After a Car Accident in Pennsylvania, when the other person’s insurance company is at fault, they will likely ask you for an Authorization because they want to get copies of your records (medical, wage, or maybe employment or school records) to estimate the claim. They may also call it a “Medical Authorization”, “Medical Release”, or “Release of Information”.
They use this documentation to determine what they will claim is the value of your damages.
In Pennsylvania, there is a privacy law, both state and federal. The law prevents the insurance company from getting your records without your written authorization. They can’t just ask your doctors for copies of your records. So, the authorization tells your medical provider it is OK to release their records to whomever you empowered on the form. The law requires that the authorization state that it can be revoked at any time by you in writing.
Be aware that that you are not required to sign their Authorization. In fact, it is likely in your best interest not to sign it. You may want to consult with an experienced lawyer. The reason you probably should not sign it is because you want to have control over your own medical records. You can get your records from either your own insurance company (you will have to sign an authorization for your own insurance company). Or, you can get your medical records from your medical providers. Then, if you do not have a lawyer, you can send the records yourself to the other person’s insurer.
David Schreiber, Esq.