As a longstanding NY personal injury lawyer, I have seen my clients’ right to privacy disintegrate over the years. And just when I thought it could not get much worse, it got worse. Let me tell you about it.
First, though, a little background. When you sue for personal injuries, you give up some of your privacy. The insurance company lawyer has a right to pry into your medical records, at least to the extent they are relevant to the injuries you are claiming from the accident. So if you are claiming a broken right arm, for example, they have a right to scour through any medical records related to your right arm, whether from before or after the accident. But they would not have the right to look at records for treatment unrelated to that arm. You don’t give up all your privacy, just that much of your privacy that is related to the injuries you are claiming.
Now, if you are claiming that your injuries have hampered your lifestyle – as they often do – and that you can no longer do certain things you used to do, the insurance company lawyers can try to uncover evidence that you are either lying or exaggerating your disability. For example, they can have investigators secretly trail you and try to catch you – on camera – performing activities you claim you can’t do.