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

June 26, 2024

Why You Shouldn't Give an Insurance Adjuster Your Health History

Why You Shouldn’t Give an Insurance Adjuster Your Health History? In the aftermath of an accident in Huntsville, Alabama, navigating the insurance claim process can feel overwhelming. The stress of injuries, medical bills, and lost wages can quickly cloud your judgment, making it difficult to know what steps to take to ensure you receive fair compensation. While receiving the financial resources you deserve is crucial for getting back on your feet, understanding your rights and protecting your health information is equally important. 

Insurance companies have a team of experienced adjusters working on their behalf, whose primary goal is to settle claims quickly and for the least amount possible. These adjusters are trained in navigating the legalities of personal injury claims and understand how to leverage information to their advantage. Understanding your rights and having an advocate on your side who can protect your health information and ensure you are not taken advantage of is critical during this vulnerable time.  

The Role of Insurance Adjusters   

After an accident, an insurance adjuster (also known as a claims adjuster or claims representative) will be assigned to your case. Their primary role is to investigate the incident, assess the damages, and determine the amount of compensation the insurance company should provide. It’s important to remember that while adjusters may seem friendly and concerned about your well-being, their ultimate goal is to protect the interests of the insurance company they represent. 

Why Insurance Adjusters Want Your Medical Records   

Insurance adjusters often request access to your complete medical records, spanning far beyond the records related to the accident. They may present this as a routine part of the claims process, but their underlying motive is to find ways to minimize the value of your claim. By delving into your medical history, adjusters seek to uncover any pre-existing conditions or prior injuries that could be used to argue against the severity of your current injuries or to attribute them to factors other than the accident. 

The Risks of Oversharing Your Medical Information 

While it may seem harmless to grant an adjuster access to your full medical history, doing so can have significant consequences for your personal injury claim: 

  • Pre-existing Conditions: If your medical records reveal any pre-existing conditions, even if they are unrelated to your current injuries, the insurance company may argue that these conditions contributed to or worsened the injuries sustained in the accident. They may use this information to justify a lower settlement offer or even deny your claim altogether. 
  • Misinterpretation of Records: Insurance adjusters are not medical professionals, and they may misinterpret or take certain medical records out of context. For example, if you received treatment for back pain years ago, the adjuster might attempt to argue that your current back injuries are not a result of the accident but rather a continuation of a pre-existing problem. This tactic can be used to undermine the validity of your claim. 
  • Invasion of Privacy: Your medical history contains sensitive and personal information that should be kept confidential. By granting an adjuster unrestricted access to your records, you are essentially waiving your right to privacy. The adjuster may come across information that is irrelevant to your claim but could be used against you in other ways. 

Protecting Your Rights and Limiting Disclosure 

To safeguard your interests and maintain control over your personal information, it’s crucial to be cautious about what you share with an insurance adjuster. Here are some guidelines to follow: 

  • Provide Only Relevant Information: You are only obligated to disclose medical information directly related to the injuries sustained in the accident. This includes medical records, bills, and documentation of treatment received specifically for those injuries. You should not feel pressured to sign a blanket medical release form that grants access to your entire medical history. 
  • Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer: Before engaging with an insurance adjuster or signing any documents, it’s highly recommended to consult with an experienced Huntsville personal injury lawyer. They can advise you on what information to share, handle communication with the insurance company on your behalf, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the claims process. A knowledgeable lawyer will know how to counter the tactics used by insurers to minimize your claim’s value. 
  •  Be Mindful of Recorded Statements: Insurance adjusters may request a recorded statement from you regarding the accident and your injuries. While it’s important to cooperate with the investigation, it’s equally crucial to be cautious about what you say. Stick to the facts and avoid speculating or admitting fault. It’s best to have your lawyer present during any recorded statements to ensure your rights are upheld.   

The Emotional Rollercoaster and Protecting Your Health Information   

The aftermath of an accident isn’t just about physical injuries. While the bumps and bruises might fade in time, the emotional and mental toll can linger much longer. It’s a common misconception that these invisible scars are less significant, but they can be just as debilitating, impacting your daily life and well-being. 

Here’s a glimpse into the emotional rollercoaster you might experience: 

  • Shock and Denial: Immediately following the accident, you might feel numb or disconnected from reality. This is a normal coping mechanism as your body and mind process the trauma. Denial can also manifest as a way to avoid the overwhelming emotions waiting to surface. 
  • A Flood of Emotions: As the initial shock subsides, a wave of emotions can come crashing down. Anger, frustration, sadness, and even guilt are all valid responses. These emotions can feel overwhelming and unpredictable, making it difficult to manage daily tasks and focus on your recovery. 
  • Anxiety and Fear: The very thought of getting back behind the wheel, or being in a condition similar to the one caused by the accident, might trigger intense fear. This can significantly impact your daily routine and social life. Even everyday tasks can become daunting, fueled by a constant state of anxiety about the future and the impact on your life. 
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): In some cases, these emotional burdens can develop into PTSD. Flashbacks, nightmares, and a heightened sense of danger are just some of the symptoms that can severely disrupt your well-being. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, seeking professional help is crucial for managing them and promoting a healthy recovery. 

Why is Understanding these Emotions Important?

In this vulnerable state, you might be tempted to readily share any information requested by the insurance adjuster, including your entire medical history. However, this could be a costly mistake. The emotional distress you’re experiencing can cloud your judgment, making it difficult to assess the potential consequences of sharing unnecessary information. Remember, you are not obligated to disclose your entire medical history.  

Work With Skilled and Knowledgeable Huntsville, AL Car Crash Lawyers 

At Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C., we understand the challenges and uncertainties you face after an accident in Huntsville, Alabama. Our team of dedicated personal injury lawyers is committed to protecting your rights and fighting for the compensation you need to recover and move forward with your life. 

We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and provide guidance on how to proceed. Our lawyers have a deep understanding of Alabama personal injury law and the tactics used by insurance companies. We will handle all the legal aspects of your claim, allowing you to focus on your recovery while we fight for your rights. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in Huntsville, contact us today for a free consultation and case assessment. We are ready to go to work for you!