In the aftermath of a car accident, you will be claiming compensation against the negligent driver’s insurance carrier (or with yours if you are using no-fault coverage). You will be making many important decisions that could affect the amount of your settlement. One of these decisions will revolve around whether or not you should sign a medical authorization for the release of your medical records. We want to discuss this type of release and how it can be used by the insurance carrier against you.
How Insurance Companies Can Use a Medical Authorization Release
When an insurance adjuster contacts you shortly after an accident, they are going to make a few things seem urgent and necessary. One of these things will be their insistence that you provide your medical records regarding your injuries in order for your claim to be processed. While this request may seem logical, there is another reason the insurance carrier wants your medical records.
When an insurance adjuster requests your medical records, they are looking for any reason to deny or reduce your claim. One of the things they are looking for is a pre-existing injury to the area injured in the car accident. For example, if your shoulder was injured in the car accident but your medical records show that a work incident also injured that same shoulder two years prior, the insurance adjuster may try to claim the car accident did not cause your injury at all.
Reasons NOT To Sign a Medical Authorization Release
This is the number one reason not to sign an authorization for the release of your medical records to an insurance carrier. However, there are other reasons you do not want to sign a release of your medical records, including:
- Invasion of privacy. Handing over blanket medical authorization to an insurance carrier is a blatant invasion of your privacy. Medical records contain personal information that have nothing to do with the car crash.
- Incomplete records. By asking for a release of your medical records soon after an accident, the insurance adjuster knows that the records are not complete. Early on, it is unlikely that your doctor will know the full extent of your injuries. Sometimes it takes months to fully understand how much treatment you will need. While we know that it is important you receive compensation for your medical expenses, having some patience in these cases can pay off in the long run.
Need legal advice? Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a car crash that was caused by another driver, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. If you have more questions regarding a medical authorization release, contact the team at the Ciccarelli Law Offices, our skilled and experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyers are dedicated to helping victims secured the compensation they are entitled to. We want to make sure you receive the maximum compensation available for your case, including:
- Coverage of your medical bills
- Compensation for lost income if you cannot work
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling 215.228.0100. We want to make sure you get the best legal advice possible and that you do not make any missteps that can lead to your claim being delayed, denied, or lowered.