Insurance companies love to snoop. They want to dig up all the dirt they can on you. They think that if they know everything about you, they will eventually unearth something they can use to torpedo your case.
For example, both federal and New York State law give you a right to medical privacy. Just because you are injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, and you sue them, doesn’t mean you give up that right. But many insurance companies act as if this gives them a right to find out everything about your medical history. Whether my client is the victim of New York medical malpractice, a slip-and-fall case, a car accident, or other type of New York personal injury case, the insurance company lawyer will almost invariably ask me for “unrestricted” medical authorization, which, when signed by my client, will give the insurance company lawyer the right to access any and all medical records regarding any and all treatment my client may have gotten from any medical provider from the beginning of the world to the end of the world!
But New York personal injury and medical malpractice law doesn’t give them a right to such broad authorizations. They can’t snoop! They have a right only to the medical records that are relevant to the parts of the body you are claiming were injured. For example, if you are suing for a broken arm, they have a right to see all medical records, both pre-and post-accident, for treatment for that arm. They can’t find out about your C-section, or your hemorrhoids, or about that depression you were treated for years ago!
A couple of years ago, in a case known as