The medical release form gives the insurance company access to your medical records. It’s like giving ammunition to the insurance adjuster to disprove your claim and often leading them to question your credibility and claim that your injuries were not as severe as you claim. Here’s why you shouldn’t sign the medical release form after an accident.
Your Medical History Can Be Held Against You
If you’ve recently been in a car accident, you may be worried about your medical history being held against you. You may be wondering if it’s true or if gaps in your medical history can pose problems for your claim. The answer depends on the legal avenue you’re taking to pursue compensation for your injuries. You may only need to share your post-accident medical records with the responsible insurance company in a settlement or negotiation process. Insurance companies have a history of digging through files to find evidence that they think can help them win your case.
The other party’s insurance company will attempt to obtain your medical history from you after an accident. Sometimes they try to fool you into signing a release that gives them access to your medical records. While you should not let this happen, allowing access to your medical records in the wrong hands can devalue your claim. If the other company argues that your injuries were pre-existing, your case may be severely damaged.
After an accident, medical records provide valuable evidence for personal injury attorneys. These documents contain records of treatment, diagnosis, and prescriptions. They serve as proof of your injuries and your health journey. Ensure that you get the medical attention you need as soon as possible. Doing so will prevent your personal injury attorney from getting away with many unreasonable requests from your insurance company. So be sure to keep all your medical records on hand.
Your Medical Records May Be Incomplete
Your medical records will be incomplete if you file a claim for compensation soon after an accident. The doctor cannot fully assess your injuries and treatments until your medical records are complete. Therefore, you may not know the full extent of your injuries and treatments until months after the accident. That’s why it’s essential to wait to provide medical information about the accident and settle the case until you have fully recovered. If you agree to provide medical information too soon after an accident, the chances of disputes will increase, and you may need to compromise on your compensation.
When you sign a medical release form after an accident, you will be agreeing to release all of your personal medical information to the insurance company. This information can be used to deny your injury claim or lower the amount of compensation you receive. For example, the adjuster might say that your condition was pre-existing, and therefore, you should not be compensated for pain and suffering. Under HIPAA, you cannot allow your medical information to be released without your consent, but you are waiving that right when you sign a medical release form.
Your medical records are confidential, including your personal health information.
This includes your:
- As well as your social security number
Insurance companies do not require this information, and you may not realize it. However, if you are involved in a car accident, you might not want to sign this form until you’re sure that you’re confident that your doctor will keep your medical records confidential.
If you agree to sign the medical release form after an accident, be sure to read the privacy agreement. The insurance company may want to access your medical records and use them against your claim if they see that they have uncovered a pre-existing condition. This could lead to an insurance adjuster questioning your credibility. If you don’t want to accept this kind of situation, consider taking your case to trial.
You May Weaken Your Claim
You may not realize it, but signing a medical release form after an accident could weaken your claim. By authorizing an insurance company to review your medical history, you allow them to rummage through your personal records and decide whether or not you deserve compensation. Furthermore, a motor vehicle accident can exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition. By signing a medical release, you grant your insurer the right to investigate your medical history and make claims on your behalf.
Unfortunately, a medical record release form may weaken your claim, even if you have no pre-existing medical conditions. The insurance adjuster will most likely want to see your records early on in the claims process, even before knowing how bad you are. This means that you are allowing them to evaluate your claim prematurely. If your insurance company sees incomplete information, they may deny your claim.
A medical release form should be carefully reviewed and comprehensive as possible. You should not sign an authorization form unless you are 100% certain you understand its contents. You agree to grant your insurance company access to your medical records by signing it. This information may help the insurance adjuster deny your claim and reduce the amount they’re offering. Never sign a medical release form; contact a personal injury attorney immediately.
Speak With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Insurance companies often make separate forms for bodily injury and property damage claims. While property damage claims can be resolved within weeks, bodily injury claims take longer. Ensure that the release form identifies the parties involved, the extent of their involvement, and how much money they are settling for. Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney before signing a medical release form after an accident to determine if you are eligible for additional compensation.
After an accident, your car may need to be repaired. Not having transportation can interfere with your recovery. Your insurance company will send you a release form to sign once you have settled. Before signing it, you must carefully review the form and speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.
The insurance company wants to settle your claim as quickly as possible. They want to avoid paying you as much as possible for your injuries and pain. It’s better to work with an attorney to ensure that you get the maximum compensation you deserve. You’ll be glad you did. Even if you have a pre-existing condition, your attorney will be able to show that it will help your case.