Car accidents are stressful for all involved. There is nothing you can do to change this, but you can make sure you have all the facts before you get to the point where calling an attorney is necessary. The first is to call the police. When an accident occurs, the best thing you can do is call the authorities and report it. Not only do you want it recorded legally that someone else hit you, you want the police to show up on the scene to help determine who is at-fault and what happened to cause the accident. The police report weighs heavily on the outcome of the entire situation. You might find the other person’s insurance company is unwilling to work with you to pay for repairs or medical bills if you don’t have a police report stating their client is at-fault, so calling the police is the first thing you must do when you are involved in an accident.
The next thing you must do is call an attorney. If you are injured and need medical attention, call a personal injury attorney. Nothing else you do is nearly as important as this, and it’s for good reason. You must have this attorney on your side to ensure you are able to make the right choices, that you do the right things, and that you don’t end up harming your case. If the other driver’s insurance company asks you to release your medical records to them, you need to know if you should do it or if you shouldn’t.
Medical Records Following an Accident
Never sign anything unless you speak to an attorney first. Even if the insurance agency from the other driver’s policy is asking you to sign waivers or release forms, don’t do it. They have ways to telling you what you’re signing without telling you what you’re signing so that you don’t know what you’re providing them the right to do. If you are worried that you aren’t doing the right thing, you should speak to an attorney. This goes for all forms of paperwork and not just the ones that have to do with your insurance.
If you are asked to release your medical records, it might seem like a good idea. The at-fault driver’s insurance company wants to have these so they can see your injuries, what your doctor has to say, and all the details so they can file a claim and compensate you for your medical bills. At least, that’s what you think they want it for. They want to see if there is any way they can get out of paying you for the medical bills you’ve incurred since the accident. Never release your medical records to another insurance agency without first speaking to an attorney.
Signing a medical release provides the at-fault driver’s insurance company with permission to access your entire medical history from the time you were born. They will do this, and they will use anything against you. If you suffered a head injury that cost you weeks of medication and a few days in the hospital and they find you had a concussion following a cheerleading accident in school 20 years ago, they’ll use that to say you had a pre-existing condition. They might not be liable for paying for that medical bill if this is the case.
The best thing to do when you are involved in a car accident is nothing. Do not say anything, do not provide any information unless a police officer asks you to, and do not sign any paperwork without first submitting it to your attorney. Not all paperwork requested by the other party’s insurance company is prudent to the case, and you don’t want to provide anyone with too much information. Call an attorney, and send all information their direction first.
Your attorney’s job is to advise you what to sign, what not to sign, and to help you avoid submitting any information that’s not needed for the case. In short, you don’t want to submit anything that provides the other insurance company the right to access your medical records. They only time these are necessary is when a medical lawsuit is filed to help you claim damages, and you might have to prove your medical bills are valid to support the damages you’re asking for. When it’s just for a claim, most of the time you need nothing more than a copy of your bill when you leave the hospital. Talk to an attorney before you sign anything after an accident. You can’t be too careful in a situation of this nature.