Your medical records are likely to be key evidence in your Kirkland accident case, so it is no surprise that the insurance company wants to see them. You can expect both your own insurer and the other driver’s insurance company to ask for them soon after filing a claim. Before you share them, though, you should consider discussing your case with an attorney who is well-versed in Washington State personal injury claims. Signing a medical release form can hurt your case, so you must handle it carefully.
If you need help with a medical release or have other questions about your Kirkland accident claim, let the staff at Max Meyers Law PLLC go to work for you. Call us today at 425-399-7000 to schedule a time to discuss your case with Max.
What is a medical release form?
There are federal and state laws in place to keep your medical records private, so the insurance company cannot simply call your doctor and ask for them. Instead, it must request that you make them available by signing a medical release.
It is important to note that this release will likely not specify which records the insurance company can access. Instead, this release is usually a standard form that grants the insurance company access to your full medical history and any associated documents in your file. While the insurer will eventually need access to your medical records related to treatment for any accident injuries, giving it access to all your health history and other records is rarely a good idea.
How could signing a medical release hurt my case?
Allowing the insurance company access to your complete health history will never increase the compensation available for your claim. The insurer’s investigators will pore over your files and look for any possible way to reduce your payout or deny your claim.
For example, a high school football injury suffered more than a decade ago might come back to haunt you if it affects the same body part as your recent car accident injury. One of the most common reasons that insurance companies deny claims after seeing medical records is because of “pre-existing injuries.”
In some cases, not providing access to your medical records may also hurt your case. When it comes to your own insurance company, your policy is a contract between you and the insurer. You must uphold your end of the deal to get what it promises to pay out. The fine print of your policy may say you have to offer access by a certain time or provide medical records for a specific number of years before the accident.
How should I respond to a request for a signed medical release?
The best way to handle a request for a medical release is to give us a call. Our staff has extensive experience with the insurance industry. We review each client’s insurance policy to determine exactly what his/her obligations are and when. Once we have this information, we can ensure the insurance adjustor receives the records required while still protecting our client’s right to privacy.
We can also help with requests from the at-fault party’s insurer. There are a number of different methods we can use to limit the records available. Options include drafting a medical release that strictly limits access to the records. In a best case scenario, this gives the insurer a short period of time to look at records that pertain to treatment of accident-related injuries only.
Our preferred method is to request the records ourselves. We then provide copies of any pertinent documents to the insurance company, along with any other evidence to support the claim. This allows us to control the insurance company’s access directly.
Max Meyers Law: Kirkland Personal Injury Attorney
Washington State personal injury lawyer Max Meyers and his staff have a history of taking on insurance companies. We fight for our clients, getting them the compensation they deserve for their injury damages.
Call Max Meyers Law, PLLC today at 425-399-7000 to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.