In many personal injury claims, insurance companies reduce the amount of money they pay the victim based on certain pre-existing conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition, the insurance company will use it as an excuse to reduce the value of your personal injury claim. Therefore, your accident attorney will make sure that you do not sign a medical release form that will give the insurance company total access to your medical history.
Medical Release Forms
Insurance adjusters may request you to sign an open-ended medical release form. If you sign this form, also called a “medical authorization form,” you will be permitting the insurance company to review your entire medical history, regardless of its relevance to the current injuries you have suffered as a result of your accident. Oftentimes, the adjuster will claim that it is in your best interest to sign the form, and that it will help speed up the claims process. However, the best policy to follow is this: Never sign anything without first consulting with your lawyer.
Ways to Protect Yourself
Plaintiffs in personal injury claims are under no legal obligation to sign a medical release form. If the adjuster illegally forces you to sign a medical release form to benefit his own case, you should immediately contact your accident attorney.
The best course to take is not to sign any medical release forms without the consent of your lawyer. But if you choose to do so, you should take several steps to protect yourself and maintain the value of your legal claim. You should first make sure that the release form has an expiration date. You should also request that the form allows the insurance company to access only the parts of your medical history that are relevant in evaluating the injuries related to this accident.
To learn more information about how signing medical release forms can damage the value of your personal injury claim, or to schedule a complimentary consultation with accident attorney David Kashani, call the Law Offices of David P. Kashani, APLC at (323) 782-9605.