Why You Shouldn’t Sign A Blanket Medical Authorization
There are a lot of problems when you decide that you want to handle your personal injury case yourself, without an attorney. You can often be forced to say things or sign documents, without even being aware of what you are signing or saying. One area where this can become a problem is with the blanket medical authorization.
What Does the Blanket Medical Authorization Do?
A blanket medical authorization allows the other side to get every medical record that they want, from any doctor you’ve ever seen, at any time, for any purpose. Certainly, the other side would normally have a right to your medical records, for medical treatment related to injuries or medical treatment you have had in relation to your accident.
But the blanket medical authorization goes way beyond that, and allows the other side free reign to any piece of your medical records, ever, whether related to the accident or not.
Why the Problem?
The problem is twofold. The first problem is that this is an inherent invasion of your privacy, as you are giving up any doctor-patient privilege and opening up to the other side, every medical condition, complaint treatment, or diagnosis, that you have even had, with any doctor.
You are also allowing the other side to fish for information—and they will. For example, let’s say you hurt your back in your recent car accident. But it turns out that 8 years ago, you told your primary doctor during one visit, that your lower back ached.
Or, let’s say that after your accident, when you went to the doctor, you told the doctor your back “doesn’t hurt very bad.” You told that to your doctor in confidence—but now the other side has that comment, that you may have just made off the cuff, and they will use it against you, to lower what they offer to settle your case.
Now the Defendant has all of this information—and they will use it against you, to lower the amount that they offer to you to settle your case.
Certainly, you can refute that contention, but the other side should never have had that information, and you didn’t actually legally ever have to provide it to them. They likely deceived you into signing the release, and giving them all your records, out of some vague promise that they were going to resolve your case at a fair amount.
How the Insurance Company Will Use the Information
After seeing your records, however, they are lowering your settlement amount. Now you have released all privacy in your medical records, and on top of that, you haven’t received a settlement offer anywhere near what you thought you would receive.
Asking you to sign a blanket medical authorization is just one of the tricks the insurance company will use, if you try to handle your personal injury case without help. Don’t go it alone.
Contact the Miami personal injury attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today if you have been in an accident and need legal help.