When you are injured in an accident or at someone’s home, the insurance company is going to tell you that they cannot settle your claim without your medical bills and records. And, for once, they are right. Yes, I said it. The insurance adjuster is right.
But, and you knew there had to be a but, how do they get those records? Most adjusters will tell you that they “need” you to sign a medical authorization. (I even had an adjuster tell me that she needed me to have my client sign one and she would not settle the claim without it.) They will explain to you that it is important that you sign it and that they will not, or can not, settle your claim without it. And, here is where they are wrong.
They do not NEED a medical authorization. I know, they will pay the cost of copying your records so you do not have to pay it. But, they will get every record under the sun. Let me share with you some real examples from cases where people came to me AFTER signing an authorization:
- A client who was injured in a collision and the adjuster was telling me about the client’s STDs;
- A client who was injured in a slip and fall and the adjuster wanted to talk about her halitosis and perspiration;
- A client who had a portion of his finger cut off and the adjuster had records about his eye infections;
- A client who hurt her back in a collision and the adjuster wanted to talk about her menstrual cycle.
What do these have in common? All are situations where an adjuster obtained records unrelated to the injury and wanted to make those records the focal point instead of the injury that the client sustained. Quite frankly, it is none of the adjusters business if you had a physical last month, if you have high cholesterol or if you are infertile.
That is why I tell clients, and potential clients, never to sign a medical authorization. You should request your records and send them to the insurance company directly. Do not give the insurance company unfettered access to your medical records!