When dealing with insurance claims, especially those about personal injuries, the subject of medical records is crucial. As you navigate this process, you may have questions about how much an insurance company can access your medical history. This FAQ page is designed to clarify this topic, and if you’re in the St. Louis area and require legal assistance, consulting with a St. Louis personal injury lawyer is a wise choice.
How far back can an insurance company request medical records?
Insurance companies often delve into an individual’s medical history when processing claims. Typically, they might seek medical records from the last 5-7 years. That’s the general timeline for medical record checks, but insurance companies can go back even further when exploring other facets of your past, such as driving history or previous insurance claims.
This depth often hinges on the specific type of insurance policy under scrutiny, and specific regulations set by individual states.
Why would an insurance company want to access my medical records from years ago?
When an insurance company decides to inspect your older medical documents, its main objective is to establish the authenticity of your injury. They want to determine if the injury you’re claiming compensation for genuinely stems from a recent incident.
Another perspective they consider is whether the injury might be a pre-existing condition. This is essential for them to evaluate as it can influence the outcome of your claim.
By thoroughly reviewing your historical records, they aim to ascertain the legitimacy of your claim. This scrutiny not only aids them in ensuring they’re compensating genuine cases but also helps detect and avoid potential fraudulent claims.
Do I have to give consent for an insurance company to access my medical records?
Absolutely. Your medical records are private. Any insurance company requires explicit permission to access them. Always remember when such a request is made, you have every right to inquire about the purpose of the request and how your information will be utilized.
What should I do if I’m uncomfortable with the insurance company’s request for my medical history?
Trusting your instincts is essential. If an insurance company’s request raises alarms for you, it’s always prudent to consult with legal professionals, especially if your case revolves around a personal injury claim. For those in Missouri, a St. Louis personal injury lawyer can offer insights tailored to the state’s unique laws and best practices.
Can my insurance claim be denied based on my past medical records?
There’s a possibility. If your records indicate that your present injury is either a pre-existing ailment or unrelated to the incident you claim, the insurance company may find grounds to decline your claim. However, claims and circumstances are varied. If you perceive that your claim has been unjustly declined, a legal consultation can help you chart the way forward.
Being well-informed about your rights, especially concerning insurance claims and access to your medical records, equips you better to safeguard your interests. A local personal injury lawyer can offer tailored advice and representation for St. Louis residents and those nearby. Knowledge is power; always stay informed and ensure your rights remain uncompromised.
Contact Langdon & Emison or call (866) 931-2115 for a free consultation.