No, you should not sign the insurance company’s authorization for the release of your medical records. The insurance adjuster may make it sound like they cannot settle your car accident claim unless you sign it, but this is absolutely not true. Our San Diego car accident attorney explains why it is never a good idea to agree to this if you want to obtain all the compensation you deserve in your settlement.
Reason #1: You Provide Too Much Information
You can never have too much evidence proving the other driver’s negligence in causing your auto collision. However, this is not true of medical records.
The medical authorization that the insurance company wants you to sign is most likely a blanket release that would give them the ability to obtain all your medical records. However, they only need the ones relating to your injuries caused in the crash.
If you give them access to your entire medical history, the insurance company can search for medical records they can use to try to deny or reduce your claim. For example, if they found that you had a pre-existing injury to the same body part, they could argue that another prior accident or incident was the cause of your current injuries.
Reason #2: You Give Private Information to the Insurance Company
Your medical records contain private information about your health. If you sign the insurance company’s release, you may be giving them confidential, sensitive information that they do not need and you may not want them to know.
Reason #3: Your Records Are Not Complete
The insurance adjuster will most likely request that you sign a medical authorization at the beginning of their investigation of your claim. However, it is too early at this point to know all the injuries you suffered, how serious they are, and the types of medical treatment you will need.
If the insurance company gets your medical records right away, they may use them to argue that your injuries are not very serious and that they do not have to pay you much—if anything—in a settlement. It is better to wait until you are farther along in your medical care to provide these records.
How to Handle a Request That You Sign a Medical Authorization
If the insurance adjuster asks you to sign a release, you should politely say no. Then you should retain an experienced car accident attorney to take over communication with the insurance company and provide them with the medical records they really need.
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