Question: I’m suing for personal injuries arising from a car accident. The insurance company wants all my medical files. Are they entitled to get them?
Answer: Generally, the insurance company is entitled to the clinical notes and records of your treating health care professionals from the date of the accident onward and for a short period of time before the accident, if the records are relevant to your case.
I find this to be a huge and in many respects unnecessary invasion of privacy. However, the courts have been consistent in requiring that these records be produced.
In the recent case of Dupont v. Bailey, there was a small modification of the obligation to produce clinical notes and records.
The case found that if portions of the clinical notes and records were clearly not relevant and there is a good reason why they should not be disclosed, then those portions could be redacted or blacked out.
An example of a good reason for not disclosing is: if the information would cause significant harm and in no way serve to resolve the issues in the litigation.
Portions of the doctor’s file can be redacted even if they are relevant if they are protected by legal privilege.
The case found that the whole of the relevant document must be produced, except to the extent it contains information that would cause significant harm to the producing party or would infringe public interest deserving of protection.
You should definitely consult a lawyer before giving any insurance company authorization to get your medical files. The insurance company will use your files to find ways to deny your claim. You want to make sure that they are not getting more of your medical files than they are entitled to