Modernization has brought its own set of blessings and curses: on one hand we can now reach our desirable locations within minutes; on the other hand we have to face dire consequences in terms of road accidents, severe injuries and sadly, death! Without any doubt, motor vehicle accidents have become an indelible part of our existence and we need to be always alert to save ourselves from the perilous situations on the road.
From time to time our list of precautions is upgraded so that we can keep accidents at bay; still they creep in our life unannounced and wreck it with pain, suffering and misery. Physical injuries that are inflicted on us urge us to make our way to medical treatment. This surely leads to more strain in terms of increased expenses that surely makes the situation worse. We feel helpless and frustrated when we get involved in an accident (more so! when we are mere victims).
In such scenarios, filing for an accident claim can be a huge relief for many of us. The hope of getting compensation for loss and damage can be really a saviour. But sad reality is that securing personal injury claims is not at all easy, as there are many things that are demanded by an insurance settler, such as medical records, proper evidences, documents, and so on.
Among all documents necessary for filing a successful motor vehicle accident claim, medical record plays the most crucial role in deciding the claim amount. Severity and long-term effect of injuries are considered to make sure that compensation covers all the damages. An attorney is always vigilant about this aspect and he/she will meticulously seek medical documents which will ultimately determine the fate of your case and the amount of compensation that you will actually receive.
You, on the other hand, should leave no stone unturned to follow up the records so that evidences can be compiled in your favour. Medical records are not only the proof of your pain and suffering but they also act as a chief contributor to the compensation that you will receive. Without any doubt, medical records are going to determine the final verdict of your case, and now you can also add the psychological records as well. Yes, if you have sought psychological treatments along with medical one, then you can also make sure that you are adding reports to make your case stronger.
In most cases, you can easily request medical records from a hospital or a clinic where you were treated after an accident. In this article, we will highlight the ways of obtaining medical records, but first of all let’s delve deeper into the significance of medical records for your case.
Why medical records are important for road accident claims?
Medical records is a very important part of settling any accidental insurance because it is the only acceptable proof of your injury. An insurance settler can’t deny a compensation claim that is well supported by medical records. In addition to this, they are also required for:
- Proper assessment of damage: Medical records is the prominent contributor in deciding the amount of compensation. If you want your case to be assessed properly and as a result you are compensated optimally for your pain and suffering, then you need to provide your medical records. Moreover, these records can also be utilised in inferring long-term effect of your injuries. This certainly proves that these records play an indispensable role in not only helping you recover from the mishap by providing the much needed compensation but also take care of your future problems that might arise due to the accident.
- Proof of personal injuries: As you need to represent your case while fighting for the rightful claim; here, these medical records become your solid proof. There are cases when these records can be decisive evidences; hence, you should not be careless in securing them well on time.
- It helps both parties in representing their case: With help of medical reports, assessment of damage and loss can be clearly seen. Both parties can be benefited from these records. If you are a victim – it can help you in securing the suitable amount of claim, and in case you are at fault, it can help you by reducing the penalties (if you could prove that medical records of the victim are faulty or injuries are not serious).
There is no denying that both an insurance company and the legal system require complete documentation for providing compensation, otherwise they won’t give demanded compensation amount. It will add a lot of stress to your struggle as you will be dealing with not only medical problems but also financial and legal issues after the accident. Before offering any amount for settlement, an insurance adjuster will thoroughly seek all aspects, from documentation to evidences you attached with your file. In here, your medical report will be scrutinized meticulously, so that they can find ways to avoid paying you higher amount.
An insurance company or the court will also see the degree of injury as well as time and treatment required for overcoming such injury. They will also check if the injuries are permanent or temporary, before proposing any compensation amount. In such situations, you should provide complete and well-organized medical records so that an insurance provider has no excuse to deny you the demanded compensation.
Different case scenarios of motor vehicle accident claims
Importance of IMEs in First-Party claims
First-party compensation claims have completely different rules as compared to third-party claims. In first-party claims, a clause is triggered that demands IME (commonly known as Independent Medical Exam). An insurance adjuster will demand this document when he/she want to challenge against your claim. They will check the nature of your injuries, medical treatments taken and further treatments that you have demanded for healing process. All worker insurance policies have an IME clause, and that is why your IME results will be asked by your insurance company. You don’t have any choice or it is very limited in some cases, and you need to provide IME for securing your claim. Your claim can be denied if you don’t provide an IME in given deadline.
Importance of released records in Third-Party claims
Third-party claims are the claims filed against a driver who is at fault and tackled by the insurance company of the driver. This comes into limelight when there is no-fault insurance and this legal situation doesn’t call for an IME. Here you need to keep in mind that you have control over your medical records and your permission is required if the faulty party needs to have access to your documents. Similarly, you cannot seek reports of the party at fault. The insurance company of the driver who is at fault has the right to keep the records under their control.
In general situations, you cannot even have access to medical records of the faulty party, unless and until you file a lawsuit against them. Once you have filed a case against an at-fault driver, your attorney can seek records which are required to prove his/her point in the legal proceedings.
When an insurance company demands your records, you should only provide access to your injury related information. You should not provide them full access to all records without consulting with your personal injury lawyer. You need to understand the significance of your medical records in your case, as well as in determining the compensation amount thoroughly. Hence, you should never be careless while submitting medical records anywhere.
How an experienced personal injury attorney help you in getting medical records?
There are many people who feel helpless when they are caught in cobwebs of legalities, and here attorney services come as real support. Following are the ways through which an experienced attorney can help you in getting the medical records:
- Right procedure: An attorney with practical experience knows the right procedures which need to be followed in accessing medical records. In case they need written permission from the authorities, they will do so on your behalf. That way it will reduce a lot of your botheration and help you in seeking medical records effortlessly and without any delays.
- Resourcefulness: If you are hiring a well-recognised attorney, then you are in fact doing yourself a huge favour. The wide spread network of the entire legal firm will come to your rescue when you need any document or report. It is true that accessing medical records can be quite tricky if one is not aware of proper channels. Here, your attorney will help you immensely.
- Legalities: There can be many complex procedures which need expertise of a lawyer so that it can be handled properly. When you are pursuing medical records, then also there can be many obstacles of legal formalities. All this will be handled when you have an expert team of lawyers at your beck and call.
You should keep in mind that your attorney will be like your beacon light that will brighten your path by providing you solution and insight into the legal world. Hence, you need to be very conscientious in hiring the right one for your case.