Personal Injury Law Claims and Disclosing Health Information
If you applied for accident benefits, your insurance company will likely send you a package which will likely include a document ‘Permission to Disclose Health Information’. Should I sign it? you might ask. Our tip is, no. If you do, it will give your insurance company access to your entire medical file. This is not necessary. Your whole medical file includes documents that are relevant and should be disclosed; but many documents are not relevant, and if disclosed unnecessarily, could hurt your case unnecessarily. Your best option is to consult a lawyer, such as Ben Azimi. For our clients, we conduct an in-depth case review and will protect your privacy by appropriately negotiating production of records.
At the stage of a case called the examination for discovery, the insurance company will likely ask for production of medical records. If you refuse to produce certain records they ask for, the insurance company can make a motion to the court to determine the “refusal” and whether you should be ordered to produce the documents.
There is no absolute rule on production of medical records – it depends on the facts of each case. It could be anywhere between a minimum of three years to twenty or more years. In Imbrogno v. Gonzalez, 2016 ONSC 6404, the plaintiff’s action was for injuries she sustained in a MVA in 2016. She had also been in a MVA in 1999. At the examination for discovery, the defendant asked her to produce her medical records from 1999. She refused and only agreed to provide her medical records of the previous three years. The defendant brought a motion challenging her refusal. The judge ordered the production of her medical records and medico-legal reports from 1999. They were deemed relevant to whether her 1999 injuries made her more susceptible to injury in the 2016 MVA. She was also ordered to disclose the amounts she received for medical-rehabilitation and housekeeping benefits, for the reason of ensuring she does not obtain double recovery.