Legal Question in Personal Injury in California

Signing Medical Release Forms - Car Accident

Two weeks ago my husband and I were in an accident. Another driver ran a red light and t-boned our car as we were exiting an intersection. I was taken via Ambulance to the hospital with neck strains and contusions. I am still experiencing headaches caused by the accident and taking pain medication. Today, the adjuster from his insurance company informed us that she will need to have me sign a release for my medical records PRIOR to the assignment of liability for the accident. She states that because of no independent witnesses or liability assigned by the police report they will need to do an investigation. Why would she need these records before they have decided that he was at fault? I really need my bills and car paid for but I don't want to do something stupid. Should I put off signing the release?

Asked on 4/24/06, 9:24 pm

6 Answers from Attorneys


Re: Signing Medical Release Forms - Car Accident

The Insurance company not only challenge their insured's liability but they challenge your injuries. That's why if you sign the release of your medical information they will use all the information against you to minimize their liability. Please call me at 213.388.7070 for a free consultation about your case.

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Answered on 5/03/06, 9:01 pm
Tom Martin Law Office of Thomas Glenn Martin

Re: Signing Medical Release Forms - Car Accident

When it comes to signing releases for insurance companies, just say no.

Check out my website at and call me if I can be of further assistance.

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Answered on 5/09/06, 4:27 pm

Re: Signing Medical Release Forms - Car Accident

1. The insurance company does not care about your or your husband. Don't be fooled by what they tell you - they are the enemy.

2. Their claim that they need a release to determine liability is outrageous and nonsensical. However, innocent victims of accidents who don't know better think they are helping their case by helping the insurance company. They will dig up your past medical history and blame your current injuries on prior incidents from long ago.

3. The ins. co. will not pay for incurred bills now, nor will they pay for any treatment you may need.

4. If you are hurt, you need to talk with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately as each day that goes by, your cases are getting weaker and weaker.

Good luck and thanks for your question.

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Answered on 5/04/06, 1:25 am
Charles Rossman Charles Rossman Injury Lawyer

Re: Signing Medical Release Forms - Car Accident

Alot of the suggestions you've received are valuable. If you'd like to speak with me directly on any of these issues feel free to call.

Charley Rossman

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Answered on 5/05/06, 3:45 pm
Joseph Richardson Borton Petrini LLP

Re: Signing Medical Release Forms - Car Accident

They WANT you to sign a release. You actually have no such obligation. If you are representing yourself, they will probably be insistent that you do so, particularly if they don't think you know any better. I don't allow my clients to sign releases at all, or to give statements to the other side's insurance company (giving one to your own insurance company is fine). If I were you, I would talk to an attorney that does plaintiff's personal injury work in your area. Your attorney's job would be to, among other things, dictate the flow of information that goes to them; basically, YOUR attorney will get the medical records and then pass them on to the other insurance company. That way, someone can guide you through the minefields that insurance companies put out for individuals whose damages (and recovery) they want to minimize.

Hope this helps.

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Answered on 5/03/06, 4:54 pm
Jonathan Stein Law Offices of Jonathan G. Stein

Re: Signing Medical Release Forms - Car Accident

Do not sign any release, authorization or other paper from the other insurance company. And do not give a statement, recorded or written, to any insurance company. You do have to cooperate with your insurance company, but you do not need to give them a written or recorded statement. You can read more about these at my blog, and listen to my podcasts for more about this at

At this point, you probably need to talk to an attorney. The insurance company does not need your records to make a liability decision and if that is what they are telling you, then they are not going to treat you fairly during the claim process.

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Answered on 5/03/06, 5:31 pm

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