It's A BAD IDEA to Sign the Other Driver's Insurance Company's Medical Release Form
When you have been injured in a serious Virginia car accident, you are disoriented, scared, hurt and unsure what to do. An adjuster for the other driver's car insurance may have contacted you to "see how you are doing" after the accident. She will likely sound very nice - she just wants to know whether you are okay or whether you need anything. She may call you a few times to check on your progress. At some point, she may send you a form to sign so she can help you by getting a copy of the medical records from your injury. Although that might sound like a reasonable request -- after all, she need to know what injuries you have been treated for --
DON'T SIGN AND RETURN THE FORM UNTIL YOU HAVE READ THIS ARTICLE AND SPOKEN TO A VIRGINIA CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER.
Often, the form sent to you by the adjuster will be written in such a way that will allow the insurance company to have access to your entire medical history! Although you have "nothing to hide," no one should willingly give up their confidential medical history unless it is absolutely necessary.
Keep this in mind: The other driver's insurance company is not your friend, no matter how friendly the adjuster has been to you. Her job is to find any way she can to entirely get out of paying for your medical expenses or, at least, to reduce the amount of money it will pay you. Getting your entire medical history may help her do that. She may find some mention in the records that will allow her to claim that you have a pre-existing condition that is causing your present complaints. For instance, many people have seen a health care provider in the past for back or neck pain. The adjuster would be hunting for such complaints in your medical records prior to the accident. Even if you have seen a doctor for neck or back problems, and even if they have long ago resolved, the adjuster will use those complaints as a way of saying they were already there and were not caused by this car accident - even if that is not true.
It is true that the insurance company will need SOME information from your medical records to determine the extent of your injury, you ought not allow them access to all your records. The best way to keep control of your confidential medical records is to give the insurance company the related records yourself.
However, the best way for you to be sure you are doing the right thing is to speak to a lawyer who is experienced in handling personal injury cases in Virginia.
Contact Rohrstaff Law Firm for free information about how to deal with the insurance company after you have been in an accident.