The days and weeks after a car accident can be a blur. After all, if you have suffered a serious injury, you may have to contend with excruciating pain while attending multiple medical appointments. Even worse, if your injury has left you unable to work, you may receive a pile of past-due bills every time your mail arrives.
While it may do nothing to alleviate your pain, receiving prompt payment of your insurance claim is likely to help with your financial situation. Still, if an insurer tells you a general medical release is necessary for processing your claim, you should probably get a legal opinion before signing one.
What is a general medical release?
Sometimes called a blanket medical authorization, a general medical release gives the insurer your permission to look through your complete medical history. While the adjuster certainly should know about your injury and the accident, the rest of your medical file is not necessarily relevant.
How can an insurer use a general medical release against you?
Insurance companies usually look out for their financial interests and not necessarily for those of injured individuals. Therefore, you can inspect a claims processor to look for anything the company can use against you. According to Lending Tree, this may be a pre-existing condition, mental health disorder or even prescription or over-the-counter medication.
Because your medical file probably contains information about one or more of these, you may inadvertently give the insurer a reason to deny your claim. Ultimately, to improve your odds of receiving the compensation you deserve, it is advisable always to think twice before signing any insurance form or making any statement.