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Protecting The Injured

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Think twice before signing a blanket medical authorization

Car accidents have the potential to leave drivers and passengers with catastrophic injuries. If you are one of the roughly 4.4 million Americans who suffer injuries in collisions every single year, you may be short on cash and looking to settle your insurance claim as quickly as possible.  

While insurance companies should process injury claims promptly, they do not always act quickly. In exchange for speeding up the process, an insurance adjuster may ask you to sign a blanket medical authorization. Doing so, though, may not be in your legal or financial interests. 

What is a blanket medical authorization?

A blanket medical authorization is a simple insurance form. If you sign this form, though, an insurer may examine all your medical records, even if they do not relate to the car accident or your injuries. Consequently, adjusters may get their hands on details of every medical appointment you have ever attended, every condition you have ever had and every prescription you have ever taken. 

Why may a blanket medical authorization be a mistake?

Signing a blanket medical authorization may be a mistake for a couple reasons. First, you lose your right to medical privacy, which may make you shudder. Second, you may give an adjuster a reason either to deny your claim or to offer you a low settlement offer for your damages. That is, the adjuster may blame your injury on a pre-existing condition or something else in your medical past.  

Even though it may be tempting to comply with the demands of an insurer after a car accident, you should not do anything that may complicate matters. Simply put, you should probably not sign any insurance forms until you understand the legal ramifications of your actions.