If you're involved in an auto accident, the claims adjuster for the other driver's insurance company will likely ask you to sign a medical release authorization form. Even though it might seem like signing the form is an easy way to speed up the process of resolving your claim, you should not add your signature to any document without first consulting an attorney.
3 Ways Medical Release Authorization Forms Can Harm Your Case
Although medical release authorization forms can serve a valid purpose, a document that is overly broad can damage your case. There are three main reasons why you should be cautious if you’re asked to grant the other driver's insurance company access to your medical records.
- The company may try to use pre-existing conditions against you. Perhaps the biggest reason not to sign a medical release form is that the insurance company may attempt to use your past health concerns against you. For example, if you've been treated for back pain in the past, the insurance company professionals may argue that your current back troubles are related to your past medical history and were not caused by the accident.
- The company might try to assign fault for the accident. Your medical history might also be used as a way to place partial responsibility for the accident on you. For example, if you reported to your doctor that the medications you've been prescribed were causing dizziness or made it difficult for you to concentrate, the insurance company might try to argue that you weren't able to fully pay attention to the road.
- The company might suggest you’re not being truthful about your injuries. If you sign a medical release granting access to your doctor's notes, the insurance company will be looking for signs that you've exaggerated the severity of your injuries. For example, the insurance company professionals might use the fact that you didn't mention a headache or neck pain immediately after the accident to suggest that you're simply fishing for a way to increase your compensation—even though it's common for these types of symptoms to take a few days to appear.
Before you sign any medical release authorization form, ask your attorney to review the document to ensure that it’s written in a way that protects your rights.
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Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is committed to helping Louisiana residents receive the compensation they need to move forward with their lives after being injured by negligent drivers. Complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.