The aftermath of a vehicle accident can be chaotic and confusing. However, there are steps you need to take to protect yourself, especially as the insurance carriers work to settle the claim. It is not uncommon for you to have to sign over some of your medical records in order to recover compensation for your injuries, but this does not mean signing over your complete medical history. Here, we want to discuss why you need to be careful when signing a medical authorization release after your car accident.
In the aftermath of a vehicle accident, you need to receive treatment for your injuries. Even if you do not think you have sustained major injuries in the vehicle accident, you still need to seek medical care. For those who have sustained moderate to severe injuries, medical treatment can be extensive and could last months or even years period
The insurance carriers involved in the case, whether they are your insurance carrier or another driver’s insurance carrier, will need to have proof of your injuries. This includes your medical records. However, an insurance carrier does not need to see your complete medical history in order for them to complete their claim.
The only thing an insurance carrier needs to see is your medical records related to the specific injuries caused by the accident being investigated. When you are asked by an insurance carrier to sign a medical authorization release form, you need to make sure that you are only authorizing records to be released from the time when the accident occurred until the current date, along with any other treatment related to these specific injuries.
One of the most common tactics that insurance carriers will use to try and limit how much money they pay crash victims is looking for pre-existing injuries. The insurance carriers will try to say that the pre-existing injuries are the cause of your current pain and suffering and not the actual vehicle accident that just occurred.
But how would an insurance carrier know about your pre-existing injuries?
If you sign over a complete medical authorization release form without specifying dates, the insurance carrier will essentially be able to gather all of your past medical records. This would allow them to see any previous injuries you sustained. Maybe you had injuries from another accident. Perhaps you sustained a workplace injury or a slip and fall injury. Regardless of how he sustained a pre-existing injury, you can be sure the insurance carrier will try to use it against you.
However, the existence of a pre-existing injury should not have any bearing on your current injury claim. If you work with a skilled personal injury lawyer after a vehicle accident occurs, they will be able to push back against any allegation that a pre-existing injury is the cause of the current pain and suffering.
Your best bet, though, is to ensure that you only sign over medical records related to the current accident.