Being injured in an auto accident can be a stressful experience. You not only need to get treatment for yourself, but you are worried about ensuring your vehicle gets repaired as quickly as possible. It’s always important to take your time and discuss any materials or requests that you receive from the insurance company with your San Diego personal injury attorney.
What Is A Medical Authorization Form?
If you are injured in an auto accident that is deemed another driver’s fault, you will receive a medical authorization release form. This form will be sent by the other motorist’s insurance company and is only a request. If you sign the medical authorization release form, you are essentially giving the insurance company permission to search through your medical records.
It’s important to realize that by signing that form you are likely releasing all of your past medical records to the other insurance company. The release is not just for the medical records from the accident. By giving the other insurance company all your past medical records they can use any of that information against you in a court of law.
You Have A Right To Privacy
Even though you may feel that your past medical records aren’t damaging to your current claim, it’s never a good idea to give up your records. Any San Diego personal injury lawyer will advise you never to sign the medical release form. As a citizen of the United States, you have the right to privacy of your medical records. You don’t have to give up your privacy rights to get the compensation that you deserve from your claim.
How Do I Prove My Injuries For My Claim?
You are going to have to surrender some of your medical information in order to prove that you indeed suffered injuries as a result of the car accident. Your San Diego personal injury lawyers should be able to help you select the medical documents that are pertinent to your claim. Always seek the help of an experienced car accident lawyer as they will be able to assist you in keeping as much of your medical history private as possible to settle your claim.
Understanding Insurance Companies
You should think of the other motorist’s insurance company as a business. They are in their industry to make money. When you report a claim against one of their insured, they are going to try to minimize the amount of money they have to pay out on the claim.
They will do this by trying to find any discrepancies in your medical history that can be attached to the current accident at hand. Basically, anything that could potentially put you at fault, partial fault, or discredit your claim for the accident is what they are looking for. Let’s take a look at a few of these ways the insurance company may try to use your medical history against you.
Pre-Existing Condition – Any reported symptoms shown on your medical history for the accident will be searched for in your previous medical reports. If the insurance company finds that you reported the same symptoms before the accident, they will argue that you had a pre-existing condition that is causing the injury.
Inconsistencies – When you speak to the police and medical personnel at the scene of the accident, it can affect your settlement later down the road. In most cases, individuals will state that they feel fine right after the accident. This can be to medical personnel at the scene or at the emergency room.
It’s very likely that adrenaline from the rush of the accident is hiding the pain of injuries that occurred at the time of the accident. Many individuals will find that later in the day or the next morning they are having pain. Insurance companies will use the fact that you said you were fine at the time of the accident to discredit your condition.
Exaggered Pain – Although used less often, if you have a strong history of visiting the doctor’s office for minor issues, that could be used against you. Insurance companies will claim that you over exaggerate the amount of pain that you have.
While all of these defenses for the insurance company may or may not work, it’s not worth giving them the ammunition. Never sign a medical release form when you are sent one by the insurance company. Only speak to your lawyer who will be capable of sending only the necessary documents to the insurance company to validate your claim.