Should I Release Medical Records to Another Driver's Insurance
A driver probably should not release medical records to any other driver's insurance company. It is not prudent to endorse any type of blanket release of medical records to an insurance claims professional or liability insurance adjuster. It may be true that medical records ultimately have to be provided to the opposing party, including legal and insurance teams, to substantiate a claim for damages. But there are certain precautions and safety protections that can be put into place to ensure a driver and patient's privacy is maintained.
What Should a Driver Do Post-Accident Regarding Release of Medical Records?
The release of medical records should only be signed by a driver in very limited and stringent circumstances. It is advisable to endorse a medical record release only after a party has consulted with a personal injury attorney. It is generally a more prudent course of action to retain a personal injury attorney to take over and handle all forms, kinds, and types of communication with the adverse party. If medical records and information arrive in the hands of the wrong insurance adjuster or claims representative, results to an accident litigant's case could be detrimental, if not fatal. One never knows how information, records, and materials may be distorted or twisted to communicate a very different message and destroy any opportunity whatsoever to recover compensation.
What About Alerting the Insurance Company of the Other Driver of an Accident?
The same logic applies to alerting the insurance company of the adverse driver of the occurrence of any accident. It should not be done because there is nothing to be gained in a pursuit for monetary recovery by doing so. Drivers involved in serious accidents are advised the best course of action for them to take is to leave all communication with adverse parties up to the legal counsel they retain. Let lawyers do their jobs and earn their fees.
What About Giving an Insurance Company a Recorded Statement?
This should also be avoided, as a general premise. As an insured driver, you might have a contractual obligation in your insurance policy to cooperate with your own insurance company. This may include the duty to provide a statement to the insurance company. This may not have to be a recorded statement, however. Perhaps, a written statement circulated to legal counsel first will suffice instead.
There is no requirement whatsoever that a driver provide a recorded statement to the adverse driver's insurance company post-accident. A personal injury attorney should be consulted before any such decision is made about making recorded statements pertaining to an accident. Why? Because claims adjusters employed at insurance companies are professionals with a great deal of negotiation experience and training. They know how to ask questions and apply pressure to harm a claimant's case. They are trained to mitigate and reduce losses to protect their employer's bottom line. They want to save money for the insurance company by calling into question liability, injuries, damages, claims, and causal factors to avoid having to write big insurance checks.