Do I have to release ALL my medical records to my car insurance company after an accident?

Asked about 2 years ago - Sunbury, PA

I was in a car accident, no one else involved, and have minor injuries. I did spend the night in the ER. My insurance company requested that I sign a waiver to release all my medical history to them. Am I obligated to sign the release form? Can I gather the bills and the notes myself and send them to the adjuster instead?

Attorney answers (10)

  1. Timothy Martin Knowles

    Contributor Level 10

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Companies often send out broad waivers as a matter of course. You do not have to sign the broad waiver. You should try contacting an attorney on this, but it might be difficult due to the fact that there is no other party involved. I suggest collecting the relevant records yourself and sending them to the adjuster with bills. They might accept that as sufficient unless they have reason to believe that there are preexisting injuries.

    Timothy Knowles
    Attorney at Law
    tknowles@wmpalaw.com

    This answer does not create an attorney/client relationship and is for informational and educational purposes only.
  2. Gladys E. Wiles

    Contributor Level 10

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I hope you are recovery from your injuries. The simple answer is NO. While you have a duty to cooperate with your insurance carrier, the carrier does not require your entire medical history. You probably received a broad authorization for all of your medical records. I suggest you obtain the records yourself from the providers that treated you as well as the bills and submit them to the carrier as soon as possible.

    You should seek advise from a personal injury attorney regarding this matter and specifically before signing anything.

    Good luck!

    Gladys Wiles
    Snyder & Wiles, PC

    The information contained in this Website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed... more
  3. Steven Mark Sweat

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . While you do have a duty to cooperate with your auto insurance carrier, you also have the right to privacy in your medical records. Consult with an attorney in PA regarding both issues.

    Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for... more
  4. Nathaniel Bryon Smith

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The insurance company for the at fault driver needs to be documented in some fashion. You can gather your own medical records and send them to the adjuster if you choose to do so, however it most often benefits you to have an attorney who might also request opinions from your medical providers beyond the information contained within their present records. There are a number of other important details in the processing of a claim which further support the need for an experienced personal injury attorney. Being on your own, you are subject to many unknowns that can amount to pitfalls that can hurt your claim. I would suggest that you at least consult with an attorney before moving much further on your own.

    It is always best to speak in detail with an attorney when seeking answers to legal questions. You should not... more
  5. Alan Jay Dion

    Contributor Level 14

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The other lawyers that aswered this before me are all correct in what they said but I get from your question, that you are not looking to sue anybody and that you just want your medical bills paid.
    It is standard procedure in Pennsylvania for an insurance company to send the insured (that's you), an application for benefits with and authorization form so they can get the records necessary to pay the bills up to your Personal Injury Protection limit (in most cases, $5000.00). The authorizations are broad in scope but that doesn't mean the company is going to investigate your entire medical history. Most times they will just get the bills caused by the accident and they have strict guidelines for payment. They have to pay bills within 30 days of receipt from the provider of care, unless they write to you about a delay for good cause.
    If you are talking about a hospital bill which includes Xrays or CT scans, they just want to get the bill and pay it. If you need more treatment after the ER they will want to get those treatment records and bills. Usually, unless you have higher than average PIP limits or there is some reason to suspect fraud, your own insurer is not going to get involved in a detailed investigation. I would just give them the signed authorization and not raise any red flags.

  6. David J. McCormick

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I would just collect the appropriate bills and medical records and send them to the adjuster. This does constitute cooperating with your insurance company. If they want more records then let them explain why they need the addition al records. Your entire medical history is not relevant at this point in time.

    DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being... more
  7. S. David Rosenthal Esquire

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . By contract you have an obligation to cooperate with your own insurer. However, you can try to limit the scope of the authorization to treatment following the collision and to treatment for similar injuries in the past if that is an issue. If it is medical payments that is at issue, the insurance company would likely only be concerned with post accident treatment. If it is an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, it may be more concerned with past treatment. I would suggest consulting a personal injury attorney for the latter type of claim.

    Good luck.

  8. Matthew R. Kober

    Contributor Level 4

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes you can. However, the adjuster will likely pressure you to sign it. As an attorney, I rarely sign medical releases for insurance companies. I recommend hiring an attorney to understand your rights. A qualified personal injury attorney will understand the ins and outs and get you the best settlement possible. I frequently see unrepresented people get taken advantage of by the insurance companies.

  9. Pamela Finney Rochlin

    Contributor Level 4

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It depends on what state you live in and what the law is your state. For example, in Minnesota, our law says that you must disclose all medical information related to the physical or emotional injury that you are claiming. Some judges restrict records to only those same medical conditions, while other judges think that includes the right to all your medical records. I would recommend talking with a qualified attorney in your state. Good luck.

  10. Michael Scott Mednick

    Contributor Level 9

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It sounds like you just want your ER bill paid. If this is the case, change the waiver to only allow access to the specific records you want paid. So limit the authorization to the specific ER and date.

    The insurance company is obligated to pay once they receive reasonable proof the bill was for treatment related to the accident, the treatment was reasonable treatment and necessary treatment.

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