After a car accident, you are likely to have painful injuries and mounting medical bills. While this combination can seem like a nightmare, your situation is likely to improve eventually. Still, you do not want to allow an insurance company to use your pain and financial circumstances to its advantage.
It is not uncommon for insurance adjusters to ask car accident victims to sign general medical releases. This release gives the insurance company your permission to go through your entire medical file. Here are three reasons you should not sign a general medical release before talking to an attorney.
1. You could waive your medical privacy rights
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, you have the right to expect privacy when talking to your doctor. To protect this right, doctors typically cannot release private medical details to insurers or anyone else. If you give the insurance company permission to get its hands on this information, though, you effectively waive your medical privacy rights.
2. You might damage your claim
Despite what its representative may tell you, the insurance company is looking out for its interests and not necessarily for yours. If you sign a general medical release, the insurance company may use anything it finds to its advantage. Regrettably, this could lead to a denial of your claim or an unconscionably low settlement offer.
3. You can struggle to find coverage
Your medical file may make you look like an insurance risk, causing the insurance company not to want to insure you in the future. If one company denies you coverage, other companies may follow. Sadly, your general medical release may make it difficult to find insurance ever again.
Ultimately, because signing a general medical release after an accident can be hazardous, you must fully understand the consequences of your actions before doing anything else.