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Why Does the Insurance Company Want My Medical Records?

Why Does the Insurance Company Want My Medical Records?

When you are injured in some type of accident, most of the time an insurance company will be involved, whether it’s auto insurance, medical malpractice insurance, property insurance, or another type of insurance. Even if the insurance adjuster seems “nice” over the phone, it’s important not to let your guard down. It’s important to understand that the insurance adjuster has one priority – to protect the insurance company’s bottom line. And believe us, no insurance adjuster ever got a gold watch or a big bonus for paying out a large settlement! Quite the contrary, they’re rewarded for saving the insurance company money by reducing claims.

Personal Injury Defenses Used by Insurance Companies

Plaintiffs try to get as much money as possible. Meanwhile, insurance companies do the exact opposite: They try to pay out the smallest amount possible. To cut corners where they can, insurers are skilled at trying to reduce and deny claims. Here are some common personal injury defense tactics used by low-balling insurance companies:

  1. They argue that you knew the danger.
  2. They say that you were partially, if not entirely at fault.
  3. They argue that you had pre-existing injuries.

For the purpose of this post, we want to discuss #3, the one about pre-existing injuries. One of the most common defense tactics to reduce the value of a claim is to allege the plaintiff was already injured before the accident. To prove their claim, the insurance company will say that the plaintiff’s injuries existed well-before the accident. They’ll use the plaintiff’s “pre-existing medical condition” to limit damages awarded to the plaintiff.

How does an insurance company prove that injuries existed before the accident? Through the plaintiff’s medical records, also from physician testimony. This is why the other side’s civil litigation attorney or the insurance company will ask for your medical records. Once they get them, they’ll scrutinize them, going back years to see if you had pre-existing injuries. In other words, they want to know if you sought treatment for the same injury any time in the past.

Related: When Should I See a Doctor After a Car Accident?

Just because a plaintiff had a pre-existing injury, it does not mean that the defendant isn’t responsible for making the injury worse. In these cases, it helps when the plaintiff provides medical evidence that the injury was aggravated by the accident and now requires additional treatment that would not have been needed if it weren’t for the accident.

Before you talk to the insurance company or even think of signing a Medical Authorization Release, speak to a Columbia, SC personal injury attorney from our firm!


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