Do I Have to Release My Medical Records to the Other Insurance Company?
Posted By Donlin Law || 22-Oct-2015
You’ve just been in a car crash. The last few days have been a chaotic flurry of events, appointments, calls, and forms. It’s possible that your insurance company and an insurance adjuster representing the other driver will reach out to you. In dire cases, the at-fault driver’s adjuster may demand that you release your medical records to them. What do you do? What can you do?
Before you sign any releases, there are few things you should keep in mind. One, the insurance adjuster for the other driver has one job: limit the amount of money you can claim in compensation. If the other driver was at fault, you do not have a guarantee to benefits—there are tactics that adjusters can use to make sure you cannot claim the full benefits you deserve.
One of these tactics is to use your medical history against you. If you sign a general medical release, you are not just signing over information on your current injuries—you are signing over information on every injury you've ever had, including information that isn't relevant to your claim. What you need to do is sign a partial medical release with information about current injuries only.
For example, let’s say you broke your knee several years ago. If you hurt your knee in any way as a result of the car accident, your prior knee fracture (irrelevant to your claim) could be used to limit the compensation you can request in court. A gesture of good faith on your part could result in truly costly consequences for you, so limit your interaction with opposing adjusters whenever possible.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that not all information requested of you is vital to an insurance investigation. The other driver’s adjuster will ask for information in bulk—if you do not know what is required and what is optional, you might be compelled to sign all your information over. You have the right to limit the information you provide. In this way, you’re being prudent.
The Best Way to Be Secure
One of the only professionals trained in dealing with insurance companies are personal injury lawyers. Their job is to represent you with all of their knowledge, skill, and experience. They know what insurance companies need, what is legal to withhold, and what you can use.
Personal injury attorneys can protect you in the days following a car accident because they know how to guide your claim towards a favorable conclusion. Your claim is precious, but unfortunately also fragile—it needs protection from the parties around you who are working to limit its scope. Attorneys make sure your claim is in as strong a position as possible.
Lawyers are so crucial to the insurance process that adjusters are forbidden from contacting you directly when you have an attorney. When your point of contact is an attorney, they can devote their time and attention to issues you have little-to-no experience with. You have only one shot at your claim—hiring an attorney helps you ensure that you have the best outcome possible.
For information about what hiring a personal injury lawyer can do for you, contact Donlin Law today.