mission of prosecuting your claim, but it lets the insurance companies know they have picked on the wrong person, and will not get away with such shenanigans in your claim. And ultimately, it’s the right thing to do.

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    I am inquiring about a personal injury claim.

    Willis, Willis & Rizzi Co., L.P.A

    Personal Injury Attorneys

    670 West Market St. 
    Akron, Ohio 44303

    330-535-2000

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