If you have been injured in a car accident, then you will be contacted by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Almost always, the insurance company will seek a recorded statement from you on your injuries, how the wreck happened, and other information.
As we’ve discussed in other video blogs, it is almost never a good idea to speak with the at-fault driver’s insurance company unless you are represented by an attorney and the attorney is present with you.
Aside from a recorded or written statement, sometimes the insurance company will request that you sign a medical release.
Generally, the law will not allow anyone other than a patient or the patient’s representative to view medical records. This is a very powerful law and there are various repercussions for medical providers that release information in violation of the law.
So, the medical release, signed by you, authorizes the insurance company access to your medical records. Depending on the nature of the release, this will include all of your medical records from all providers, whether related to the wreck or not, and is probably not limited in time.
The purpose of obtaining your medical records is not just to substantiate your claims of injury, but to see whether you have pre-existing injuries. If you injured your neck in the wreck, and your medical records show a similar injury 3 years prior, the insurance company will use this information against you. Often, the insurance company will say that your pain is from the original injury, not the wreck.
It is almost never a good idea to provide the insurance company with a medical release. It will almost always be used against you. You are NOT required to give it to them.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car wreck, and the at-fault driver’s insurance company is requesting that a medical release be signed, then please, feel free to call and speak to one of our experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyers today for a free case evaluation.