Should I Sign A Medical Authorization Form? – Personal Injury Lawyer Durham North Carolina
Claims adjusters use a number of techniques to get quick settlements and give the insured less than he or she may be entitled to. Asking for you to sign a medical authorization form is a common technique. This may sound innocent enough, however it may be detrimental to your potential personal injury claim in Durham, NC.
Generally speaking, medical authorization forms are very broadly drafted and give adjusters the ability to delve into the claimant’s complete medical history. This permits them to pry into pre-existing conditions and medical issues that may be unrelated to those at issue in a personal injury claim.
Potential claimants normally want to be cooperative. They often feel that the more they cooperate with the adjuster, the better chance they have of getting a prompt payment and one that meets their financial expectations. But this is not the case!
Adjusters will usually insist that the need copies of the medical reports and bills in order to evaluate and validate a bodily injury claim. The adjuster’s approach is often, “You can run around, trying to gather this information yourself, or you can sign this medical authorization and let me do the legwork for you.”
Faced with this prospect, it seems like a good decision for an injured claimant to choose the more convenient option. This is seldom the case. The signed medical authorization form may be used against the unwitting claimant who naively thought it will accelerate the payment process.
As a claimant you should:
- Be wary of signing any medical authorization form.
- Decline to sign an “open-ended” medical authorization form.
- Have the insurer agree that the form will be limited as to medical bills and reports pertaining to the accident occurring on such and such a date and treatment flowing from that accident.
- Refuse to sign a medical authorization form that remains in effect for an indefinite period. Make sure that the authorization states that it is valid only for a certain number of days after it is signed and executed.
It is important to note that there is generally no legal requirement that a claimant sign a medical authorization in order to be entitled to recovery under a liability insurance policy. Any adjuster who represents that a claimant must sign a medical authorization as a condition of receiving payment or settlement may be misrepresenting the law and the insurance policy.
Determining the possibility of a successful and how to best proceed forward is essential for your personal injury case. Most of the legal issues in your potential claim – duty, breach, causation and damages – will revolve around your case specific facts. Without the proper representation you could possibly be barred from recovering the most possible damages for your injuries. The attorneys at Wallace Pierce Law can explain what the possibilities for recovery on your potential claim are and what it means in terms of moving forward with your claim.