Signing authorizations for disclosure of information to ICBC
ICBC may request injury claimants to sign authorizations for the release of health and employment information to ICBC to provide insight into what effects the accident had on the claimant. Authorizations for release of information from the following persons / organizations are commonly requested:
- Family doctor / medical clinic.
- MSP printout (a printout from the Medical Services Plan of British Columbia that lists medical treatments received by a particular person over a period of time).
- Ambulance reports.
- Pharmanet printout (a printout provided by the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia that lists all prescription medications issued to a particular person over a period of time).
It is not mandatory for claimants to sign such authorizations for the release of information, or to otherwise provide documentation to ICBC prior to commencing a court action. (Once a court action is started claimants are required to disclose relevant documents).
Although it is true that if the claimant wants to prove entitlement to tort damages or Part 7 benefits the claimant will eventually have to provide proof of injury, that information need not be provided directly to ICBC from the record holders, but can be collected by the claimant and then provided to ICBC as appropriate.
A potential benefit of signing authorizations allowing release of information directly to ICBC is that it saves the claimant the effort of collecting, and in some cases the cost of obtaining, the records from the records holders and then providing them to ICBC.
A potential adverse consequence of signing authorizations allowing release of information directly to ICBC is that it may result in irrelevant, and possibly sensitive, personal information being provided to ICBC e.g. information related to sexual health, mental health etc. which may not be relevant to the claim.
When a claimant hires a lawyer to assist with the claim the lawyer will generally give ICBC notice that all authorizations previously signed by the claimant are revoked and that if ICBC requires any information from third party record holders a request can be made through the lawyer. Where requested records are likely to all be relevant and not contain sensitive information it may be appropriate for the claimant to allow the records to be provided directly to ICBC. Chiropractic records are a typical example of such records.
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