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Following a motorcycle accident injury, the liable party’s insurance company may send you multiple documents titled as a “release” or “authorization”. These forms will ask you to review and sign them. Before you do so, you should understand what release documents are and how they could affect your claim worth.
Common Types of Release and Authorization Forms
- The Medical Authorization Release – This gives the insurance company the right to review your personal medical history
- The Release of All Liability and Claims – Essentially says you will not pursue the insurance company for damages.
- The Property Damage Release (Check) – If your motorcycle was damaged, you may need to sign a form to have it checked or repaired.
This article will discuss the medical authorization release form in further detail and the consequences of signing it without knowing your options. In general, you should always consult a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Medical Authorization Release Form
One of the primary factors used to determine what your motorcycle accident claim is worth will be your sustained injuries and associated medical treatment. In general, if someone else caused you to crash, it will be their insurance companies responsibility to compensate you for all related, and applicable, losses. That said, there are no guarantees. Furthermore, there are no laws that explicitly state that an insurance company must compensate victims.
When you sign any forms provided by the liable party’s insurance company, you could put your claim at risk. This is why.
Your Prior Medical History
When you sign a Medical Authorization Release form, you will generally give the insurance company the right to access any prior medical records. They want this information because it could help them to relate your injuries from the motorcycle accident to any information recovered in your past records. For instance, if you your motorcycle accident left you with an ACL injury, the adjustor might find in your records that years ago you told your doctor about some knee stiffness. The adjustor might then attempt to use this against you and decrease or even deny your claim.
Your Doctor’s Notes
All of the doctor’s notes will be reviewed to find out if there are any inconsistent or contradicting statements made by you. For example, if you are suffering from neck pain, but did not mention this until one week after the accident, the insurance company might argue this pain is unrelated to the accident.
How Often You Visited Your Doctor in the Past
If you have any other health problems, are in poor health, or have made several visits to your doctor over a period of time, you might be labelled as an “eggshell client”. What this means is that even if you sustained injuries in the motorcycle crash, you were already in poor health; therefore, your claim is not worth much.
You might feel discouraged by reading this, or confused about what you should do. Although it’s common for insurance companies to look for any way to limit or deny your claim, there are also plenty of methods that a good motorcycle accident lawyer Houston, TX trusts can utilize to get around these tactics. What’s important to understand is that you should always ask a lawyer for advice before signing these forms.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into motorcycle accidents and injuries.