Once you have filed your personal injury demand letter—this is where you state that you have been hurt and that you believe compensation is warranted—you will likely have to provide copies of your medical files pertaining to the accident. Sharing these files with your lawyer is an important step and helps build your case. A personal injury lawyer from Heuser & Heuser will also advise you on how and when to share files.
As your case develops, the time will come when your lawyer will advise you to share copies of pertinent medical information with the insurance company. The insurance adjuster will evaluate these files to determine how much of your injury, pain, and suffering is their fault, and what they believe to be the long term ramifications of your injury. They use these determinations when deciding whether to settle or go to court, and what they believe to be the value of your claim.
More Medical Information
The insurance company may not believe that the files you share are enough for them to make these determinations. The insurance adjuster may ask for more information—either files not released to them or for clarification on something your doctor wrote.
At the end of the day, up until (if) your case goes to trial, compliance with these requests is not compulsory—meaning it is up to you if you share this information or not. If you think the request is reasonable, then by all means, supply the insurance adjuster with the requested documents. You should inform the insurance company representative, though, that they will be required to pay any fees for obtaining the copies. If they still want the information, ensure you get their agreement to this in writing.
If you think the request is unreasonable, you are allowed to tell the insurance company “no.” If you don’t feel comfortable making the determination on the reasonableness of the request, this is an excellent time to consult the expertise of your law team. Your personal injury lawyer will evaluate the request, but they will likely tell you that declining to share the information is in your best interest.
Contacting the Doctor
An important item to note throughout this process is that YOU should supply the medical documents. You should be the one to contact the doctor with the request and have all documentation sent to you or your personal injury lawyer for review, prior to release to the adjuster. Under no circumstances should you give written or even verbal permission for the insurance adjuster to contact your doctor directly.
If the adjuster contacts the doctor directly, and you have given consent for them to do so, the adjuster now has access to your full and complete medical history, something they have no business reviewing. While unethical, some adjusters could use this to find past information to build their case against you, or to embarrass or shame you. Regardless of how nice they seem, be firm in this instance; this is about protecting your medical history and your privacy, well within your rights.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Throughout this process, having a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer like the ones at Heuser and Heuser is sure to help put your mind at ease. Colorado law governing personal injury cases can be confusing, having someone trained to understand your rights is vital. Your personal injury lawyer will explain to you, along the way, why the insurance adjuster is asking for certain things, what information you should release and why, and will help to ensure that your records are not used against you during the court proceedings.
If you live in the greater Colorado Springs area and have been injured in an accident, don’t let the complexity of the law, or a seasoned insurance representative confuse you. You have the right to maintain your privacy while seeking compensation for your injuries. The personal injury lawyers at Heuser & Heuser have been defending the rights of Colorado residents for over 30 years. Call them today to help you win your case, without losing your dignity.