Don’t Sign That Blanket Medical Authorization
Let’s say that you are in an accident, and another person or business is responsible for the accident. Shortly after the accident, you may be contacted by the other side’s insurance company or attorney. The insurance company may make offers to you, such as offers to pay for medical treatment or for wages.
But hidden in the language of those documents, is something dangerous—a blanket medical authorization. The insurance company may give you an excuse why it’s necessary for you to sign such a sweeping permission.
They may say that they need it to assess your injuries, or get your medical records so they know how much to pay for your treatment. This all may sound logical. But actually, it’s nothing more than an attempt to harm you, should you opt to bring a claim or sue for your injuries.
Giving Away Too Much
Here is the problem—before a lawsuit is filed, when you are negotiating with the insurance company to see if you can resolve your case without filing a lawsuit, you do not have to provide any information to the insurance company.
Of course, you or your personal injury attorney will have to get some of your medical records to the other insurance company, if you want to at least try to settle your case without having to file a lawsuit. But at least before trial, you decide what to send them and what not to, and if they request records that you feel are too broad, you can always say no.
But when you sign a blanket medical authorization, you are allowing them to get all your medical records, from any doctor, that you saw at any time, for any reason. They will use this information against you, because almost all of us have some kind of medical past or medical history.
The insurance company will dig up everything they can, and say that you were injured before the accident, and thus, your injuries are not caused by the accident. They also may have or get your personal medical information, and a complete history on your mental and physical health—much more than what they may have been entitled to in the lawsuit.
Trouble Down the Road
Should you be unable to settle your case, you have put yourself in a bad situation. You may not even know everything in your own medical history. But the insurance company now does. If you file a lawsuit, they now have a “leg up” on you, and even before you file a lawsuit, they will use the medical information they obtained with your permission, to lower their offer to you.
All of this is why it is good to get a personal injury attorney on your side early on, so that he or she can handle these things with the other side, so you don’t have to worry.
Call the Knoxville personal injury attorneys at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC, today to get help as early as possible in your injury case.