If you suffer a catastrophic injury in a car accident, you are likely to be unable to work for months or longer. As medical bills pile up, your savings may dwindle quickly. Eventually, you may be willing to do virtually anything to secure prompt payment of your accident claim.
Insurance adjusters often ask vulnerable accident victims to sign blanket medical authorizations. These seemingly straightforward insurance forms give insurers access to all your medical records. Before signing a blanket medical authorization, keep three things in mind.
1. You give up your medical privacy
A blanket medical authorization effectively waives your right to medical privacy. That is, after receiving your signed form, an insurance adjuster may access your entire medical file. He or she may even review medical details that are irrelevant to your accident or injury.
2. You may receive less than you deserve
Insurance companies are profitable because they collect more in premiums than they pay in claim settlements. If the adjuster who is processing your claim finds something he or she can use against you in your medical history, you can expect to receive a low settlement offer. Even worse, the adjuster may uncover a reason to deny your claim altogether.
3. You may have to answer more questions
When reviewing your medical history, an adjuster may call or write you with additional questions. While answering these questions may seem harmless, you may inadvertently damage your chance of receiving a fair settlement.
Ultimately, because a blanket medical authorization and other insurance forms may do you more harm than good, it is advisable to consider all possible consequences of cooperating with an adjuster’s request for medical information.