Millions of Americans are walking around with some type of a medical condition
or disability. Some of these conditions are a natural result of aging,
while others are a result of heavy lifting, a repetitive motion injury
sustained at work, or even an autoimmune disease.
So, if you’re injured in a serious car accident and the other driver
takes a mental note of how you climbed out of your car with a cane, or
how your spine obviously has abnormal curvature issues, or how your hands
gave away the telltale signs of arthritis, you may be caught off-guard
when the insurance company asks to see your medical records from
before the accident.
Even if the other driver didn’t report back to their insurance company
about how you appeared to be already suffering from a disability of sorts,
that doesn’t mean that a nosy insurance adjuster won’t ask
to snoop around your old medical records.
When the Insurance Adjuster Wants Your Medical Records
Occasionally, an insurance adjuster will calmly and confidently tell the
injured party that they have to see their medical records from
before the accident. This insurance “trick” works part of the time,
especially when the injured person is unaware of their rights to privacy.
No matter what,
never sign an agreement that authorizes the insurance adjuster to obtain your
medical records directly, and don’t give them verbal permission
either. Instead, always have your personal injury attorney or you (after
consulting your lawyer) obtain the medical record first.
Review your records very carefully and use your discretion; if they do
not pertain to your claim or if they reveal your private medical history,
you don’t need to hand them over to the insurance company.
Why Adjusters Want to Know About Old Injuries
You must know that some insurance adjusters want access to a person’s
medical records so they can blame a claim on a pre-existing injury. Meaning,
they’re looking to dig up anything that can be used against you
or to devalue your claim.
If the insurance company’s request for your old medical records seems
farfetched and unrelated to your claim,
do not comply with their request. You want to be firm, and besides, you have every right
to protect your privacy and your medical history that’s unrelated
to the accident.
Injured in an accident in Columbia, SC?
personal injury firm for a free consultation!