If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then you have no doubt been contacted by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The insurance adjuster is going to attempt to get as much information about the wreck as possible. However, this is not to find out what happened. The information is going to be used to adjust the claim for as little money as possible.
The at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster will request (1) to get a recorded statement from you and (2) access to your medical records. A recorded statement provides the adjuster an opportunity to get you to say things on record that will hurt your case in the future. For example, they may attempt to ‘nail you down’ on particular facts that you might not realize, or to ask questions that presuppose facts that are inaccurate.
Access to your medical records is another way that the adjuster will attempt to damage your case. Often, you will receive a document called “Authorization to Access Medical Records,” “Authorization for Release of Information,” “HIPAA Release,” or similar title.
Why does providing access to your medical records damage your case?
First, providing access to your health records allows the adjuster to look into your entire medical past. Previous injuries or ailments may then be linked to your current injuries. So, for example, if you injured your knee in the car wreck, the adjuster may find that you twisted your knee playing basketball in college. The adjuster will then attempt to argue that any pain you feel is simply a flare up of the previous injury.
Second, the adjuster will look to see if you made any inconsistent statements to medical providers. Sometimes, pain symptoms from a car accident take hours and days to develop. So, if pain in the head or neck is not described in the ER record, but is found later in the primary care physician’s records, the adjuster will argue that those pains are from something other than the car accident.
You are not obligated to provide the at-fault driver’s insurance company access to your records. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car wreck and you are being asked to sign an authorization to view medical records, then please, don’t hesitate, call and speak to one of our Atlanta car accident lawyers at today. Our consultations are always free.