It’s very unsettling when you don’t fully understand the details of your insurance policy and how it works, particularly if you’ve had a previous injury.
Most people are in the same boat when it comes to knowing exactly how it all works. It’s good to be armed with all of the necessary information. No one wants to become mired in all of the negotiations, loopholes, and disagreements that come from these types of situations.
Previous Injuries Can Be an Obstacle
Although you have a right to file a claim at any time regardless of what may have happened to you in the past, there are reasons to pause before you do so. Although few personal injury claims ever end up in a juried court, when they do it can turn into an ugly situation. The insurance company will pour through your previous health records to try to find evidence that may make you appear negligent or fraudulent. “Only looking for compensation” is just one of the defence tactics they will use to low-ball your claim or undermine it completely. They will want to learn all of the details of any previous injuries whether they were accident-related or not.
If you have documentation that your previous injury has little or nothing to do with the current claim, it will make your case stronger. Documentation might be in the form of a doctor’s or chiropractor’s report, x-rays, or other examination/procedural results.
In fact, it is best to have your doctor explain how your present injuries were caused by the most recent accident. Having new medical records that illustrate the relationship between the accident and your new injury will demonstrate and legitimize the claim. Make sure your medical records are detailed and easy to understand and follow.
What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
It is the job of an insurance professional to protect the company for whom they work – so unless you are familiar with the fine details of injury claims don’t go it alone. For instance, the insurance company will likely request your complete medical history. Yet, they are only entitled to review the last five years and/or records that pertain to the recent claim. If you weren’t aware of that fact and provided a complete history, they could find something in your past that makes the claim null and void.
Another example surrounds the term “eggshell plaintiff”? What it means is that the insurance company cannot place blame for a preexisting injury that became critical after an accident. Let’s say you hurt your wrist at the gym. You go to the doctor who decides it is sprained, but not fractured or broken. Two days later you get in an accident and your wrist is broken. You cannot be held back from making a claim just because your wrist was previously hurt. However, if the insurance adjuster denied the claim due to the previous injury, you might be inclined to accept the decision.
Ultimately, insurance companies prefer to settle a claim if they sense a lawsuit might be your next move. The cost of going to court is high and providing a settlement is nearly always less expensive. It is also in your best interest as it will save time and unnecessary aggravation.
Make Your First Move a Smart One
Get yourself a personal injury attorney who is familiar with the ins and outs of getting the amount you deserve without having to jump through hoops. Insurance companies are known for pushing the envelope to find reasons that can discount or reduce all claims. So why waste any more time?
When you work with Wynperle Law we will answer all of your questions, provide an injury checklist, and a free consultation. You don’t have to go it alone. We are here to help. Call 1-866-696-0300 or fill out this quick form.