After a motor vehicle accident you can count on the other driver's insurance company calling you and mailing you documents to sign and return. One of the documents will be an Authorization to Release your Medical Records. A question we hear often is: "Should I sign the Medical Records Release that the insurance company mailed me?" The simple answer is NO.
The other driver's insurance company will, without question, try to contact you soon after the accident. They will call you in order to try and get a statement from you. They will also mail you letters with documents, including a Medical Records Release or Authorization to Release Medical Records, for you to sign and return to them. They do this quickly after an accident in hopes of getting the injured party to give them a statement and sign the Release before he or she speaks with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Why? Because they know that if you speak with a qualified and experienced accident attorney first, you will be advised not sign and return the Release and not to give the other driver's insurance company a statement.
The reason they want you to sign the Release is so they can obtain all your past medical records. A Release with no time limitations will allow the other driver's insurance company to obtain any and all of your medical records. They do this so they can dig into your private life for evidence of similar injuries or complaints to downplay the extent of the injuries sustained from the car accident or claim that the injuries you suffered in the accident were pre-existing. With prior medical records, they hope to create an issue with regard to your injuries in order to offer you less money in the end and save money for their insurance company.