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Blanket Medical Authorizations: Just Say No


If you are in an accident, and the Defendant or the insurance company for the Defendant reaches out to you, it may sound like that’s a good thing. They may suggest that they will offer you money to help pay for medical expenses, lost wages, or other bills. To do that, however, they tell you that they will need you to sign a medical authorization.

That sounds rational—after all, they want to see how injured you are, and you do know that you are injured. So what’s the harm?

It turns out, there can be a lot of harm to your case, if you sign a blanket medical authorization.

Loss of Privacy

If you sign the blanket medical authorization, you are giving the Defendant permission to get all of your medical records. Not just all the records related to your accident or the injuries sustained in the accident, but every single medical record, going back for years, whether related to the accident or not.

A blanket medical authorization is a large invasion of your privacy.

Yes, if you make a claim for injuries, you will have to give some of your medical records to the other side, at some point (your injury attorney will determine what records the other side is entitled to, and which they are not, when the time comes).

But should the other side have access to every medical condition or treatment that you have ever had or complained about to a doctor, in your lifetime? Records of mental health treatment, family therapy, lifelong or genetic or inherited illnesses or disabilities, STDs, male or female urology or OB/GYN records or any other kinds of very private information?

You would probably prefer to keep that information private. But by signing a blanket medical authorization, you have now lost that right.

Pre-Existing Injuries

Just as importantly, the other side wants all those records to try to fish through your medical history to find a prior injury, or medical complaint, that shows that your injury pre-existed the accident.

So, for example, if 10 years ago you complained to your doctor that your shoulder hurt you, and your shoulder was injured in this car accident or this fall, the insurance company will say that you had that shoulder injury from 10 years ago, and that your shoulder problems right now are not accused by the accident, but rather, pre-existed the accident.

If you say you have had depression and anxiety because of your accident, the insurance company may find a time when you saw a therapist for depression 15 years ago, and argue that you have always had depression.

The best route is to get a personal injury as quickly as possible. Your attorneys will determine what you should and should not sign, and protect your privacy rights when you make a claim for compensation or your injuries.

Don’t make mistakes in your personal injury case or claim. Call the Knoxville personal injury lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today.




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