#5 MISTAKE: Signing a medical authorization release for the other driver’s insurance company
QUESTION: Why should you wait until you’re done treating from your car accident to sign a medical authorization for the other driver’s insurance company?
ANSWER: Signing a medical release for the at-fault insurance company before you’re done treating from your car accident gives the insurance company access to your medical records, where they will look for any reason not to pay for your treatment, stating that your injuries are not related to the car accident.
The fifth biggest mistake you can make is signing a medical authorization or release for the other driver’s or the at fault insurance company before you’re done treating from your car accident.
There’s one very specific reason why we give this advice. We’ve seen time and time again that if the other person’s insurance company gets your medical records before you’re done treating, they will use that information against you.
The adjuster will go through your records, looking for any reason, as far as they’re concerned, as to why your treatment is not related to your car accident. Next, they’re going to contact the PIP carrier who is paying your medical bills and say to them, “Hey we’re not going to reimburse you for these medical bills because it’s not related to the car accident. You better stop paying them.” And then the PIP carrier turns around and says to you, “we’re not paying for anymore of your medical treatment, it’s not related to the car accident.”
And then you’re really stuck.
If the other person’s insurance company asks you to sign a medical authorization, or a medical release, you should say to them, “I want to wait until I am done treating before I sign the medical authorization and release.” That is a perfectly reasonable position to take. You’re not being uncooperative. The insurance company will be getting the medical records at the right time and not any sooner.
The adjuster may say things that make you feel like you’re being uncooperative. You may say to yourself “ I better sign it”. They may say things like, “Well we won’t be able to settle your claim,” or “we need this to process your claim,” or “we’re going to close your claim out,” or “why are you not being cooperative?” The truth is they’re making an unreasonable demand of you.
If the adjuster for the other insurance company asks you to sign a medical authorization or release just simply say, “When I’m done with medical treatment I’ll be happy to sign the release for my medical records.”
We’ll help you determine whether you have a case and if you need an attorney. It doesn’t make sense to hire a lawyer if you don’t need one.
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