Do I need to release my medical records as part of the claim?
The simple answer to this question is that, yes, it is possible you will have to disclose your medical records in relation to the claim. It will largely depend on the type and complexity of your injuries.
The medical report: when will medical expert need to review medical records?
In order to claim compensation for your injuries, we will need to prove that the accident caused your injuries, the type and extent of your injuries and how long you are likely to suffer from your injuries. These points will be confirmed in the medical report of an independent medical expert.
How to get your medical report
In order to obtain this report, you will have to attend a medical examination with the medical expert at a time and location that is convenient for you. The medical expert will base the report on the results of this examination. However, if the medical expert cannot confirm his/her opinion on the basis of the medical examination alone, he/she may also need to review your medical records. This will be for two main reasons.
Firstly, you are claiming that, as a result of your accident, you have suffered injuries. As such, you will have visited your GP and/or a hospital and/or a medical treatment provider (e.g. physiotherapist) in relation to your injuries. These visits will be recorded in your medical records and are clearly relevant to your claim. The medical expert will want to confirm that the details of your injuries that you have provided at the examination are consistent with the details you provided to your GP, hospital, treatment provider etc after the accident.
Secondly, you are also claiming that your accident is the only, or at least the main, cause of your injuries and that you were not suffering from the same or similar symptoms before the accident as you are suffering with after the accident. This will be confirmed by your medical history as contained within your medical records and so, again, your medical records will be relevant to your claim. The medical expert will want to confirm whether or not you were suffering from similar or related symptoms before the accident in order to confirm his/her opinion about your accident-related injuries.
Who will review my medical records?
If the medical expert reviews your medical records, either we or the solicitor you’re using will also need to review them. This is because we may need to submit questions to the medical expert regarding his/her evidence and our questions will be based partly on our review of the records.
Also as part of your claim (but only generally if the case becomes complex in terms of the medical issues), the Defendant’s solicitor may also wish to review your medical records. This is so that they may submit questions to the medical expert to clarify the medical evidence.
Will all of my medical records be disclosed?
If you proceed with your claim, you need to be prepared, if necessary, to disclose your medical records to the medical expert and, potentially, to the Defendant’s solicitor. The medical records to be disclosed will be all of your records and not just the records relating to the accident. However, on the basis that you have been honest and open and consistent with your account of the accident-related injuries and your medical history, you should have nothing to worry about in disclosing your medical records.
Will my medical records remain confidential?
The medical expert (and, if necessary, ourselves and the Defendant’s solicitor) will review your medical records solely in relation to the accident. The records cannot be disclosed or discussed with anyone else without your permission and the records must be treated as confidential at all times.
If you are worried about disclosing your medical records in relation to your claim, and need some help and advice then call us now on 0161 749 9000 to discuss the matter confidentially with one of our specialist personal injury lawyers.