Should I Sign the Medical Authorization for Release Forms From the Insurance Adjuster?
You should be cautious when the insurance adjuster asks for a recorded statement or asks you to sign a medical authorization for release form, also called a HIPAA authorization form.
OverviewAfter you make an auto accident claim, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case. Their job is to investigate the claim, determine whether you should be paid for your injuries, and negotiate a settlement with you. It is crucial to remember that the insurance adjuster's primary role is to save the insurance company as much money as possible. Therefore, you should be cautious when the insurance adjuster asks for a recorded statement or asks you to sign a medical authorization for release form, also called a HIPAA authorization form.
Insurance Adjusters Are SavvyThe other party's insurance knows all the tricks to get you to sign the medical authorization forms for release. For example, the insurance adjuster may tell you that they cannot process your claim without you signing the forms, or they may tell you that it is a routine practice for you to sign and send back the forms. Do not fall into these traps. You should know that signing the medical release forms can be harmful to your case.
Scope of Medical AuthorizationsMedical authorization forms may give the insurance company blanket access to your medical records and other sensitive information, and not just the information that pertains to your accident. These forms are usually crafted in a way to give the insurance company unlimited and permanent access to your medical information, which is never a good move. If you sign the medical authorization forms, the insurance adjuster may dig into your medical history and look for any evidence that they can use to reduce the value your claim. Insurance companies need the medical records pertaining to the injuries from the accident. But they should not be allowed to ravage your entire medical history, and there is no requirement that you let them. The key is to make sure that the relevant records, framed appropriately, are provided to the adjuster to maximize the value of your claim.
A NC Personal Injury Attorney Can HelpIf you have substantial injuries, it is crucial to retain a NC personal injury lawyer to ensure your best chances of obtaining full compensation. If, however, you feel comfortable managing your injury claim on your own, you should read the medical authorization for release forms carefully, and object to any provisions that you do not agree with. Ask the insurance adjuster to send you a revised version with your changes implemented. If you do not have significant injuries and there is nothing too sensitive in your medical records, you may consider signing the authorization for release forms for convenience, so that the claims adjuster can access the bills and records. But the better practice is to request your own medical bills and medical records, thoroughly review them, and submit them to the insurance company.