The days and weeks after a catastrophic car accident can be stressful. After all, not only must you cope with physical pain, but you also must adjust to a new way of life. If your injury prevents you from working, you may also struggle to support yourself and your family.
Seeking a quick insurance settlement may seem to be in your interests. In exchange for acting promptly, an insurance adjuster may ask you to complete a blanket medical authorization. This authorization gives the adjuster the right to review all your medical records. Here are three risks that may come with signing a blanket medical authorization.
1. You waive your medical privacy rights
You have a general right to keep sensitive medical information private. If an adjuster secures a signed blanket medical authorization, though, he or she may look through every medical appointment, procedure and prescription you have ever had. This may be true even if your medical records have little or no relationship to the accident.
2. You may give the insurer a good excuse
Insurance adjusters know how to find grounds to deny claims or to offer low settlements. If you have a chronic illness, a pre-existing injury or anything else in your medical records, the insurer may have a good excuse to give you less than you deserve or nothing at all.
3. You may encounter future consequences
After finding out about your medical past, an insurer may raise your rates or refuse to cover you altogether. Even worse, if the insurance company does not take steps to protect your medical details, information about your health may find its way into other areas of your life.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to resolve an insurance claim quickly, you do not want to do anything to worsen your situation. Ultimately, before signing any insurance forms, including a blanket medical authorization, you should be certain you understand all possible risks.