Do Personal Injury Victims Have Privacy Rights When Filing a Claim?

Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
February 4, 2023

A personal injury case is just that—personal. However, does that mean that, as the victim, you have a right to privacy? The US Supreme Court believes in a person’s right to privacy, so yes, you have some right to privacy. If you are a plaintiff (the victim) in a personal injury case, it is important to know your privacy rights. Knowing what you need to disclose versus what you need to keep private can be crucial to building a strong case that helps you recover fair compensation.

At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., we understand the desire for privacy. Nobody wants their whole life out in the open for people to examine and judge. Our attorneys know how to balance the line between sharing necessary information and protecting our clients’ privacy. We can help you understand your right to privacy and how it applies to your circumstances. We fight for your right to fair compensation, so you can focus on what matters most. 

What Information Do You Need to Share in a Personal Injury Case?

When a person files a personal injury claim, the defendant will need to collect evidence that proves they do not owe the plaintiff compensation. This evidence typically consists of evidence collected at the scene, medical records, and information on the plaintiff’s personal life. Fortunately, state and federal laws protect a person’s right to privacy, which means that the defendant cannot just rummage through the plaintiff’s entire private and personal life. However, there is certain information that will need to be examined by both sides in personal injury cases, including:

Medical Records

Medical records are a key piece of evidence in personal injury cases. A patient’s history of illnesses, vaccinations, surgeries, hospital stays, and other treatments are critical to examine the effect the injury has had on the plaintiff’s life and health. However, the plaintiff must give permission to release their records. Furthermore, it is often advised that the plaintiff does not release their entire medical history. 

Defendants are looking for ways to free themselves of liability. Releasing a plaintiff’s entire medical history may be the tool they need to create doubt that the injury was, in fact, the result of their negligence. They will try to claim it is a pre-existing condition, even if it is not the case. It is essential to have a clear understanding of consent and release forms. 

Financial Affairs

Financial affairs refer to bank records, financial statements, tax records, and pay stubs. Generally, a plaintiff’s financial situation is not discoverable (meaning it does not need to be disclosed), even if it is relevant to the case. An attorney can ensure that the plaintiff’s financial affairs are kept private unless absolutely necessary. However, certain items, such as pay stubs, are necessary to determine compensation for lost wages. 

Employment Records

Unless there is an extremely compelling need for the information on an employment record, the information released will be extremely limited. Insurance companies or defendants cannot discover certain information contained in employment records unless the plaintiff gives them permission. 

Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You Protect Your Right to Privacy 

There may be times when the defendant will challenge your privacy rights during a personal injury case. When you work with Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., we make sure that only the relevant and necessary information is disclosed. We understand how invasive a personal injury case can seem but you can be confident that our talented attorneys will not let anyone infringe on your right to privacy. 

Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., is committed to protecting our clients’ rights and ensuring that their cases have the best possible resolutions. Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation by calling (215) 822-7575 or completing our contact form.

Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
Pennsylvania Attorney's
February 4, 2023
Established in 1952 by Irwin S. Rubin, Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. boasts over 65 years of experience serving clients throughout Pennsylvania. Renowned for its commitment to ethical representation, the firm has garnered prestigious accolades, including being named the "Best Law Firm" for its outstanding legal defense work by U.S. News & World Report. Their team of seasoned attorneys, recognized as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, brings unparalleled expertise to a wide range of legal matters, ensuring exceptional representation for individuals, families, businesses, and organizations.