One of the common things that happen after a Cleveland car accident is that the victim will receive a medical release form in the mail from the insurance company. The medical release form is often accompanied by additional paperwork that seemingly asks for every detail of the victim’s life. One of the common questions that injury victims have is: should I sign the medical release form and the other paperwork from the insurance company?
While every case is different, oftentimes the answer to this question is “no.” The insurance company will attempt to gather a large amount of the injury victim’s past medical records from any and all medical providers and will go through the records with a fine tooth comb, all in an effort to try and find what the insurance company will call a “pre-existing condition.”
For example, if the injury victim was complaining of back pain after the traffic accident, the insurance company will go through years of the victim’s prior medical records to try and find any instance where the victim had previously complained of back pain in any medical record. The insurance company will then try to blame the new back pain on the old injury. It will attempt not to pay any money to compensate the injury victim for the medical treatment incurred as a result of the back pain following the accident (or for the pain and suffering related to the back pain following the accident). It will try and blame everything on the old injury. Fortunately, an experienced personal injury lawyer will know these insurance company tactics and will know how to deal with them to ensure that the injury victim gets the compensation he or she deserves.
As for signing a blanket medical release that will allow the insurance company to gather any and all medical records ever recorded for you, this is usually not required. In Ohio, the insurance company is only entitled to medical records which are “causually and historically” related to the injuries sustained in the accident. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will be able to draft an appropriate limited release of medical records specific to your case that will allow the insurance company to gather the records that it is entitled to, while at the same time protecting your privacy and preventing the insurance company from going on a fishing expedition through your past medical records. This is yet another reason that having an attorney involved in your case can be priceless.
As for the rest of the paperwork that the insurance company sends the victim to fill out, the victim is usually not required to give all of the information that the insurance company seeks. Again, while every case is different and there are exceptions to every rule, the insurance companies usually overreach with respect to these forms, when in fact only a small amount of information about the general nature of the accident and the general nature of the injuries is required. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will be able to guide you through the process every step of the way.
If you have questions about any of the legal issues raised in this blog, contact Dodosh Law Offices, LLC at (440) 298-2344. Or, you can fill out a contact form and Attorney Dodosh will get in touch with you.