How far back can an insurance company look into your medical records?

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Many people ask our lawyers, “How far back can an insurance company look into your medical records?” at some point in their lawsuit. Often, they are worried about pre-existing conditions or mental health records surfacing. In today’s video Drew covers how far an insurance adjuster can look into your medical history when you are fighting a car accident lawsuit.

How far back can an insurance company look into your medical records?

Video Transcript

Hey, it’s Drew from Champlain Valley Law. In today’s video, we’re going to talk about how far back an insurance company can look into your medical records as part of a personal injury case.

Many of our clients are really surprised at how far back an insurance company is going to look into their medical history as part of their injury claim. Generally speaking, you’re probably aware that you have a right of privacy when it comes to your own medical history and your medical records.

The law says the insurance company has the right to inspect your medical records, and they do this so they can argue that you weren’t hurt, that you were hurt by somebody else, or you were already hurt before this accident. Totally cynical, I know. But the reality is the insurance company has the right, and they’re going to look at all the records from all of the doctors and providers who provided you care for the injury that you’re bringing the claim for.

The insurance company for the defense can look at five to 10 years of your primary care doctor’s records, and if the body part that was involved in the accident was treated for something in the past, the insurance company is going to get to look at those records too.

The only medical records that are outside of the insurance company’s reach are for care for a totally unrelated body part, or in some cases, your mental health records. Now, when it comes to your mental health records, that’s a special case, and we have a video in which we discuss that specifically.

So the takeaway here is this. Your medical records aren’t as protected as you think they are when you bring a personal injury case. In every case, the insurance company is going to get to see records from all of your treaters and five to 10 years of your primary care doctor’s records too.

And in some cases, they’re going to get to look at other old records and maybe even your mental health records, too.

If you want to know more, take a look at our video about how insurance companies dig through your records looking to dig up dirt. I hope you found this video helpful.

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