Recently, we wrote about some of the factors that influence how long your car accident case can take to be resolved. Among the many factors discussed was the receipt of your medical records. In this post, we’ll explain why your records are so important and how to obtain them.
What are medical records?
Each medical provider that you’ve seen – whether it be within an emergency room, physician’s office, chiropractor, etc. – document the circumstances around your visit. These records provide an overview of your injuries, your pain level, and your treatment. The facilities that you went to for medical care will also have records of your medical bills.
Why do you need medical records to file an auto injury claim?
Since we’re after fair compensation for your injuries, medical records are a key component in your case. Bluntly, these records are typically proof of the physical injuries that you have suffered and the treatment that you needed in order to make a full recovery.
These records allow both sides (your legal team and the at-fault person or business) to evaluate your injuries, which are closely tied to the viability of your case. The records and medical bills aid in calculating your damages. The records can also indicate whether you had any pre-existing injuries, which insurance companies often use as a primary reason to avoid paying out.
How can I get my medical bills and records?
For auto accident cases, your attorney should request these for you after your written permission is documented. Your written permission is given by way of an Authorization for Release of Medical Records form. In the form, you’ll be required to list:
- Your name
- Your social security number
- Your date of birth
- Your address
- The date range for records that you are requesting
You can also request these records yourself through filling out the Authorization form and submitting it to the facility. If you are working with an attorney, it’s recommended that he or she handle this for you.
If you have any concerns about the release of your medical records, you should consult with your attorney as soon as possible so that he or she can take any necessary steps to protect you and your privacy.
At Baskerville Law, we focus on handling auto injury cases throughout the state of New Mexico. Call or text us at (505) 247-2774 for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.