After a car accident, it’s likely that the at-fault driver’s insurance company may ask you to sign a medical authorization form. Although this may seem like a reasonable request, we highly recommend not signing this form. Insurance companies often ask claimants to sign medical authorization forms in order to access their medical records. They do this to gather your personal medical information with the goal of devaluing and disputing your insurance claim.
If you have been involved in a car accident and are seeking compensation, contact The Law Place today. It’s important to know your rights as a claimant, and an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to inform you about the legal process and provide information in order to clarify any doubts you may have. At The Law Place, our personal injury lawyers have 75 years of combined experience dealing with car accident claims, so we know how to deal with insurance companies that try to dispute claims made by our clients. The insurance providers involved in your case will look for information to use against you rather than to ensure you get the compensation that you deserve. Therefore, we highly recommend not giving the at-fault driver’s insurance company authorization to access your medical history.
Our phone lines are open 24/7 so that you can call us whenever you want. Contact The Law Place at (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at our law firm today.
What Is a Medical Authorization Form?
Signing a medical authorization form grants a third party such as an insurance company to have access to your medical records. Depending on the level of authorization granted, these records can provide an insurance adjuster with information that covers your entire medical history and details any medical problems or treatment you may have had before and after your car accident.
Claimants have the right to restrict the information that the other driver’s insurance adjuster can see in their medical records. The insurance company may only want to review the medical notes and records relating to the car accident. These notes give information about the injuries you sustained during the collision as well as the medical treatment that you received to treat them.
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What Information May Be Included in My Medical Records?
Medical records are very detailed as they detail the patient’s medical information from the day they were born until the present day. Information that is normally included in medical reports include:
- Doctor’s notes – Information that the doctor has recorded during a consultation is included in medical reports. An insurance company may wish to review these notes as they often detail the injuries and symptoms you have felt after your accident.
- Prior medical history – An insurance company will have access to information about your past medical history, including any treatment you have received or injuries you sustained before the car accident occurred.
- Details of past doctor’s visits – Your records will also show the amount of time you have visited the doctor prior to the car accident. If you had many visits to the doctor before the accident, an insurance company might claim that you were fragile before the crash occurred and therefore try to devalue your claim.
Why Would Insurance Companies Want to Review My Medical Records After a Car Accident?
Insurance providers normally want access to medical records in order to prove inconsistencies in your claim. When filing your car accident claim, you will be asked to detail the events that occurred and highlight any injuries you sustained as a result of the crash. An insurance company will analyze the statements you gave and compare them to your medical report in order to find inconsistencies.
It is often the case that injuries can sometimes take days, weeks, or months to become apparent. For example, an accident victim may not have felt back pain caused by the crash until days after it occurred. Therefore, the individual may not have reported it to their doctor or included it in their insurance claim. Sometime later, the victim started feeling pain in their back and therefore received medical care to treat it. When seeking compensation to cover the medical bills that were incurred to treat the back pain, the insurance company may argue that this is not related to the car crash as it wasn’t reported soon after the accident and therefore deny the victim’s claim.
Also, the other driver’s insurance company may try to use pre-existing medical conditions against you. For example, an individual may have sustained an injury to the neck months before their car accident occurred. The person received medical treatment in order to alleviate the pain, but then they suffered whiplash during the car accident, which made the pain return or made it worse. An insurance company may argue that the pre-existing neck pain contributed to the victim’s current injury. By doing this, they can reduce the accident victim’s final settlement or completely deny the claim altogether. Therefore, it’s important not to allow insurance companies to have access to prior medical records.
Do I Have to Speak to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
In short, you are not legally required to speak to the other driver’s insurance company. However, you are required to first report the accident to your own insurance company when filing a claim, as per Florida Statute 627.7407.
If the at-fault driver’s insurance company contacts you, it’s important to know what to do. Here’s what to do in the case that the insurance company of the other driver calls:
- Ask for the caller to confirm their name and the insurance company they work for.
- Don’t give out any information, especially about how the accident occurred or the injuries you may have sustained.
- Don’t agree to a recorded statement.
- Ask them not to contact you again.
In the case that the other driver has refused to speak to their own insurance provider or has lied about the events that took place, then we recommend letting your lawyer speak with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
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What to Do After a Car Accident
After a car accident, it’s important to know what to do in order to increase the likelihood of receiving the highest amount of compensation you could receive. Insurance companies act quickly to gather information from the accident victim in order to devalue their claim, so it’s important to act quickly and efficiently after a car crash. The following list provides information and guidance on what to do after a car accident:
- Call 911 – It’s essential to contact the authorities as soon as possible after the accident occurs. Once the police arrive, they will conduct an investigation at the scene of the accident and produce a police report. We highly recommend asking for a copy of this police report as it can be used as evidence in the future.
- Seek medical attention – Under Florida Statute 627.736, you must seek medical attention up to 14 days after the accident occurred in order to be eligible to file an insurance claim. During your physical examination, request copies of any x-rays or other scans done, and be sure to save receipts of any medical bills you had to pay.
- Collect evidence – Take photos of the scene of the accident, including the vehicle and the road where the accident occurred. Note down the license plate number of the other driver and ask for their contact details if possible. Making a note of traffic patterns and the weather at the time of the accident can also be useful when building a personal injury case.
- Contact your insurance company – Under Florida Statute 627.7407, Florida is a no-fault state. This means that you must file your car accident claim with your own insurance provider first before seeking compensation elsewhere. We recommend speaking to a personal injury lawyer for advice about how to deal with your insurance company. It’s important to know what information to give insurance providers as they may use the information you provide against you so that they can offer a lower settlement. A lawyer can guide you through this process.
- Contact an attorney – An attorney can offer legal advice and lead negotiations with the other driver’s insurance company as well as your own. Your attorney can calculate a fair settlement and fight to ensure that you receive it.
What Damages Could I Claim After a Car Accident?
Our attorneys at The Law Place can help you claim damages that you may have incurred as a result of the accident. Dealing with the effects of a car crash is often financially draining as large bills, and debts usually follow these accidents. Damages that you may be able to claim include:
- Medical bills – If you have been injured in a car accident, it’s likely that you received medical treatment. Medical care such as physical therapy and pain-reliving medication is often expensive, and serious injuries can also require patients to undergo costly surgical procedures. An attorney can help patients recover compensation in order to cover these expenses.
- Lost wages – You may have lost money due to the inability to work after sustaining injuries in a car accident. Not receiving a stable income can cause huge financial pressures for accident victims. Our team of attorneys can calculate how much you may be owed in lost wages and fight to ensure you are reimbursed.
- Property damage – If your property has been damaged as a result of an auto accident, you may be able to claim compensation. Car accidents usually cause property damage, and most victims are left having to pay for repairs to their vehicle or other possessions that were in the car at the time of the accident.
- Pain and suffering – You may be able to claim damages for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of your accident. A member of our legal team will review the notes provided by doctors and mental health professionals and examine medical bills in order to determine how much a person may be owed in pain and suffering damages.
- Wrongful death – If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss. The compensation is normally awarded to cover medical care that the decedent received before their death, funeral expenses, and loss of love and guidance the person would have provided.
If you have been involved in a car accident, call our law office today to schedule a free case review. A lawyer from our law firm will review your personal injury case and determine if it’s strong enough to seek compensation.
Contact The Law Place Today
After being involved in a car crash, it’s important to know how to deal with the other driver’s insurance company as well as your own. We highly recommend not granting the other driver’s insurance company access to your medical records. Insurance providers do not have your best interests at heart and only seek to minimize their own spending. In other words, they may use the information you provide them with to dispute your claim and ensure you don’t receive the compensation that you may be entitled to.
At The Law Place, we know how to obtain compensation for our clients. Many of our attorneys have a maximum AVVO rating of 10.0, as well as a combined experience of 75 years in Florida law. Dealing with personal injury cases can be very stressful for claimants. Therefore, we deal with all the aspects relating to your case so that you can recover from the injuries sustained from the accident as well as the stress you may have been feeling.
We believe in consistent communication, which is why we keep our phone lines open 24/7. We offer our clients invaluable legal help and pride ourselves on our attorney-client relationship. So, call us whenever you want at (941) 444-4444 to schedule your free consultation at our law office today.