The answer is no. While an insurance adjuster may make it seem like signing these documents is a necessary step in your claim for compensation, it is not. In fact, signing these forms could actually jeopardize the success of your claim. Our advice is to not talk to an insurance adjuster or sign anything until you have spoken with an attorney. Bedford attorney Brad Parker will be more than happy to explain what you should and should not sign when you meet for a free consultation. In the meantime, here are our general guidelines for the medical authorization form.
What Will I Be Asked to Sign?
Soon after your accident, you may receive a bundle of forms from the insurance company for the liable party asking for you signature. It may seem routine to sign a few forms, but these are not forms you want to sign right away. One of the forms will likely be the medical authorization form. While you will have to provide proof of your injuries and medical treatment at some point, this particular form allows the insurance company to have full access to all of your medical records. This could hurt your case in three ways:
- Revealing prior medical history. If given access, the insurance adjuster will scour your entire medical history looking for previous injuries that are similar to your current injuries. He could then use this to claim that it was not the accident that caused your injuries, but that you had a pre-existing condition.
- Releasing your private statements to doctors. The adjuster will also look for inconsistencies in your statements about the accident and your injuries. If he finds that you altered what you said to any of your doctors at different times, he could use this to undermine your claim.
- Establishing a pattern of doctor visits. Given your entire medical history, the insurance company could try to show that you were generally fragile or unhealthy before the accident and discount the seriousness of your current injuries.
There is no reason for the insurance company or anyone else involved in your car accident claim to have access to your entire medical history.
How Brad Parker Can Help
To get the maximum settlement to which you are entitled, you will have to present a strong claim that proves the other driver’s liability and establishes the seriousness of your injuries. To establish these injuries, you will need to provide certain medical records but not all of them. Attorney Brad Parker knows how to build a strong case and will give you sound advice about releasing medical records and signing authorization forms. Contact our office today to learn more.