No. The physician-patient privilege restricts the insurance company from contacting treating physicians without a medical authorization allowing them to do so. One of the first things many insurance companies ask for at the beginning of a California car accident claim is a signed medical authorization. Typically, they ask for permission to access medical records for your entire life concerning anything you ever received medical treatment for. The medical authorization usually gives the insurance company permission to contact your doctors to discuss your treatment.
This type of medical authorization is improper and unnecessary. The insurance company should never be given a medical authorization until after a lawsuit is filed. Even then, the authorization should be limited to medical treatment related to the accident or treatment for the same type of injuries. Permission to speak with a treating physician should never be given absent a court order. Of course, the insurance company can schedule a deposition to talk to a treating doctor in front of a Court reporter with you present.
Most insurance companies ask California car accident victims who are pursuing their claim without an attorney to sign a medical authorization. As an experienced California car accident attorney, I can tell you that it is never in your best interest to sign a medical authorization for an insurance company prior to litigation. Unfortunately, many accident victims sign the medical authorization before they consult an attorney. Don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you! Consult an experienced California car accident attorney before signing any documents or giving any statements to the insurance company.
Should I Give A Recorded Statement To The Insurance Adjuster About My California Car Accident?
SHOULD I GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT TO THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER ABOUT MY CALIFORNIA CAR ACCIDENT?
If you have been in a California car accident, the insurance adjuster has probably already called you asking for a recorded statement. You are probably wondering if you should give the recorded statement. In most California car accident claims I handle, I instruct my clients not to give a recorded statement.
They’re Fishing For a Reason To Deny Your Claim
The reason I take this position is because it almost never adds settlement value to the claim. Rather, it gives the insurance company more opportunities to look for a reason to deny the claim. Additionally, if the claim does not settle and a lawsuit has to be filed, the insurance company will take a formal recorded statement known as a deposition. The harsh reality of car accident claims is that the insurance company is desperately looking for any reason to deny your claim, or find justification for offering you as little as possible to settle your claim. The only reason an insurance adjuster requests a recorded statement is to get an opportunity to pick apart everything you say to make you look like a liar.
It’s Not Legally Required
Many clients have told me that the insurance company told them a recorded statement was required to process a car accident claim. Even if an insurance company says they require a recorded statement, there are no legal grounds for that position. The only time you are legally required to give a recorded statement outside of litigation is if you are pursuing an uninsured motorist claim against your own insurance policy. Most insurance policies require you to cooperate with an investigation of a car accident claim. Therefore, you are legally required to cooperate with your own insurance company by giving them a statement about what happened.
Be Careful If You Do It Anyway
If you choose to give a recorded statement, be very careful about what you say. The statement may be admissible in Court, and will definitely be used to question you in a deposition if a lawsuit is filed. When my clients give recorded statements, I advise them to talk only about facts. Never guess or give opinions about what happened.
Never be fooled by an insurance adjuster who pretends to be your friend. The job of an insurance adjuster is to pay out as little as possible for the hundreds or thousands of car accident claims they are handling.
Check With An Experienced California Car Wreck Attorney
If you are unsure whether you should give a recorded statement, please contact an experienced San Francisco car wreck attorney. While I highly recommend contacting me for a free evaluation of your claim, there are several other experienced attorneys in the area who also offer free consultations. Be sure you protect yourself by contacting an attorney to make sure the insurance company is not taking advantage of you.