Once again, people are back asking why they should not sign a medical authorization when the insurance company sends you one. It is not that I think it is a bad idea. I think it is a terrible idea.
In California, you have a right to privacy. This is in the California Constitution and discussed in a case Britt v. Superior Court. Of course, since this is your right, you can waive that right, especially when you sign an authorization. It is none of the insurance company’s business what is in your medical records, but once they have it, the case moves from one of being about your injuries to one of being about whatever else shows up, whether it is related or not. This is true for everyone, but especially women.
Why women? Guys go to the doctor when something bothers us. Guys do not, for the most part, go to the doctor every year or every 6 months. But, women, on the other hand, go to the doctor once a year. There are pap smears, mammograms, etc… and all of these are part of your record. So, especially for women, you have a lot of private information in your records.
Maybe you had a pregnancy, or an abortion, or maybe a heart condition. Then the questions from the adjuster go something like this. “Mr. Smith, in 1994, you had a heart attack, correct?” “And were you in pain after?” “And how would you rate that pain?” “Isnt it true that pain was worse than the pain from this accident?”
The insurance company, whether it is State Farm, Farmers, Allstate, GEICO, Progressive, or anyone else, has now minimized your pain. How did they minimize your pain? Because you gave them unfettered access to your medical records. They now know everything in your medical history and can question you about that and about how those incidents hurt or affected you.
For this reason, along with the others I have discussed before, you do not want to sign a medical authorizationn. My clients do not sign medical authorizations and I recommend you don’t sign them either. You can get your own records and send them to the insurance company if you decide not to hire an attorney.