When you sustain injuries in an accident through no fault of your own, you may be dealing with medical appointments and treatments to recover your health. At the same time, you may have to be in touch with the insurance company of the party at fault to get the compensation you deserve. During these negotiations, their insurance adjuster may reach out to you and request a copy of your medical records. Although you may think that this is something you must do in order to get the payout, Orange County car accident attorneys Roberts | Jeandron wants to remind you that medical records are considered protected and highly sensitive material. This means, according to federal law, that both doctors and their staff must keep your records confidential unless disclosure is authorized. If so, what should you do?
What Should I Do When Asked to Sign a Medical Records Authorization Form?
When the insurance adjuster from the party liable for your injuries asks you to sign a medical records authorization form, you may be unsure of the consequences of agreeing to this request. At issue here is what medical information they need or want to see and what medical information is in your best interest to provide them with. Most times, both of these are not the same.
The main reason for the discrepancy is that these authorization forms are generally very broad in scope which means that you can never be sure what types of medical records are being requested by the insurer and what records they will receive.
What if I Am Pressured to Sign?
You may feel pressured to sign the authorization form and you may also believe that not agreeing to sign can have negative repercussions on the progress of your claim. If so, it is essential for you to understand that agreeing to disclose all of your medical records, even those that are not related at all to the injuries for which you are filing this claim, will put in the insurer’s hands more information than they actually need.
By being aware of other medical conditions with which you may be dealing, they may construct a story in which your current health is related to previous conditions and not to the accident and injury. If they are able to build this story, it will become that much easier for them to deny your claim
What you should do instead of releasing all your medical records to their adjuster is to obtain the actual medical records from your treating physicians and hospital. With the help of your attorney, go over them and review them thoroughly. Make sure that the only medical information you will be sent to the adjuster is that of the injury for which you have filed the claim.
HIPAA And Medical Records Laws Can Be Confusing
Dealing with injuries and doctors can be hard. Make your life easier and hire legal representation to address the legal aspects of your claim. Your attorney will be able to explain the consequences of signing this or any other document and may point out some information you had not considered. Also, having a legal professional by your side will likely result in a larger payout for you.