Did You Get Fooled Into Signing a Blanket Medical Authorization?
Let’s say that you are injured in an accident, and you think about getting a personal injury attorney. But your case, to you, seems easy. Why get an attorney when you can do it yourself?
So you go that route. The insurance company on the other side asks you to sign a medical authorization so they can get your medical records and analyze your injuries. You sign it, and give it to them.
Then, a few weeks later, to your surprise, the insurance company offers you little or nothing—way less than what you believed that you deserved in what should have been an “easy case.”
You SIgned the Authorization
What happened? The answer is that you were duped into signing what is known as a blanket medical authorization. This is a common trick that insurance companies use against unrepresented accident victims.
By signing the blanket medical authorization, you thought you were just letting the insurance company get access to your medical records for treatment related to the accident. But you weren’t. You actually were giving them access to all of your medical records, possibly from 10 years or more, whether or not the medical records and treatment were related to your accident or not.
How They Use Your Records
In getting these records, the insurance company now knows every complaint you’ve made to every doctor, every illness or ailment or injury that you have ever sought treatment for. And in getting this information, they now have the ammunition they need to argue that the accident didn’t cause your injuries—you had those injuries from long before the accident happened.
The insurance company will parse through all of your medical records to find something, anything, that is similar to the injuries you say you sustained in the accident. And when they do, they use it to argue against you.
If you say this accident has caused you depression, the insurance company will try to find any time you complained to any doctor about anything related to depression from before the accident. If you say the accident has caused you shoulder pain, the insurance company will find that sports injury you had 8 years ago, when you mentioned to an ER doctor that your shoulder hurt.
Loss of Privacy
This is all in addition to the loss of your federally protected privacy in your own medical information, which you voluntarily waived when you signed the medical authorization. Anything, no matter how personal or irrelevant to your case, is now being analyzed by teams of insurance employees and defense attorneys.
Yes, you would have had to have given the Defendant some of your medical records had you gotten an attorney, or had to file a lawsuit—but you would not have had to give as much to the insurance company as you did by signing the blanket medical authorization.
Call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today for help handling your case, and to avoid getting fooled by the insurance company.