THE INSURANCE COMPANY WILL ASK YOU TO SIGN PAPERS GIVING UP YOUR RIGHTS
If you do not have an attorney representing you, the insurance company will ask you directly to sign documents, without explaining to you all the consequences of those documents. One thing they will ask you to sign will be an authorization for the insurance company to directly contact your doctor, and even doctors you saw before this accident, and get your records and information directly from the doctor’s office, which they should not be allowed to do. The medical information about your injuries and treatment or previous treatment should not be provided directly to the insurance company without you knowing what records they are getting or without your having an opportunity to first review those records yourself, know what is in the records, confirm the accuracy of what is in the records, and that it even relates to this accident. You need to be particularly concerned about anything in the records about what you said to the doctor about how the accident happened, what your initial complaints were right after the accident or information in the records about any prior injuries you may have had. Even if the record is incorrect or misleading, this information can be used against you by the insurance company and you may not even know what’s in the records or how to straighten out any confusion that may be created by inaccuracies in the records, or any other information the insurance company gets directly from the doctor’s office.
Another document the insurance company will ask you to sign will be a release. The insurance company will usually not explain what you are signing, but signing a document like that can result in your losing any right to any further compensation. It is also important not to sign this kind of document, or settle your case at all, until your medical treatment is finished and your doctor has done a final evaluation report, and an attorney has told you what you should be entitled to as a settlement. Once you sign a release form, you normally cannot go back and undo it, even if it turns out you didn’t really understand what you were signing.