Catastrophic motor vehicle accidents are not exactly rare in Massachusetts or anywhere else in the U.S. After all, according to the Association for Safe International Road Travel upwards of 38,000 Americans die and another 4.4 million sustain injuries in car crashes every year.
The hours, days and weeks after a serious car accident are likely to be a blur. If an insurer asks you to sign a general medical release to process your injury claim, though, you should snap out of your fog. Put simply, signing a general medical release is likely to make matters worse for you.
Processing your claim
To process your injury claim, the insurance company needs to know about the accident and the injuries it caused. Because of this fact, you may need to give the insurer some of your medical records. The rest of your medical file, though, probably has little or no relevance to your injury claim.
Accessing your medical files
When you sign a general medical release, you give your consent for the insurance company to access your entire medical history. It is ok for this to make you feel uneasy, as your medical files probably include some information you would rather keep private. Fortunately, you have that right.
Denying your claim
The insurer may discover something in your medical history to use against you. Specifically, your medical files may give the insurance company one or more reasons either to deny your injury claim or to offer you an unfairly low settlement.
Ultimately, to improve your chances of receiving reasonable financial compensation for your accident-related injuries, it is advisable to pursue legal guidance before signing a general medical release.