If you get injured in an accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation through the rules of personal injury law. An insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit in Dallas, Texas requires you to show proof of your injuries to receive financial benefits. One type of evidence that may be useful is your medical records. If you are handling your claim on your own, you will need to gather these records yourself. Otherwise, your attorney can collect them for you.
Why Do You Need Your Medical Records?
Whether you were injured in a car accident, a slip and fall accident, or a workplace accident, you will have to provide proof of your injuries if you wish to obtain financial compensation for your medical bills and other losses. An insurance company will ask for proof and evidence to support your case before it will send a settlement check.
Many different types of medical records and documents can help you prove your injury case in Texas, including:
- Your medical history
- Admitting charts and nurses’ notes
- X-ray, MRI and CT scan images
- Test results
- Diagnosis and prognosis reports
- Consultations or referrals
- Your treatment plan
- Prescriptions for medications
- A letter from your doctor
- Itemized bills from the hospital
These medical documents can help you prove that you sustained a diagnosable injury, that the injury is connected to your accident, that you are following your doctor’s treatment plan and that you have medical expenses related to the accident.
Do Not Sign a Medical Authorization Form
When you call an insurance company to file a claim, the insurance claims adjuster may send you a document known as the Medical Authorization Release Form. The insurance company wants you to sign this form to grant it access to your medical records. Since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects your privacy as a patient, the insurance company cannot access your medical records unless you sign this release form.
It is critical not to sign this form, however, until you have brought it to a personal injury attorney for review. Most release forms request access to the client’s full medical history, not just the medical records related to the injury claimed. The insurance company’s goal is to gain full access to the client’s medical records to search for a reason to deny or diminish coverage, such as a pre-existing injury or condition. Rather than signing this release form, provide your own medical records to the insurance company instead.
Contact Your Health Care Provider
HIPAA gives you the right to access and obtain copies of your own medical records. Obtaining these documents generally takes a phone call to the hospital or doctor’s office where you received care for the injuries for which you are seeking financial compensation. This may include an emergency room in Dallas, a specialist, a primary care physician or a surgical center.
Give your doctor your identifying information so he or she can track down the correct documents. Explain that you need copies of your medical records for your most recent injury. HIPAA allows doctors and medical offices to charge a reasonable fee for copies of patient records. Once you pay the fee, the office will mail or email you copies of your records. Make additional copies of these copies for your own records. Then, submit the first set of copies to the insurance company to proceed with a claim.
Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney for Assistance
You do not have to obtain your medical records or collect other evidence to support your personal injury case on your own. You have the right to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you during a lawsuit. If you authorize the release of your medical records to an attorney, he or she can contact hospitals and doctors on your behalf to obtain the necessary medical records. Then, your attorney can use these records and other types of evidence to help you fight for maximum financial compensation for your losses.
For more information about how an attorney can help, contact The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert today.