When you file a personal injury claim, the process will involve a significant amount of paperwork. There are a number of authorizations forms from the insurance company you may be asked to sign. These forms allow the insurance company to collect information about the accident. The information could include medical records, wage reports, or other private information. Having an understanding of how the forms are used and what their impact could be on your settlement offer is important.
Types of Insurance Authorization Forms
After an accident where you were injured, the insurance company is likely to send you numerous documents. A number of them could be titled as a release. Before you sign anything, it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of what the document will do once signed. The most common types of authorizations include:
- Medical Authorization Release
- Property Damage Release
- Release of All Liability and Claims
Medical Authorization Releases are a major factor in determining the value of a personal injury claim, as it will have information regarding your injuries and medical treatment. When you sign an authorization, however, you need to verify what the insurance company will have access to. If you give them access to past and present medical records, you could put your claim at risk. For example, if the insurance adjuster has access to your past medical history, they could try to use the information to decrease or deny the injury claim.
A Property Damage Release covers the damage done to your vehicle. Depending on your situation, you’ll likely receive a check to cover your losses. The amount depends on the state of your vehicle. If your vehicle is totaled, which means the cost of the damage exceeds its market value, the insurance company will offer you a check based on current market value. Once you sign the release and cash the check, the property damage claim is closed.
If your car isn’t totaled, you’ll need to have a body shop estimate the costs of repair. Once the repairs have been made, it’s likely the insurance company will pay the body shop directly. In some cases, you may receive a check to have the repairs completed at your own discretion.
With every personal injury case where a settlement is reached, the accident victim is required to sign a Release of All Liability and Claims. This form will contain information regarding who was involved in the accident, the dollar amount for the personal injury settlement, and a statement saying you are releasing the defendant and the insurance company from future claims of liability related to the accident.
Once you sign the form you are not allowed to take further legal action, regardless of what you discover in the future—even if you are diagnosed with additional, related injuries. It’s crucial to have a lawyer by your side when signing this form so you understand the implications.
Signing an Authorization Form for an Insurance Adjuster
It’s up to you and your lawyer as to whether or not you’ll comply with an insurance adjuster’s request for more information when it comes to a medical authorization form. If you and your attorney believe providing additional medical records could help your case and result in full compensation, you may sign the form. There are, however, a number of disadvantages.
If your medical records are incomplete because you haven’t finished with treatment, your adjuster won’t have a complete picture of what your injuries cost you. Additionally, signing a blanket authorization could give an adjuster access to sensitive information that has nothing to do with your accident. Not only could this feel like an invasion of privacy, but they could use it against you to reduce your settlement offer.
Speak With a Cincinnati Lawyer Before Signing Anything
Deciding to sign off on an insurance authorization form for a personal injury case can make or break your recovery. In order to fully understand the implications of doing so for your specific circumstances, working with a lawyer is crucial.
If you want to maximize your chances of receiving the compensation you need to recover from your accident-related losses, it’s best to work with an experienced law firm. The attorneys from Bey & Associates have extensive experience working with insurance adjusters, so we’ll be sure to take the proper steps for your situation so as not to jeopardize your compensation eligibility.
To learn more about insurance authorization forms or for a free case evaluation, contact our office today. We’ll answer all your questions and help you determine how best to proceed for the sake of your future and family.