Should I sign a medical authorization for the insurance company?
After you have been injured in a car accident, you will likely receive a number of authorization forms from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. One of these forms may be a medical authorization release form. You should not sign a medical authorization form from the at-fault driver’s insurance company and should instead consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Insurance company’s need for your medical records
At some point in your claims process, the other driver’s insurance company will have a legitimate need to obtain some of your records. The company may request records about your injuries and your treatment of them. When your personal injury attorney sends the insurance company a demand letter on your behalf, your attorney will send these types of records along with it. The insurance company may then ask for additional records. Do not give the company verbal or written permission to obtain your records on its own. If the company asks for medical records that you and your injury attorney believe are wholly unrelated to your accident and resulting injuries, your attorney will not provide those unrelated records. Your attorney can tell the company that the request is not related to your accident or your injuries and would be an invasion of your privacy.
What an insurance company might say about a medical authorization
The insurance company may send you a medical authorization form and tell you that you need to sign it so that the company can get the records that it needs to process your claim. Never sign a medical authorization form that an at-fault driver’s insurance company sends to you. The company may tell you that it cannot process your claim without you signing the form. It may also tell you that the company wants to help you. Remember that the company is not yours, and its interests are in protecting its own bottom line. Instead of signing a medical authorization, you should instead tell the insurance company that you need to consult with a personal injury lawyer before you will sign anything.
How insurance companies use signed authorizations
Signing a medical authorization form for an at-fault driver’s insurance company offers you no benefits in your claim. Insurance companies may use these releases to gain access to all of your medical history going back as far as your birth. There is no reason that an insurance company should be granted access to all of this information. When they are granted access to people’s entire medical histories, they pore through the records in an effort to find anything possible that can help them to dispute your claim and to reduce the amount that it might have to pay you. Anything that is contained in your medical record can be fair game for the company to use against you when it fights your claim.
While you may think that you don’t have anything in your history that you need to hide from the insurance adjuster, the information that is contained in your medical record can be used against you. For example, if you went to your doctor two years ago and complained that you had low back pain, the insurance company may use that information to argue that the disc herniation that you suffered in your accident was a preexisting injury.
A personal injury attorney who has experience in dealing with insurance companies can help you to review your medical records and to determine which ones are relevant and which records are not relevant. He or she can handle the claims process with the insurance company for you so that you might be able to recover fair compensation for your losses. If you have been injured in an accident that someone else caused, contact a personal injury attorney today for help with protecting your rights to recovery.