A short period of time after you've been involved in a vehicle accident, you will be sent accident release forms from the insurance company liable for your accident. This paperwork will be labeled as an “authorization” or a “release.” You will be instructed to sign this paperwork to get a quick settlement. It is important to carefully examine each document. You should also realize the goal of an insurance company is to pay as little as possible for each claim.
- Medical Authorization Release
- Claims and Liability Release
Direct Physician Contact
Property Damage Release
Medical Authorization Release
An insurance company will want these forms signed so they can review all your medical records. Signing this form will make it possible for an insurance company to review your present as well as historical medical records. This is a very risky thing to do after an accident. This information could make it possible for an insurance company to justify a lower payment.
Your medical records will be thoroughly examined to detect any possible inconsistent or contradictory statements made to your doctor and recorded in their notes. The goal of an insurance company is to relate any injuries you may have experienced as a result of the accident to other anything they find in your medical records.
Claims and Liability Release
When you have experienced a car accident, you may want to settle with an insurance company as soon as possible. The insurance company could require you to sign a release of all claims and liability as part of their car accident release forms. Once you sign this form, you won't be able to ever again submit a claim against the insurance company for your accident.
It doesn't matter how the car accident impacts your life in the future. If you begin to have medical issues weeks after signing this form, it will prevent you from seeking additional compensation for injuries caused by the car accident.
Property Damage Release
One of the most urgent concerns you will have after an accident is the repair or replacement of your vehicle. Not having access to dependable transportation can have a negative effect on your life in many ways.
Part of the accident release forms provided by an insurance company could be a property damage release. This would also eliminate your right to sue the insurance company in the future. It takes away your opportunity to get a fair settlement and requires you to accept what the insurance company is willing to pay for your property damage.
When you sign the release forms sent to you by an insurance company, you are providing them with significant leverage over you. This can be used against you during the claims process.
It is possible for you to experience an injury during the accident that is not connected in any way with your medical history. Releasing medical records will give an insurance company an opportunity to figure a way to use your medical history against you.
Should you sign a blanket medical release form; you put your privacy at risk. It is possible for a person who is not familiar with the insurance industry to provide more information about themselves than in insurance company should obtain.
All this information once released, can be used against you in many different ways. An experienced attorney will know what personal information is important to protect. They will also know what is irrelevant and not associated with the accident.
One of the goals of an insurance company is to link injuries resulting from an accident with injuries in your past. These injuries from the past would be considered a pre-existing condition.
When an insurance company discovers you have some type of pre-existing condition, and can link it to injuries experienced during an accident; the company may pay you a significantly lower settlement. In some cases, they've been able to pay nothing for injuries resulting from an accident.
Direct Physician Contact
A medical release provided by an insurance company may also give them permission to directly contact the physician treating your injuries. This is the type of request that should only be considered after speaking with an experienced attorney. It's possible to discuss the situation with a physician to see if their report would be favorable. When this happens, it’s best to inform an insurance company a report from your physician can be provided if they're willing to pay for it.
When you have been in an accident; you will be vulnerable. Insurance companies like to take advantage of this situation to their benefit. When you are worried, scared or trying to recover from injuries they'll provide car accident release forms and explain the benefits of a quick settlement.
This is when you should contact a personal injury attorney. They will know how to get you the best possible settlement as you work to recover from your injuries and get your life back to normal.
To learn more about car accidents, read our A Comprehensive Guide for Car Accident Victims.