Should You Fill Out Paperwork Sent by the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company After a Crash?
After a car crash in Florida you should expect to be overwhelmed with paperwork. Letters, copies of declaration pages, forms requesting that you draw what happened in the crash and authorizations for release of medical and employment information — you name it, you’re probably swimming in paperwork as you read this! While you do have some contractual obligations to cooperate with your own insurance company, you are under no obligation to complete and forms or sign any authorizations for the insurance company of the person who caused the crash that you were involved in.
Three Reasons Completing Paperwork Sent by the At-Fault Driver May Be a Mistake
There are at least three reasons why completing and returning the paperwork sent to you by the at-fault driver’s insurance company may be a big mistake. First, once you sign an authorization for the insurance company to access your private medical records, they are under no obligation to tell you first who they plan to send it to, no obligation to send it to only the providers you’re currently treating with (meaning they can attempt to gather old and unrelated medical records), and under no obligation to give you a copy of what they receive so that you know what they have. Do you really want the person who hit you, and their insurance company, having access to your private medical records from birth through the accident? Probably not! Especially when this is wholly unnecessary. Pre-suit (meaning, before a lawsuit is filed) your attorney can provide the medical records necessary to support your claim without giving the insurance company free reign to dig through your prior and current medical records. Second, some insurance companies attempt to settle the whole claim (your property damage and your bodily injury claim) early on after the crash. When you receive a ‘release’ in the mail, you might think the money is just for the repairs to your car. If you don’t read the release carefully, or understand the language, you may be settling your entire claim, giving up your right to additional compensation for your injuries without knowing it! This is why it’s important to hire a reputable and experienced personal injury attorney, so that you’re not completing forms on your own and forfeiting your rights unknowingly. Finally, insurance carriers will often send an accident diagram and blank statement form for you to complete. You may not be aware that you are not contractually or otherwise obligated to complete these forms when they are sent to you by the at-fault party’s insurance company. Doing so does not benefit you in any way, and in fact, these forms are intended to be used against you. You should not voluntarily give the other side ammunition to decrease the value of your claim!
Hire an Experienced and Reputable Florida Personal Injury Attorney to Avoid Mistakes and Maximize the Value of Your Injury Case
After a crash, you should hire an experienced and reputable Florida Personal Injury Attorney to avoid making any mistakes, like completing and returning paperwork to the at-fault carrier that can decrease the value of your personal injury case. Feel free to reach out to Florida Injury Attorneys for more information and help with your Florida car crash case!