If you file a claim for compensation for your injuries in a motor vehicle accident, the negligent driver's insurance company will investigate your claim before making a settlement offer. Their insurance adjuster will most likely ask you to sign a medical release to obtain your medical records.
While this may sound like a reasonable request, it is not. Agreeing to sign the insurance company's authorization for the release of your medical records could seriously weaken your case. Here are three reasons that you should say no to their request.
#1: It Could Weaken Your Case
The insurance company's medical release is a blanket authorization that would permit them to obtain all of your medical records directly. However, they do not need your complete medical history to investigate your injuries and settle your claim.
Why does the insurance adjuster want you to sign their release? Here's the real reason. They want to go on a fishing expedition to hunt for other injuries you may have had to the same body part you injured in the crash. They would use this information to claim that your injuries were caused by this prior incident and not your accident to try to deny your claim or reduce the amount they pay you. Don't give them ammunition to dispute your claim.
#2: It Invades Your Privacy
The insurance company only needs your medical records pertaining to the injuries you suffered in the motor vehicle accident. Asking you to give them access to your entire medical history is an invasion of your privacy. You could be releasing sensitive information that they do not need and have no business knowing about you.
#3: The Records Are Incomplete
You and your doctor cannot know how serious your injuries are right after your motor vehicle collision. It could take months or longer after your crash before you fully recover, or your doctor can make a final prognosis if you were permanently injured.
You do not want the insurance adjuster to determine how much compensation to pay you until you reach this stage in your medical recovery. If they obtain your medical records soon after you file your claim, the records will be incomplete and not show the seriousness of your injuries or all the necessary medical treatments you will need.
For these reasons, you should refuse to sign the insurance company's medical authorization. Instead, you should retain an attorney and let them provide the insurance adjuster with the medical records they really need to settle your claim.
Have You Been Injured in a Kansas City Area Motor Vehicle Accident?
If you've been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you need to speak with an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer as soon as possible. It will cost you nothing to hire us because we handle these cases on a contingency fee basis where you only pay us if we win your case. We will also front the costs and fees you could incur. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.