If you've been in a car accident and are seeking compensation from your insurance company, it's likely that your adjuster will ask you to sign a medical release form. People always ask us if they should sign these medical release forms. However, the answer is not always straightforward, and it could vary from case to case.
The medical records release form authorizes the insurance company to obtain your medical records, including records from before the accident. In this article, we’ll talk about why the insurance adjuster might need the medical release form and how you can handle the medical release form when the adjuster tries to get you to sign it.
Why does the insurance adjuster need medical release forms after a car accident?
After a car accident, the insurance adjuster will often ask the claimant to sign a medical release form. Here’s why the insurance adjuster wants you to sign medical release forms after a car accident.
Access to Medical Records
One of the primary reasons why the insurance adjuster needs a medical release form is to access the claimant's medical records. Medical records provide important information about the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of the injuries sustained in the car accident. This information is crucial to properly evaluate the claim and determine the appropriate amount of compensation.
Verification of Injuries
Medical release forms are also necessary to verify that the injuries sustained by the claimant were actually caused by the accident and not pre-existing conditions or injuries from a previous incident. The adjuster needs to establish a clear causal link between the accident and the injuries to determine the appropriate amount of compensation.
Medical records obtained through a medical release form may contain information about the claimant's medical history, including prior injuries or pre-existing conditions. This information is relevant to the evaluation of the claim and the determination of the appropriate amount of compensation.
Prevention of Fraudulent Claims
Another reason why the insurance adjuster needs a medical release form is to prevent fraudulent claims. By accessing medical records, the adjuster can verify that the injuries sustained are consistent with the details of the accident. This helps to ensure that the insurance company is paying out claims for legitimate injuries and losses.
Confidentiality of Medical Records
It's important to note that insurance companies are required to follow state and federal laws to protect the confidentiality of the medical records they access. The information obtained through medical release forms can only be used for the purposes of evaluating the claim and cannot be shared with other parties without the individual's consent.
Overall, the insurance adjuster requires medical release forms after a car accident to obtain the medical records of the claimant and determine the extent of the injuries sustained in the accident. This information is crucial to properly evaluate the claim and determine the appropriate amount of compensation.
The reality is that the insurance company is probably going to be looking for information to support its decision to deny or minimize your claim. Remember, insurance companies are working against you. They want to pay as little as possible without getting in trouble. Nevertheless, when you’re making a claim for injuries, they are entitled to some information so that they can properly evaluate the claim, and this includes relevant medical records.
How to Handle a Medical Release Form After a Car Accident
Here are three ways to handle a medical release form from an insurance adjuster after a car accident.
Review the Form Carefully
Before you sign any medical release form, it's important to carefully review it. Make sure you understand exactly what information you are authorizing the insurance company to access. For example, some forms may allow the insurance company to access your mental health records or prescription medication records, which you may not want to disclose. Additionally, they may be asking you to sign a document that gives them access to all your records, as we’ll talk about below. If you have any concerns or questions, ask your adjuster or an attorney for clarification.
Limit the Scope of the Release
If the insurance company wants all your medical records, even the ones that aren’t relevant to the claim, you may want to limit the scope of their release. You can limit the scope of the medical release form by specifying the types of records the insurance company can access. For example, you may only want to authorize the release of records related to the injuries you sustained in the car accident.
You may also want to specify a time frame, such as only authorizing the release of records from the date of the accident onward. If the form is too broad or you are uncomfortable with the amount of information being released, negotiate with the adjuster to limit the scope of the release.
Seek Legal Advice
If you have any concerns about signing a medical release form, it's always a good idea to seek legal advice. A skilled personal injury attorney can review the form and provide guidance on the potential risks and benefits of signing it. Your attorney can also help you negotiate with the adjuster to ensure that the release is limited to the necessary records and time frame.
Keep in mind that signing a medical release form from an insurance adjuster after a car accident is often necessary to properly evaluate your claim and receive the compensation you deserve. However, it's important to review the form carefully, limit the scope of the release to the relevant records, if necessary, and seek legal advice if you have any concerns whatsoever. By following these steps, you can ensure that your medical information is protected and that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Do You Need a Florida Car Accident Attorney to Guide You to Justice?
If you have been injured in a car accident as a result of a negligent or careless driver, you should speak with an experienced Florida car accident lawyer as soon as possible because you may be entitled to compensation. You can contact us online or you can call our Orlando, Florida law office at (321) 352-7588 to schedule your consultation.
If you need a South Carolina car accident lawyer, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (843) 638-6590. We have at least one lawyer licensed in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.