What happens if I dont sign for the medical claims release form? - Accident Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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What happens if I dont sign for the medical claims release form?

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.

Answer By Josh Lamborn
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
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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: 8/2/2011

The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
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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: 8/1/2011

Cody and Gonillo, LLP
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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: 7/29/2011

Answer By Gregory Casale
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
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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: 7/29/2011

Answer By Eddie W. Wilson
Wilson & Hajek, LLC
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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
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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: 7/29/2011

Answer By Andrew D. Myers
Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers
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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
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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: 7/28/2011

Coulter's Law
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Do not sign anything without letting and attorney review it!

Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 7/28/2011

Answer By Luke T. Pepper
LT Pepper Law
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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: 7/28/2011

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