The hours, days and weeks after a car accident can be both painful and confusing. If you are one of the more than 4.4 million Americans who suffer injuries in car accidents every year, you may be looking to settle your insurance claim as quickly as possible. After all, your medical bills are probably piling up.
An insurance adjuster may ask you to sign a blanket medical authorization. He or she may even tell you this simple insurance form is necessary for the prompt processing of your claim. Prior to signing a blanket medical authorization or any other insurance form, though, you should understand the company’s motivations.
Investigating your accident
Before paying claims, most insurance companies conduct investigations. During the investigation, an adjuster is likely to need to know about your accident-related injuries. If you sign a blanket medical authorization, you give the adjuster the legal authority to access all your medical records. These include records that may have little or nothing to do with the accident or your injuries.
Processing your claim
Like other for-profit business ventures, insurance companies often have more concern for their shareholders’ wealth than they do for their customers’ interests. When processing your claim, an adjuster may look for reasons to deny your claim or offer you less than you deserve. A pre-existing injury or illness in your medical records may suffice.
To protect the bottom lines of their employers, many insurance adjusters want accident victims to believe they have few options. Ultimately, because executing a blanket medical authorization may make your situation worse, you probably want to have legal counsel before agreeing to sign one.