It can be overwhelming and confusing to file a claim for compensation for the injuries you suffered in a motorcycle accident. You need to be very cautious about agreeing to the insurance company's request for information—their intention may not be innocent.
Insurance adjusters are often trying to uncover information that they can use to deny your claim or to try to force you to accept less compensation than you deserve. This is exactly what could happen if you agree to sign the insurance company's authorization for release of your medical records.
Three Reasons Not to Sign the Insurance Company's Medical Release
The insurance company's medical release would be a blanket authorization allowing them to obtain all of your medical records. Even if you have nothing to hide, giving them access to all of your records is not a good idea and may weaken your claim. Here are three reasons to say no if the insurance company asks you to sign this document.
#1: You Could Hurt Your Case
To convince you to sign their release, the insurance adjuster may tell you that they need your medical records as part of the investigation of your claim. While it is true that they need your medical records pertaining to the injuries you suffered in the motorcycle accident, they do not need your entire medical history.
Why does the insurance company really want you to sign the release? They want to review your medical records carefully to see if you suffered a prior injury or made a complaint about pain in the same body part injured in your crash. If you did, they would try to argue that your injuries were caused by a prior incident and not the motorcycle collision. In addition, they would look for any other damaging information they could use against you.
#2: It's an Invasion of Your Privacy
It would also be an invasion of your privacy to provide the insurance company with all your medical records. Your medical history could contain private, sensitive information about you that has no bearing on your claim. You do not have to give the insurance company access to such personal information about you in order to settle your claim.
#3: Your Records Would Be Incomplete
The insurance company would most likely ask you to sign their medical authorization right after you file your claim. If you gave them access to your medical records so soon after your crash, the information they would receive would be incomplete and may not establish how serious your injuries are.
You are entitled to recover your past and future medical expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering in your settlement. However, you cannot know what treatments you will need and how long it will take you to recover from your injuries—if you even make a full recovery—at the beginning stages of your medical care. In addition, your doctor cannot give you a final prognosis.
You should not let the insurance company base its settlement offer on incomplete medical records. You want them to have all the evidence proving your case so that you receive the maximum recovery in your settlement.
What Is the Best Way to Provide Medical Records to the Insurance Company?
If you want to provide the insurance company with the medical records they truly need at the right time in your medical recovery, you should retain an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after your collision. An attorney can take over all communications with the insurance company and collect the medical records that should be provided to them. They will also help you avoid other mistakes that could hurt your case and will go up against the insurance adjuster so that you receive all the money you deserve.
Were you or a family member hurt in a motorcycle collision in San Diego or Southern California? Call my San Diego office or fill out my convenient online form to schedule your free case evaluation today to learn how I will fight for your rights.