- September 19, 2011
- In orange County Personal Injury
Despite what an insurance adjuster might tell you, you are not legally obligated to sign a medical authorization form for the other party’s insurance company in order to claim recovery from a liability insurance policy. In fact, it is often not in your best interest to sign such a form.
These forms are often worded in such a way that they allow the other party’s insurance company full access to your medical records. It allows them to scrutinize your entire medical history, not just the documents relevant to your claim. You can be sure they will use this information to damage your case any way that they can, including trying to claim that the injuries you received from your accident are actually from a pre-existing condition
Despite these dangers, it is understandable why signing such forms could be tempting. You might feel that not cooperating with the insurance company will delay payment, thereby protracting your ordeal. You might be wary of the prospect of collecting all of the paperwork the insurance companies need yourself.
The adjuster will likely tell you all of those things. He might insinuate that cooperation is the only way to ensure that you receive payment. He might offer to handle the unwieldy process of acquiring the necessary records, so long as you sign the form allowing him to do so.
However you must remember that the opposing party’s insurance will not act in your best interest if you sign these forms. Carefully read any form the insurance companies try to get you to sign, and be on the lookout for any language in the forms that would allow the insurance company any unnecessary access to your medical history. Demand a medical authorization agreement that limits the insurance companies access to medical records that explicitly pertain to your accident for an explicitly limited amount of time.
Lastly, do not let insurance adjusters bully you by alluding to a cooperation clause in the conditions of an insurance policy. The conditions of a policy only apply to the policy holder, not to third parties making a claim (like you).
Because of tactics like this, the claims process is often difficult and arduous. But you don’t have to go it alone. Call Orange County personal injury attorney Samer Habbas today for a free consultation.
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