Why you shouldn't give your health history to an adjustor

Why You Shouldn’t Give An Insurance Adjuster Your Health History

In a personal injury case where you are seeking damages for your injuries and losses from the negligent party, handling conversations with insurance adjusters becomes a delicate process. One common mistake injured victims may make is divulging extensive details about their health history during these discussions.

  • Purpose of Insurance Adjusters: Insurance adjusters work for insurance companies and are involved in evaluating and settling personal injury claims. Their primary objective is to minimize the financial liability of the insurance company.
  • Investigative Nature: Adjusters conduct thorough investigations to assess the extent of injuries, the circumstances surrounding the incident, and the potential impact on the claim’s value. They seek to verify whether your injury claim is valid, exaggerated, or baseless.

Why Providing Health History is Risky to Insurance Adjusters

  • Medical Privacy Violations and Concerns: Sharing your complete health history with an insurance adjuster can compromise your medical privacy. Personal and sensitive information may be used against you in negotiations.
  • Pre-Existing Conditions and their Impact on Claim Value: Disclosing pre-existing conditions may lead the adjuster to attribute current injuries to prior health issues, potentially reducing the compensation offered for the current injury.
  • Selective Use of Information and Cherry-Picking Details: Adjusters might selectively use certain health history details to downplay the severity of injuries or argue that the current claim is not entirely a result of the incident in question.

What to Share and What to Withhold from the Insurance Adjusters?

Stick to Relevant Information

Focus on Current Injuries:

Limit your discussions to the injuries directly related to the incident in question. Provide concise details about the current medical treatment, prognosis, and impact on your daily life.

Consult with a Medical Professional

Medical Reports and Opinions:

Rely on medical professionals to provide reports and opinions on the extent of your injuries. Share these reports with the insurance company instead of providing subjective information.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Will Counter the Insurance Company’s Tactics Regarding Your Health History 

In Alabama, there is no rigid legal requirement for an individual to disclose their complete health history to insurance adjusters in a personal injury case. Stemming from this, there are nuances and considerations that injured victims should be aware of when communicating with insurance companies during the claims process.

Here are the ways in which a skilled attorney can protect your rights and interests:

Knowledge of HIPAA Regulations

An experienced personal injury lawyer will be well-versed in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, which safeguard the privacy of medical information. They will ensure that the insurance company adheres to these regulations and does not overstep boundaries in obtaining or using health history information without proper authorization.

Controlled Release of Information

Your personal injury lawyer takes control of the release of information, ensuring that only relevant medical details related to the injuries from the incident in question are disclosed. They guide their client on what information is necessary for the claim and protect them from divulging unnecessary health history that could be misused.

Professional Medical Documentation

Rather than relying solely on verbal communication, the attorney emphasizes the use of professional medical reports and opinions. These documents provide objective evidence of the injuries, treatment, and prognosis, minimizing the risk of misinterpretation or manipulation by the insurance company.

Limiting Interactions with Adjusters

Your lawyer manages and limits direct interactions between their client and insurance adjusters. They act as a buffer, handling communications and negotiations on behalf of the client to prevent the insurance company from pressuring or coercing the individual into providing more information than necessary.

Strategic Timing of Information Disclosure

A seasoned personal injury attorney understands the importance of strategic timing in the disclosure of information. They ensure that medical information is presented at an appropriate stage in the claims process, minimizing the insurance company’s ability to use it against the client prematurely.

Legal Protections Against Coercion

The lawyer educates their client on their rights and legal protections against coercive tactics employed by insurance adjusters. They advise the client on when to consult with legal representation before providing certain information, ensuring that their rights are upheld.

Emphasizing Causation

To counter attempts to attribute injuries to pre-existing conditions, a skilled attorney emphasizes the causation link between the incident and the injuries. They build a strong case demonstrating that the injuries being claimed resulted directly from the accident in question.

Preventing Unfair Reductions in Claim Value

Your personal injury lawyer anticipates efforts by the insurance company to devalue the claim based on health history information. They proactively counteract such attempts by presenting compelling evidence of the impact of the injuries on the client’s life and well-being.

Negotiating Fair Settlements

In negotiations, your attorney tirelessly advocates for a fair settlement that considers the full extent of the client’s injuries and losses. They use their negotiation skills to counter any attempts by the insurance company to undervalue your claim based on health history information.

Litigation as a Last Resort

If negotiations prove unsatisfactory, a resourceful attorney is prepared to take the case to court. They have the trial experience to present a compelling case before a judge and jury, challenging any attempts by the insurance company to use health history information unfairly.

Types of Evidence Your Personal Injury Lawyer will Collect to Prove Your Pre-existing Condition Did Not Contribute to Your Current Injuries

Proving that your pre-existing condition did not contribute to your current accident injuries is a critical aspect of a personal injury case. Your personal injury lawyer will work to gather various types of evidence to establish a clear link between the accident and the new injuries.

  • Current Injury Documentation: Comprehensive medical records detailing the nature and extent of your current injuries are crucial. These records should clearly attribute the injuries to the accident.
  • Pre-Existing Condition Documentation: Obtaining medical records that specifically address your pre-existing condition is important. This helps establish a baseline for your health before the accident.
  • Expert Witnesses: Your lawyer may consult with medical experts, such as physicians and specialists, to provide testimony on the causation of your injuries. Expert opinions can carry significant weight in establishing that the accident was the primary cause.
  • X-rays, CT Scans, and MRI Results: Diagnostic imaging results can visually demonstrate the extent and location of your current injuries. Comparing these images with pre-existing imaging may help illustrate the new trauma.
  • Current Treatment Plans: Documenting the ongoing treatment plans, including surgeries, therapies, and medications, reinforces the severity and legitimacy of the current injuries.
  • Rehabilitation Records: If rehabilitation is necessary, records of physical therapy sessions or other rehabilitative efforts can highlight the efforts to address and recover from the new injuries.
  • Photographs and Videos: Visual evidence from the accident scene, such as photographs or videos, can help establish the dynamics of the incident and support the argument that the accident was the cause of the injuries.
  • Statements from Witnesses: Eyewitness accounts of the accident can provide valuable perspectives on how it unfolded and whether your pre-existing condition played a role.
  • Official Accident Reports: Police reports often contain details about the accident, including statements from involved parties. These reports can be valuable in establishing the circumstances and attributing injuries to the accident.
  • Prescription History: Records of any new medications prescribed post-accident can serve as evidence of the specific treatments required due to the injuries sustained.
  • Detailed Timeline: A chronological timeline of events, from the accident to medical treatment, can help illustrate the sequence of events and reinforce the connection between the accident and the injuries.

Let Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers Aggressively Negotiate with the Insurance Company

While there is no strict legal requirement to disclose your complete health history to insurance adjusters in an Alabama personal injury case, the claims process can be complex, and the handling of medical information requires careful consideration. At the Smith Law Firm, we encourage you to approach communications and negotiations with insurance adjusters through our skilled legal team to achieve a fair and just resolution for your personal injury case. Give us a call at (334) 702-1744 or reach us online to schedule your initial consultation with us.