Medical records in compensation claims
Why does my solicitor want to see my past medical history?
If you have been a victim of a personal injury accident such as a road traffic accident or an injury at work and you have decided to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation then your solicitor may ask to see your medical records.
Will I need to prove my injuries?
In order to bring a successful personal injury claim, your solicitor will need to prove that the accident caused or contributed to your injury. In order to do this, your solicitor will ask you to sign a mandate so that they can request your records from the hospital you attended after your accident and from your GP. Your medical records are needed to prove your injuries, the severity of your injury and the treatment you have received. The amount of compensation awarded in a successful personal injury claim depends upon the nature of your injuries you have sustained.
Your medical records will also include a note of how the injury occurred. This entry could assist your solicitor if there is ever a dispute over the circumstances of the accident
Once your solicitor has obtained your medical records they are sent to the instructed medical expert. The expert will review your past medical history and will identify any entry that is relevant to your injury for which you are seeking compensation. Therefore, your past medical history forms an important part of the medical assessment and diagnosis.
Who will see my records?
Given that it is your solicitor who requests them, they will have first sight of your records. They will review them to form an opinion in relation to the severity of your injuries, sort them in chronological order if needs be and will then send them together with a letter of instruction to the relevant medical expert who ultimately will examine you.
Once your claim has been settled the medical expert will either return your medical records to your solicitor or will destroy them confidentially.
In some circumstances, where there is a dispute in relation to your injuries, your solicitor might be asked to disclose your past medical history to the other side.
What if I refuse my solicitor access to my medical records?
If you refuse your solicitor access to your medical records, the insurers may consider that you have something to hide and this may lead to doubt being cast on the genuineness of your claim. Moreover, the insurers can make an application to the Court, to seek an order for the release of relevant medical records.
You will not necessarily need to disclose all your medical records. It all depends on the severity and nature of your injury. However, when bringing a personal injury claim you should be prepared to disclose at least some of your medical records in order to make sure that you are adequately compensated for the injury that you have sustained.
How can we, at Anthony Gold, help?
*Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*