The Insurer Wants You to Sign a Release? What You Need to Know | KNR
Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC Hurt in a Car? Call KNR.
Written by
KNR Legal
Date posted
December 16, 2022

After you file a claim with an insurance company, you’ll receive some documents from them. These documents might include release forms requiring your signature.

The insurer may present such forms as routine, but do not sign any release or authorization without speaking to an attorney first. It is crucial that you understand what these documents say and what signing means in the long run. Contacting an attorney and knowing your options early on could mean recovering what you deserve.

To learn more about medical or property damage release forms in Ohio, call the Ohio personal injury lawyers of Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT NOW. We offer free initial consults, and there is no risk because there’s no charge unless you recover compensation.

Should You Sign A Medical or Property Damage Release from the Insurance Company?

Insurance companies often seek signatures for medical record releases or property damage release forms. It’s important to understand the distinction between the two and how signing these forms affects your case.

What Is A Medical Release Form?

State and federal privacy laws keep your medical records private, so the insurance company must get your permission to view them. Medical release forms allow an insurer to access your medical history, including details regarding your present injuries and your past health; this also extends to records unrelated to your claim.

By signing a medical release, you can’t limit what the insurance company accesses and sees about your health.  If the release offers the insurance company a broad scope and access to all your records, they will use the information to find more opportunities to deny the claim. For example, if you had any past medical issues, even minor ones, the insurer may try to link your current injury to a previous condition.

When Should You Sign a Medical Release Form?

In most situations, signing a medical release form, especially a blanket form giving access to your entire medical history is not advisable.

Suppose you experience constant headaches after a brain injury in a car accident, and you sign a blanket release form giving your insurance company permission to see your health history. If there are records of you having a history of headaches, the insurer may claim this condition is not from the accident. They can use this to reduce the payout or deny your claim altogether.

Your Attorney Can Advise You on Medical Releases Forms

There may be circumstances in which you and your attorney feel comfortable signing a medical release. But, you should release your medical information carefully, and not without legal advice. You do not have to sign this authorization form. Instead, you can provide only the medical documentation necessary for the insurer to evaluate your injuries and compensation.

What Is a Property Damage Release?

A property damage release is common after car accidents, especially in crashes where vehicles are totaled. This type of release allows the insurance company to finalize your claim. By signing, you agree that the insurer has satisfied its obligations regarding your claim, and you aren’t owed anything more.

In other words, signing the release means you agree that the insurer’s liability toward you is completed. You cannot go back and ask for more money for your vehicle or other property damage. This means you must be sure the amount you received is enough before signing a property damage release or cashing an insurer’s check.

If the insurance adjuster finds your vehicle is not totaled or the cost of repairs is less than its current value, the insurer will only pay for the necessary repairs. There is no need for a release regarding the cost of any other damage.

When Should You Sign a Property Damage Release?

You shouldn’t sign a property damage release until you’re certain your losses have been fairly assessed and you’re satisfied with the offer. The insurance company may try to pressure or rush you into signing quickly; this is a big tell their offer is a lowball.

Your attorney will help you complete a full and final calculation of your damages, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and ensure you fully understand what is being offered before you accept and settle the claim.

Speak to Our Ohio Personal Injury Lawyers Today

An insurance claim can become a complex process, and you are probably going to receive numerous documents from an insurer. Never sign any of them until you understand whether it is in your best interests.

If you have questions about a release or authorization an insurer sent you, call us at Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT NOW.

We can review your situation and help you decide what to do next.