After an accident, you may be in contact with a long list of people—the other person involved, your insurance company, law enforcement, and the other person’s insurance provider, to name a few. However, you have to be careful about what you say and what you sign. Not everyone you talk to has your best interests at heart, and what you say could keep you from getting the compensation you deserve.
If the insurance adjuster has asked for access to your medical records and health history, it’s time to pump the brakes and talk to an attorney. Call Hedge Copeland at 251-432-8844 to set up a consultation with our team now.
How Much Information Do They Really Need?
When you talk to the other party’s insurance adjuster—which, by the way, you should have your attorney do instead—think about how much information they really need from you. If their goal is to give you a fair settlement, they only need information directly related to the accident and your injuries. They don’t need access to your full medical history, and you signing that information over to them is entirely unnecessary.
Don’t Make Their Job Easier
We said that if their goal is to give you a fair settlement, they just need accident-related information. However, that isn’t their goal. Their primary objective is to figure out how they can offer you as little as possible for the accident caused by their client.
If you’ve never been involved in a personal injury claim, you may be surprised to find out just how far insurance adjusters will go to pad the profit margins of their insurance company. They may twist your words and use them against you, look for any evidence that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim, or even try to pin some or all of the liability on you. On top of all of that, they may even weaponize your own medical records against you and use them to limit your settlement.
Your Health History Could Be Used Against You
If you sign a form allowing the insurance adjuster full access to your medical records, expect nothing to be private anymore. They will go through those records page by page, looking for anything they can use to limit your settlement and reduce your total payout.
This generally involves looking for past injuries and preexisting conditions that are even a tiny bit related to your current injuries. You’ve had carpal tunnel syndrome in the past? They’ll point to that as part of the reason for your current wrist pain, conveniently glossing over the part where your wrist was shattered in the car accident. Do you have a history of lower back pain that was successfully treated with physical therapy? They will say your back pain is just coming back, it has nothing to do with the discs damaged in your accident.
Basically, giving an insurance adjuster access to your medical records is giving them everything they need to demolish your claim—and even better, they don’t have to do much work to accomplish that. You just gave them everything they need.
Talk to an Attorney First
If you shouldn’t give your health history to an insurance company, what should your next step be? It’s time to reach out to a personal injury attorney. In fact, if you can, you should do this before you talk to the other party’s insurance provider at all. Everything you tell the other insurance company could end up working against you when you seek compensation.
The best way to protect yourself is to hire an attorney who can take over communication for you and limit your interaction with the insurance adjuster. When you bring a lawyer in to handle your negotiations and lawsuit, the insurance company is far more likely to take you seriously and handle your claim in good faith.
Reach Out to Hedge Copeland Now
The team at Hedge Copeland is here and ready to help you start your injury claim. Schedule a consultation with us now to get started. Just call us at 251-432-8844 or fill out our to set up a consultation at our Mobile office.