Crash data from the Montana Department of Transportation paints an alarming picture for motorists across the state. In 2019 alone, there were 9,485 crashes that killed 94 individuals and injured 2,367 others. Fortunately, injured individuals and the family members of deceased ones are often eligible for financial settlements from insurance companies.
If you have suffered a serious injury in a motor vehicle accident, an insurance adjuster may ask you for a blanket medical authorization soon after the crash. Signing this authorization without legal counsel may do substantially more harm than good.
A blanket medical authorization gives insurers free reign to look into all aspects of your medical history. Like most Montanans, though, you value your privacy. Because insurers may not have your best interests in mind when examining your medical records, waiving medical privacy may not be high on your priority list.
When making a settlement offer, insurers must know the nature and extent of accident-related injuries and other damages. With a blanket medical authorization, however, insurers may perform an extensive examination of your medical history. In fact, they may get their hands on information from every medical professional you have ever seen, including every medication you have ever taken and other sensitive matters.
If an insurer can successfully argue you suffered your injury somewhere other than at the accident scene, you may receive a low-ball settlement offer or an outright claim denial. This blame-shifting strategy often affects individuals with pre-existing injuries or medical conditions.
Ultimately, you should not have to pay for someone else’s negligent, reckless or intentional conduct. If you sign a blanket medical authorization, you may lose out on the financial compensation you both deserve and need to recovery from your injuries.