If you have suffered a catastrophic or life-changing injury in a motor vehicle accident, you are likely to see a number of insurance forms. Insurance companies use these forms to collect information, investigate accidents and determine settlement amounts.
You should not let the seemingly straightforward nature of insurance forms induce you into doing something that harms your injury claim. That is, before completing, submitting or signing any insurance form, you should be certain you understand the potential consequences of your actions. When it comes to a general medical release, these could be dire.
General medical releases
Sometimes called blanket medical authorizations, general medical releases provide your authorization for the insurance company to access all of your medical records. In addition to reviewing medical records that relate to your car accident and injuries, an insurer may use your release to look at other details about your medical past. This is true regardless of whether these details have anything to do with your accident or injuries.
Cover for the insurance company
As you may suspect, most insurance companies want to make as much money as possible. Part of accomplishing this goal involves paying as little as possible for accident claims. Put simply, if your medical history has something the insurance company can use against you, such as a preexisting condition or medication, you may not receive the settlement offer you deserve. Moreover, according to Bankrate, signing a general medical release also may permit the insurance company to raise your rates or deny coverage in the future.
Ultimately, because general medical releases can be more problematic than other insurance forms, it is advisable to ask your attorney whether it is wise to sign one.