What happens if I dont sign for the medical claims release form? 58 Answers as of July 08, 2013

My son was on his bicycle and hit head on by a utility vehicle driven by a TV production employee at a race track; Now the employee's claims department wants me to sign a Medical Claims Release form for them to obtain my son's medical information from the accident. He was not permanently injured (that we know of), but we did have to take an ambulance to the hospital and spend 6 hours in ER and CT scans, x-rays and other diagnostic tests performed. Also, we incurred out of pocket expense of cab fee to return from hospital. Should I sign this form and return to them or should I seek legal counsel? I have not received any bills as of this date yet, but I am worried about medical costs.

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The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
I would never advise someone to sign a blanket release authorizing a defendant access to my client's entire medical record. However, in order to settle your claim you will eventually need to submit your son's records for any treatment related to the injury and any previous injury he may have had to the same body parts. With cases I am handling I wait until I know my client is medically stationary. I will then send a demand packet that includes, among other items of evidence, copies of the medical records related to the claim. This way I control what the defendant has access to. Sometimes there is irrelevant and sensitive protected health information in these records that I do not want an insurance company to have access to. If those items are included in the documents I will redact them from the copies I send to defense. As far as whether you should seek legal counsel, that is a decision only you can make. Most personal injury attorneys will meet with you for a free consultation. When I meet with someone on a case, if I think that the case is simple enough for them to handle on their own, I will tell them that and make a few suggestions as to how they should proceed. If they then are unable to come to a satisfactory settlement, the client will usually return and hire me to help them settle or file a lawsuit on their behalf.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 8/3/2011
The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
It never hurts to contact a lawyer, and most injury lawyers will be happy to discuss things with you at no charge.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 8/2/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
you are not obligated to provide this to them. If you hire an attorney the attorney will get the paperwork first and then send on to them.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 7/30/2011
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
Whether or not you seek legal advice is your option. However, if you wish to pursue a claim for your son, I would certainly advise that you have an attorney represent him. When you sue someone for personal injury, typically it will be their insurer who defends the claim. I can assure you that they will have their attorneys handle this matter. It will not be the TV production company or the employee who handles the case, it will be their attorneys I can also assure you that the attorney will be trying to get the case resolved for as little as possible. That is his or her job. Would you want to go against an experienced attorney on your own? Do you think you have a chance of getting the best settlement on your own? Probably not. I would strongly advise you to seek counsel. There is no cost to you to hire a lawyer. With Personal Injury (PI) cases, the attorney gets a percentage (usually 33%) of the settlement. That gives the attorney the same incentive that the client has, to maximize the monetary award. As far as the medical release, this is just one of a million reasons why you should have an attorney. An attorney knows that you have to allow the other party to see the medical bills and records of the accident. A lay person would not know that and may get in trouble for denying to provide it. However, you shouldn't just sign the release for their attorneys to get that information. Your attorney should review the release and obtain the necessary information and then allow the other side access. There are many other issue such as this. Another example is that an attorney knows that the insurance company representing the other party has an obligation to disclose the policy limits of the insurance coverage of the defendant. There may be a lot more coverage available that you would guess. A lay person probably wouldn't not know this and may never know how much insurance coverage was available to cover the claim. I am sure that you can see my point by now. Let them use their knowledge, skills and training to get the most money possible for your case!! If you haven't already hired an attorney and would like to discuss your son's case in more detail, you can reach me at the numbers listed below.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 7/30/2011
Wilson & Hajek, LLC
Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
You can sign the forms noting it is not a release and is limited to information related to the injury and treatment of 'date of incident' and is not to be used for any other purpose. It doesn't sound as if you need an attorney at this point. You should be reimbursed for the items you listed with some money for the pain and suffering of your son.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 7/29/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    If you don't sign release, you or your attorney will have to get all of the medicals. No medicals, no money. Someone must get the records and bills. The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Alabama. Responses are based solely on Alabama law unless stated otherwise.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers | Andrew D. Myers
    Probably the best course of action is to in fact retain an attorney to help you with this. One reason is that yes, if you are going to pursue a claim for the son's injuries, the insurer for the liable party must see the medical records. One way to get them is for you to sign a HIPAA compliant release. Another way is for you to have your attorney get all of the records. Still the records can't be released without such a release, but your own attorney will be able to better advise you as to the many requirements for presenting the claim and avoiding the insurer's claim minimization tactics.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    If you file a lawsuit in behalf of your son against the company and its employee, as defendants they will be entitled to the medical information regarding the injuries he incurred from the accident. If you do not sign this release form, the company;s insurance carrier may not be able to make an offer of settlement. Yes, you should at least consult with an attorney who handles personal injury matters so that this individual can advise you as to what sort of settlement you should be seeking for your son's injuries as well as advice on other matters related to the case.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    Do not sign anything without letting and attorney review it!
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    There may be requirement for them to obtain medical records to reimburse for medical costs. Before I signed anything, I would consult with an attorney to see if you have any claim. Once they have the medical records, they can assess the claim and it could worsen your position in terms of filing a claim for the injuries.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    You should not sign the form but should retain an attorney asap.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Timothy Jones, Attorney at Law
    Timothy Jones, Attorney at Law | Timothy Jones
    I encourage you to seek legal counsel. It is unclear to me who is requesting the medical release and why. Depending on the facts, you may or may not be required to comply with the request.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Go hire an attorney
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Don't sign it. Do you really want some stranger who is adverse to you and your family to have unbridled access to your son's medical records? I have not seen the document but I would bet that it is unlimited access to any medical record anywhere. Get a lawyer immediately!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    It really depends on the severity of the injuries. I would be happy to discuss this with you free of charge.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield | Jonathan C. Reed
    You haven't explained the facts of the accident so I can't tell if you have a good liability claim. If you don't sign the release, the claims department will refuse to consider making any payment. If you sign the release, there is no assurance they will pay.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    You should confer with an attorney prior to signing any documents, especially one entitled a Medical Claims Release or any other kind of Release. The wording of the particular document may mean that you are not entitled to make any claims on behalf of your son, and you and your son may have a claim for compensation for his injuries and expenses.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC | Sam L. Levine
    Yes, you should seek legal counsel. Call a few attorneys & hire one that you feel comfortable with & that is available to help you son. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    The first thing you should do is make sure you've filed a No Fault application. All your bills should be covered. Second, see if you can get a lawyer interested in your case. I wouldn't contact the adverse insurance company under any circumstances unless you are sure that you have to handle it yourself because you can't interest an attorney in the case. If so, then yes, give them the authorization. They want to see your son's medical records for themselves so they can make a determination about how badly he was or was not hurt.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    You should not sign the medical release form without consulting with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation if you call my office at either of the numbers listed below. If my office accepts your case, there is no fee charged unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    They want the release so they can see if he's injured. If you file a claim, you'll have to give them the records anyhow. It does not sound like a serious claim regardless; I personally would give it to them, but also demand a copy of any records obtained or no deal.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Hire an attorney. Period. He/she will handle the insurance company and protect your child's privacy rights. The opposing party has some right to medical cost and treatment information. But you want to be careful about what is actually released and the terms of the release. Also, absent court approval, you do not have authority to settle anything for the minor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Potter Law Offices
    Potter Law Offices | Cal J. Potter, III, Esq.
    You should obtain legal counsel to handle the matter. The questions that you are asking could be handled by counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    I would think that they want the records to evaluate your son's claim. You should not be in too much of a hurry to settle your son's claim. Head injuries can be slow to reveal their true nature. As for his medical records you should release them, on the condition that you receive a copy of same. You need a copy fo purposes of your son's case and they will get them eventually before they make your son an offer. Call me if you like.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    One of the benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer is that he or she will protect you from claims agents and their requests for statements and releases. I never allow my clients to sign medical releases for the defendant. You are better off if you get the records and provide them to the defendant.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr. | John J. Ferry, Jr.
    You should seek legal counsel. I would probably recommend signing the release, but it's best to first discuss this with someone in detail.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    Though it is customary to provide the insurance company or claims department with release for medical forms, you should not sign any documents without consulting an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    When you make a claim for personal injuries your medical history is an OPEN BOOK. They have a right to this information and probably will not pay you til they get what they ask for. Sounds like you have ER bills which might be a couple thousand dollars (with CT scan) If he is OK just do the best you can. You did not tell me anything about negligence, or whether your child was partly at fault or how old your child is. To get anything other than medical bills you must show FAULT of the other driver and NO FAULT on the part of your child. It is not clear from what you said how that shakes out
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Retain and/or consult with a plaintiff's personal injury attorney before you sign anything.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Harris Personal Injury Lawyer
    Harris Personal Injury Lawyer | Philip C. Alexander
    Nothing will happen. They just won't be able to get your son's medical records. You should contact a personal injury lawyer for assistance. A lawyer will take all of this burden off of you and will handle and deal with the company directly, as well as assist in determining the medical costs and whether they can be deferred if you cannot pay them now. Because the at-fault party's insurance company only has its own pocketbook in mind, your son's interests and well being will not be a priority.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Offices of Tom Patton
    Law Offices of Tom Patton | Thomas C. Patton
    You should not sign the form without first having it reviewed by your legal counsel. The TV company has an attorney whose sole job is to limit the amount of money that they will have to pay on your son's claim. You need an attorney whose sole job will be to maximize your son's recovery. Please consult a legal professional for your son's sake.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC | Andrew N. Ackley
    This is probably something you should seek counsel for. We don't like clients to sign releases for the other side because we like to have control over the medical records and who has access to them. But this will be up to your lawyer. I would also make sure what you're signing is just to release medical records, and not your actual claims against them. Again, that's what lawyers should dotake the burden of the paperwork and anxiety of this stuff off your back.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Pivotal Law Group, PLLC
    Pivotal Law Group, PLLC | Christopher L. Thayer
    Assuming this occurred in Washington, you do not need to (and should not) sign any release form offered by the at-fault insurance carrier. I would recommend that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in your jurisdiction. Most such attorneys offer a free initial consultation. It is important that you understand and protect your son's rights.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Law Office of Joseph Lamy
    Law Office of Joseph Lamy | Joseph Lamy
    The short answer is that the medical release is required in order for the insurance company to obtain your son's medical records and bills and make an offer to settle. Your son's health information is privileged and the hospital will not release such information without your permission. You would need to sign a similar release with your attorney so that he or she could obtain the records. Without the medical records and bills it is impossible for anyone to evaluate your son's claim. That said, I strongly discourage you from attempting to work directly with and settle the case with the insurance company. At the end of this process they will not offer your son full value for his injuries.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    If you want the TV production company to pay for the expenses they will need the medical information. If you sue them they will be entitled to it anyway. If they pay your expenses and give you a few thousand dollars for your experience that will be sufficient if there are no permanent injuries.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Tomalas Law Firm
    Tomalas Law Firm | Ryan Tomalas
    Based on your description of this incident it sounds as though you will absolutely want to obtain counsel on your son's behalf. We never provide "blanket" medical authorizations to an insurance company; rather we collect all of the appropriate medical documentation and provide only the relevant documents and bills (redacting that information that an insurance company is not supposed to evaluate) in support of our client's claim. This allows us to control the information that the insurance company is evaluating and ensure that they are not taking "liberties" in their evaluation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Law Offices of H. Christopher Coburn
    Law Offices of H. Christopher Coburn | H. Christopher Coburn
    That sounds like a claim that would be best handled by an attorney. Chances are signing the release would not hurt your claim (they will have to review the medical records and bills at some point) but it may be a good idea for an attorney to review the document first.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    Insurers always send the medical release so that they can request the medical records from the health care provider. This is normal. You have the right to limit the scope of records requested (e.g., by date, no mental records, no HIV tests, etc.). They often leave the name of the health care provider blank so they can use one form for multiple providers. You also have the right to revoke the release at any time after you sign it. Sometimes the insurer will accept copies of the medical records you obtain and provide to them. But sometimes they dont trust the victim or their attorney and want to get the records directly from the health care provider. Usually, a person in your shoes only has bills, but not the actual medical records. They are obviously experienced at getting them and you are not. Since this is your child, your son probably has no medical records from the past that will affect this claim or will reveal mental health or prior head injuries which may affect how they handle the claim. Many clients of mine have extensive health records that they dont want to reveal. The insurer is ultimately only entitled to get records that are pertinent to the claim being made. Past records reflecting injury or treatment to the same area of the body are pertinent (so they can claim pre-existing injury, etc.). But if your son had a broken leg in the past, it obviously has nothing to do with his current head injury. So if you were in a lawsuit, you could obtain a protective order to limit the scope of the records. But this is pre-litigation and unless theres some big deal about his past medical records, signing the release should not be a big deal.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    I would generally say that you shouldn't sign anything without talking with a lawyer. The claims department probably wants to get a copy of the medical records so they can determine your son's injuries and the extent of necessary treatment (past and what is anticipated in the future per his doctors). If the accident was clearly the fault of the utility vehicle driver, they will likely try to resolve your claim by agreeing to pay the medical expenses and perhaps an amount above that. But there is no guarantee that is what they want to do. They may just be fishing for information. If they do make you an offer, they will ask you to sign a Release which will foreclose any future claim or additional recovery, even if your son later gets worse. The best thing you can do is talk to a lawyer who can help review the documents they want you to sign, and give advice concerning whether you should try to resolve the matter or take other action. Most personal injury lawyers such as myself will give you a free initial consultation to discuss these issues in more detail, with no obligation to you. After you talk to a lawyer, you will be in a better position to decide if you want to hire one, or just work it out on your own. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    It sounds like you are making a claim against the driver's insurance company to compensate your son for his injuries. If so, the insurance company is entitled to look at the medical documentation to determine what the extent of the injuries are. If they don't have the documentation, they cannot evaluate the claim and so will not be able to make a settlement offer. If this is a no-fault claim and you do not sign the authorizations, they will deny the claim and will be justified in doing so.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    The S.E. Farris Law Firm
    The S.E. Farris Law Firm | Spencer E. Farris
    In Missouri, the claims department is only entitled to medical records for the parts of the body injured- the release they are asking for will give up all of your son's private information. I would never let him sign it. You are entitled to recover his medical and other economic damages, as well as non economic losses- pain, inconvenience and so on. The problem is that it sometimes takes a while for these to develop, especially with kids and head injuries. While the claims folks (and some injury lawyers) might want to rush forward for a settlement, you should wait until you are reasonably sure that you know the full extent of his injuries. You didn't tell me how old your son is, or when this happened. This is crucial information, as there are time limits to file a lawsuit, and you don't want to wait past those!
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
    I would definitely seek legal counsel before signing anything. Your son needs to be aware of any and all rights he may have as far as recovery goes.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    In Massachusetts, your son is considered a pedestrian and pedestrian rules apply. It is the truck's insurance that will pay the initial bills for your son regardless of fault. This insurance carrier is often called the PIP carrier (or Personal Injury Protection) carrier. The Massachusetts Insurance policy requires you to fill out a PIP application, which includes an agreement that allows the company to obtain your son's medical bills and records. Because they are paying these bills, they are entitled to obtain them. The company should only be requesting records that pertain to your son's accident. As far as needing legal counsel, that depends. Your son may have a claim for pain and suffering, but certain requirements must be met for that to happen. First, the truck driver must be more than 50% at fault for the accident, and second, there is a medical threshold requirement. If your son has no broken bones or scarring, he would need over $2000 in medical bills. If both these requirements are met, he would have a claim potentially for his pain and suffering. I would advise that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately to safeguard his rights.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC | Andrew F. Garruto
    Please don't sign anything before having your lawyer review it. I never allow clients to sign medical authorizations to defendants' insurance companies or claims departments. I'll bet a kidney that they are blank authorizations allowing them to get any doctors' records they want, which is too broad and allows them to obtain medical records that are beyond the relevance of his claims and none of their business.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC | Matthew D Kaplan
    I am relieved to read your son has not suffered any permanent injuries. Regardless, you should not sign any forms until you have hired an attorney on your sons behalf.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A.
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A. | Joseph Lipsky
    The question of whether to provide an insurance company access to your son's medical records, for purposes of ascertaining the severity of the personal injuries he sustained from the car accident, is one you should certainly discuss with an experienced personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    I believe your best course of action would be to seek counsel at once.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Law Offices of Steven R. Kuhn & Associates
    Law Offices of Steven R. Kuhn & Associates | Steven R. Kuhn
    I would suggest you retain an experienced personal injury attorney. We never let our clients sign medical authorizations for the negligent parties insurance company. Our firm handles cases all over the State of California. Please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Painter Law Firm PLLC
    Painter Law Firm PLLC | Robert Painter
    I do not recommend signing the medical release form until you speak to an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/28/2011
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