When accident victims seek compensation for medical bills stemming from their injuries, the insurance company may require substantial proof of the harm they have suffered. Due to state and federal privacy laws, an insurance company must obtain a claimant’s written permission in order to access medical records. While an injury victim has the right to refuse permission, doing so will almost certainly result in denial of the insurance claim.
Signing a Medical Release
Injury victims may send copies of their accident-related medical records to a claims adjuster when filing an insurance claim. However, adjusters often aren’t satisfied with this proof, so they will ask the claimant to sign a medical release form. This permits the insurance company to review the claimant’s medical history, including those records unrelated to the accident. While the adjuster really only needs to view records directly related to any accident injuries, the insurance company’s medical release often has a much broader scope.
The Scope of the Medical Release
Insurance adjusters often want to broaden the scope of a medical release, since access to all of a claimant’s medical records gives them more opportunities to deny a claim. The insurance company may argue that evidence of previous or pre-existing injuries is grounds for nonpayment of a current injury claim. There is no need, however, for any injury victim to sign a blanket release. Instead, the scope of a signed release should be limited to treatment of only those injuries sustained during the accident.
It Is Important to Speak With an Attorney First
If you’ve been injured in a vehicle collision or another type of accident, don’t sign the insurance company’s release until you have consulted an attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney can ensure that you only provide information to the insurance company that is in your best interest. Your attorney will help you work with the insurance adjuster without compromising your claim. To learn more, contact the Injury & Disability Law Center by using the form on this page.