Signing Insurance Releases and Authorizations After a Car Accident Is a Bad Idea
Aug. 13, 2013
Mistakes Not to Make
Part 4 from our free ebook “The Biggest Mistakes That Will Kill Your Case” involves signing insurance releases and authorizations after a car accident.
You never want to sign insurance releases or authorizations after a car accident:
You are giving away your precious information; and
You may just sign away all of your claims and rights.
Insurance companies will try to get you to sign blank releases that allow them to access all of your medical records. Allowing them full access to your medical history is dangerous. The insurance companies will search through your entire record to see if you have ever experienced a similar injury in the past. If they are able to find a similar injury, they may deny your claim.
During one of our last trials, the insurance company gained access to our client’s social security file, and used the medical information contained in that file against her. Our client had suffered a back injury due to a car accident, but had previously dealt with back issues from which she was recovering. The car accident hurt her back tremendously but the insurance company blamed it all on the previous history of back problems our client had.
We have also met with clients in our office who initially come in for help, only to discover that they had already signed full releases to the insurance company settling their cases for a few hundred dollars. One potential client was in a great deal of pain, and would possibly need surgery. The insurance company convinced her to sign a release, which she did without realizing she was signing a full and final release and was not able to go back and recover any more money even if she needed future medical care.
A Word from Tom
People often wonder if they should signed medical authorizations for the insurance company. Insurance companies want to know the extent of your injuries and they are allowed to do so when you put your injuries at issue that is insurance companies have a right to know if what you’re saying is really true and there is documentation to back it up. There’s two ways to go about this number one, you can sign a medical authorization or a HIPAA release for the insurance company. When you do it this way they have the ability to get all of your medical records and sometimes there is information in your medical records that you don’t necessarily want them to see because they are not related to the incident and they have no reason to be reviewing these private matters.
The other way you can go about doing this is by requesting all of the medical records yourself . Giving them all of your medical records that you obtained. The problem with doing it this way is you have to pay for your medical records, the copying, and you have to go through the records and find what is related and what isn’t. If you don’t want them to see what is personal and not related then you must provide them with the privilege log of what you think is not relevant. This can be somewhat difficult if you’re not familiar with redacting medical records. It can take a lot of time. It can be very expensive and most insurance companies believe that when you do it this way they think you have something to hide the benefit of doing it this way is if there is information to which they are not entitled to never see it, and that can protect you and your privacy. So depending on your medical history, it’s not always a good idea to sign blank releases for the insurance company.
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