Medical Release Form from Insurance Companies – Should I sign it after an Auto Accident?

If you have been in an auto accident and you have been injured, one or more of the insurance companies involved may send you a medical release form in the mail. They will suggest that they need to get your medical records to evaluate your claim. If another driver is at fault and it is the other driver’s insurance company sending you the medical release, you should think twice before signing it. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is your adversary and if you sign an open-ended medical release, that insurance company can rummage through your personal and private medical records far beyond those just from the accident. It is a much better practice to have the appropriate records sent to the adverse insurance company by your attorney at the appropriate time.

You may be sent a medical release from your own automobile insurance company to assist in your policy paying your medical bills. You do have to sign a release you’re your own auto insurance company to get your medical bills paid. Oregon has no-fault coverage called “Personal Injury Protection” or “PIP” on all private auto policies. Your company pays your medical bills up to the limit of the coverage and then your company is repaid by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This should not effect your insurance rates. It is preferable to have your company pay the bills.

If your medical bills exceed the medical coverage under your auto insurance policy, then your health insurance carrier becomes next in line to pay the medical bills. If your injuries were caused by an at-fault driver, your company and your health insurance company eventually should be reimbursed from any settlement of your claim. This can be a complicated process because there are many circumstances in which a full reimbursement of the medical bills paid on your behalf does not have to occur. This can make a substantial difference in the final result when your claim is resolved.

Your Oregon auto insurance policy has a minimum of $15,000 in medical coverage, with coverage for one year from the date of the accident. You may have more coverage if you paid for additional coverage. The goal of the case is to make sure your medical bills are paid up to the limits even if you are at fault for the accident.

-Jim Nelson, Corvallis Lawyer serving the greater Willamette Valley of Oregon


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