During the course of a workers’ compensation claim, you may receive a notice from your employer that asks for copies of your medical records or to complete and send back a release form, which gives your employer the right to ask for your medical records. The evaluator of your claim needs a complete medical history of your injury in order to provide the most accurate rating for permanent partial disability.
This determination can be made from an Independent Medical Evaluation you undergo as the claimant.
Is the insurer entitled to a claimant’s medical records?
The answer is yes: the insurer is entitled to the medical records of a claimant, but the records must relate to the injury sustained on the job. They do not have the right to use previous medical history against you, so to speak.
The Workers’ Compensation Commission has rules in place that require the parties in a claim to provide the opposing party with copies of all pertinent medical documents and information. Throughout the length of the claim, this duty to disclose medical records is incumbent upon all parties. The claimant may also request copies of medical documents that the insurer or employer has in their possession.
What is the claimant’s responsibility to keep doctors informed of their injury status?
Since the insurer and employer are entitled to copies of the claimant’s medical records, it is important for the claimant to inform each doctor treating his or her injury that the injury is related to a work activity. A claimant also has the obligation to inform his or her physician of any current pain or changes in the status of the injury. This ensures that the medical history of the claimant is thoroughly documented and will result in a smoother claims process.
Workers’ compensation cases can be slowed down significantly by the lack of thorough and complete medical records. Poor records can delay treatment and compensation. The worst outcome of having inadequate medical records is to receive no compensation. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that your employer and/or insurer receives a complete set of all of your medical records that are relevant to your injury sustained in the workplace. However, if you believe that your employer is attempting to use your prior medical history against you in order to deny your claim for workers’ compensation, you should contact us immediately so we can help you.
At Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. we have many years of experience advocating on behalf of injured workers throughout the state of Maryland. Our workers’ compensation attorneys are here to help you obtain the compensation you deserve for any injury you have sustained in the workplace. To arrange a free consultation about your case, call us today at 410.730.7737, or leave us a message through our contact form.
Joshua Plaxen graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, and graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2012 magna cum laude. He was also inducted into the Heuisler Honor Society for finishing in the top ten percent of his class. During law school, Joshua served on the Executive Board of the University of Baltimore Law Review.