Don't Sign It!
In our fast-paced society, each of us has probably signed a document or clicked on a website “agreeing to terms” without first reading the fine print. I know I am certainly guilty of the latter. When it comes to injury claims, many adjusters will try and take advantage of these lazy attitudes and hope that we simply rely on them to tell us what the documents say.
After being put on notice of a claim against their insured, most insurance adjusters will send you paperwork to complete and sign. Included in that paperwork is usually a document titled, “HIPAA Authorization.” Many times, the adjuster will provide a general explanation along the lines of “this just allows me to order your medical records,” or “I need you to fill this out so I can start working on getting your claim paid.” They may also explain that federal law prohibits them from ordering your medical records unless you give them an authorization. This may sound well and good, but usually, the paperwork you are asked to sign goes well beyond what is being represented to you.
Most of the authorizations our clients are asked to sign allow the insurance adjuster to not just order up records related to the crash at issue, but an entire lifetime of records from any provider the victim has ever seen.
Other than invading your medical privacy, why else is this a big deal? It is a big deal because the insurance adjuster will use this authorization to order your previous medical records in hopes of discovering prior injuries or illnesses you suffered before the crash. They will then use that information to argue your current injuries were pre-existing and not related to the crash caused by their insured.
If you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, there are many such pitfalls that lie ahead. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help guide you through the process and provide you with the best opportunity to obtain a full recovery for the injuries and damages you have suffered. At Snellings Law, we focus solely on representing personal injury victims and battle with insurance companies on a daily basis. If you or a loved one has been injured, please call us at 214-387-0387 to set up a free consultation.