Can the ICBC Request Medical Records?
Yes, the ICBC can request your medical records after an automobile accident. However, they often seek more information than what is absolutely necessary in order to minimize or deny your claim. The insurance company is a business, looking out for its bottom line, which could be at odds with paying you a fair settlement. For this reason, you’ll want to work with ICBC lawyers from Preszler Injury Lawyers, who will look out for your best interests.
What Medical Information Does ICBC Need?
ICBC is authorized under the Insurance (Vehicle) Act to ask your doctor for a report of the injuries sustained in the accident, a precise diagnosis of your condition, the type of medical care you receive, and an estimate of your future prognosis. By law, your physician must provide this report, even if you do not sign an authorization form.
As of April 1, 2019, the CL 19 Medical Report form has been discontinued, and your doctor is only required to submit the CL489 Health Care Provider Report instead. This standard medical report asks for key subjective findings, work status, objective physical exam findings, diagnosis, and recommended treatment plan. This form also includes information on pre-existing conditions that may be aggravated by your injuries or complicate your recovery time. No other diagnostic test results or clinical records can be shared without explicit patient consent.
Potential Problems with ICBC’s Medical Release Authorization Forms
Following a car accident injury, ICBC will promptly contact you to provide a statement of the accident and sign a medical release form. Many people sign these authorizations without much thought, but they could sabotage your claim to compensation. The ICBC investigation requires a report – not records. You are protected by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which prevents any public body (ICBC included) from collecting or retaining your personal information.
The ICBC can only look at your actual medical records and prior prescription medication history if you sign their medical authorization and consent form immediately following the accident. Some of the information contained in your medical records could be a detriment to your claim to compensation if:
- There are inaccuracies that have never been corrected.
- You have a history of mental health issues.
- You have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
- You have an extensive medical history of injuries or illnesses for which there is no medical diagnosis.
- You have prior injuries that could explain some of your current symptoms.
- You have a long history of pain management issues.
- You have been treated for other automobile accident injuries.
- You have a track record of failing to follow your physician’s care instructions.
Any of these details could be used as a justification for the ICBC to dispute your injuries or even deny paying for the treatments you need to recover. Courts often allow ICBC to go back up to two years in time when they have been given access to all your medical information.
What Medical Information to Give ICBC
You need only provide ICBC with the information that is relevant, reliable, and required:
- Relevant – You do not have to disclose any medical information beyond what is included on the CL489.
- Reliable – Get certified copies of your clinical, therapy, and specialist records to ensure accuracy.
- Required – Legislation requires a medical examination and report – not full disclosure of all records.
What If You’ve Already Said Too Much?
It’s never too late to protect yourself from unjust scrutiny. Even if you have already signed authorization forms with ICBC, it is always your right to revoke those authorizations. While ICBC may have knowledge of the forms they’ve already read through, they will become “inadmissible in court” in the event of a dispute.
What If Your Medical Status Changes?
Your doctor can always submit addendum forms later on, should your medical status change from the original diagnosis, treatment, disability level, or prognosis. Sometimes supporting documents may become necessary to prove or disprove a “material fact” related to your case. If there is a dispute or persistent requests for more medical information, it is best to have an ICBC lawyer from Preszler Injury Lawyers help determine which medical records you are required to provide.