Should I sign this “HIPAA Authorization” for release of my medical records?
No, you should not sign the HIPAA authorization for the release of your medical records.
Often, the insurance company will act as though they cannot begin to decide how much money to offer you until they have all of your medical records. While you are probably thinking, this means all of your medical records after the accident, this is not what they have in mind. They really want all of your medical records … ever. For instance, if you injured your back in an auto accident, the insurance company would love nothing more than to find a record for your doctor’s appointment five years ago where you complained to your doctor about back pain after lifting something heavy. They will use this argue that your back injury in an auto accident had to be a preexisting condition because you complained about it five years earlier. Never mind that this prior complaint had nothing to do with your injury in this case, the insurance company will not listen. This gives them reason to offer you thousands of dollars less for your injury claim.
Is there any way to avoid this? Yes. All you have to do is get copies of your records from your doctor and send them to the insurance company yourself.
HIPAA is a federal law that protects your private medical records. Don’t let an insurance company make you think you have to give up your privacy in order to get justice.
As with most aspects of your injury claim, you should consult with a Georgia personal injury attorney before making decisions in this regard.