It is easy to make mistakes in a personal injury case. Insurance companies have many hidden tactics which they use to take advantage of accident victims. One of our core principles at Christensen & Hymas is educating our clients on the ins and outs of personal injury law. Doing this allows us to work better with you and win your case. This article warns against one of the most common injury case mistakes: quickly signing an insurance company’s medical authorization form.
Why You Should Not Sign a Medical Authorization Form
Many accident victims assume that insurance adjusters tell the absolute truth during their case. For example, they believe that adjusters truly will only obtain their medical records if they have a signed medical authorization form. But you should know that some adjusters look at your medical records without even asking you! Signing their form only allows them greater freedom to strengthen their case against you.
Insurance papers can be extremely technical and confusing. Before you sign any papers, make sure you fully understand what you are agreeing to. Look up terms and phrases that you do not understand, or consult an experienced injury lawyer. Do not be afraid to contact the insurance company and ask them for clarification.
In our book, 7 Biggest Mistakes that can Wreck Your Utah Accident Case, we explain how the insurance adjuster may tell you something like this:
“In order to pay your claim, I’ll need your medical bills and records. You’ve got enough on your plate right now. I’m happy to get them for you if you just sign a medical release.”
Watch out for an offer like this. Do not give permission or sign authorization forms for information gathering.
Why Does the Insurance Company Want Me to Sign?
- Insurance companies purposefully complicate their medical authorization form. They word it so that it is extremely difficult to know exactly what it means. Often, signing the form means giving them permission to access every piece of medical and personal information about you, whether it is relevant to your case or not.
- This may allow them access to medical records which show past injuries similar — or in similar places — to the injury in your case. They then claim that this past injury is at fault, minimizing the amount of money they have to pay.
- They’re also looking for records that can be used to put you in a bad light, such as psychological records or embarrassing medical history. This can hurt your standing in a case.
Simply put, don’t sign the insurance company’s medical authorization form. They usually do not have your best interest in mind. This is because it is in your best interest to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer, who can protect you from predatory insurance companies.
At Christensen & Hymas, we have the experience and skill-set to win your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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