Q: How much of my medical history must I share with the insurance company after a car accident?
It is very important that you do NOT share your full medical history with the insurance company without first speaking with an attorney. Information about your current injuries, treatment, and prognosis can be shared with an insurance adjuster, but it is always best to let your attorney handle it so the insurance adjuster doesn’t use your own words against you. The reason for this is that insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions that will trick you and hurt your claim.
Because insurance companies want to keep as much money as they can, insurance adjusters are taught to look for anything that can to limit the amount of money your claim is worth. This is why they will also attempt to get you to sign a medical release form so they can have access to your full medical history. They will inform you that the medical release form will allow them to verify your injuries, but it is actually a way for them to get access to your past medical records. While you might not think there is anything in your personal medical history that can hurt your current injury claim, you should NOT sign the form.
By signing the form, you may be giving the insurance adjuster information that could be used against you. Often, insurance adjusters are able to limit someone’s car accident injury claim by arguing that the current injury is actually a pre-existing condition. This is why your attorney will carefully choose which medical documents should be sent to the insurance company instead of allowing the insurance company to rifle through your full medical history.
Although you may be required to share additional information about your prior similar injuries as a result of the discovery phase of a lawsuit, your attorney will know if and when the information needs to be shared with the insurance company and how to best present it. Just remember, you do not have to share your complete medical records with the insurance company unless the court compels it. If you need help standing up to the insurance company, please contact us.