Even though many modern vehicles have dozens of safety enhancements, car accidents continue to kill and injure an alarming number of Americans every single year. In fact, according to statistics from the National Security Council, there were more than 42,000 traffic fatalities and upwards of 4.8 million accident-related injuries in 2020 alone.
If you have suffered a serious injury or someone you love has died in a car crash. receiving a prompt insurance settlement may be important to you. Still, you must not let your eagerness induce you into doing something to make matters even worse.
What are general medical releases?
Automotive insurers have created forms for virtually everything. These forms allow you to give requested information quickly and easily. Unfortunately, they may also have some serious consequences. A general medical release certainly falls into this category.
After you sign a general medical release, which may appear to be simply a straightforward insurance form, the insurance company has the legal authority to take a deep dive into every aspect of your medical past. This is true even if your medical details have absolutely nothing to do with your accident.
Why is signing a general medical release risky?
When looking through your medical files, the insurance company may find something it can use to try to settle your claim for substantially less than you deserve. For example, the company may blame the accident or your injuries on a preexisting condition, your medications or something else in your medical records.
Ultimately, to ensure you receive a fair settlement for your injuries and other damages, you probably should not sign a general medical release until you have had competent legal counsel.