Should I Sign A Medical Authorization Release Form After My Car Accident?

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If you sustain injuries after a vehicle accident, your priority should be receiving medical treatment. However, you may also have an injury claim against another party to recover compensation. If that is the case, you will likely have to sign a medical authorization release form at some point. However, we do want to offer some words of caution concerning these authorization release forms – make sure they are as specific as possible to ensure insurance carriers and other parties do not get a hold of medical information they don’t need for the claim.

Understanding What an Insurance Carrier Needs

After a car accident, the insurance carrier will require proof of your injuries to assess the compensation owed. This proof generally comes from your medical records. However, insurers only need records directly related to the injuries sustained in the accident under investigation.

A medical authorization release form allows insurance companies to access these relevant records. But, ensure that any form you sign specifies a date range starting from the accident to the present and relates solely to the injuries from that incident.

Risks of Signing a Broad Medical Release

A broadly worded medical release form can grant insurers unrestricted access to your entire medical history. This gives them the opportunity to find unrelated pre-existing injuries or conditions that they could argue are responsible for your current symptoms. They may attempt to use this information to deny or reduce your compensation by claiming your injuries are not entirely accident-related.

Even if a pre-existing condition exists, it should not disqualify you from receiving compensation for your accident-related injuries. This is why specifying the time frame is crucial and why you should exercise caution before signing any authorization forms.

Protecting Yourself From Unfair Tactics

Insurance carriers are for-profit entities and often seek ways to reduce payouts to claimants. If the insurer insists on a broader medical release than necessary, consult a legal professional. An experienced car accident attorney in Long Beach can help ensure you only provide the records directly related to your accident and not your entire history.

Additionally, your attorney can contest any attempts to unfairly use pre-existing conditions against you. They will help build a strong case to prove that the accident is the main cause of your current injuries.

Steps to Take Before Signing a Medical Authorization Form

There are a few steps you can take to help ensure a medical authorization release form does not jeopardize your claim. This includes:

  1. Read carefully. Review any form thoroughly to understand what information you are granting access to and for what purpose.
  2. Limit the scope. Restrict the form to only release records relevant to your current injury and within a defined date range.
  3. Consult an attorney. If you are unsure about the language of a form, consult an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases.
  4. Seek medical attention. Even if symptoms seem minor initially, seek immediate medical attention to document your injuries and ensure adequate treatment.

Document everything. Maintain your medical records and any correspondence with insurance companies to support your case.