Were you recently injured in an accident? Stop! Read this before you move forward in claiming compensation from your insurance agency or the other party! It’s a simple but serious mistake that often happens in San Diego personal injury cases: the accident victim neglects to disclose any prior injuries that happened before the accident in question. This can result in a loss of credibility, a more difficult case, and a possible decrease in the amount of compensation you’ll be able to claim for your injuries.
Even if your previous injuries are completely healed, if it’s discovered that you had prior injuries and you didn’t disclose them, you could be in serious trouble. Keep reading to understand how to avoid this mistake, and how to successfully claim the full compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Why Does Hiding a Prior Injury Make You Less Credible?
Remember that no matter how serious your injuries, or what kind of accident you were involved in, insurance companies will always try to give as low a payout as possible. They will try to use any kind of information possible as a reason that you deserve to receive less compensation. Failing to disclose prior injuries or accidents could be interpreted by the opposing party as an attempt to hold them accountable for a previous injury not caused by the accident in question. Hiding information – whether you do it intentionally or not – is often seen as an indicator that there was something you wished to keep hidden. AllLaw warns that if not properly disclosed, medical records can definitely be used against you.
Honesty Helps Your Case: Here’s Why
When you’re in any kind of accident, a medical evaluation should always be your priority, reminds USAttorneys. When you have this evaluation, you can inform your doctor about any previous injuries and ask if the current accident injuries are in any way aggravated by those previous injuries. An experienced medical professional can help you understand any correlation or non-correlation between the injuries and make detailed notes about your condition. If your previous injuries have nothing to do with the pain you may be feeling with your current injuries, your medical team will note this in your medical records, doing no harm to your current case. These notes can later be presented in your personal injury case. If your prior injuries do not connect to your current injuries, you’ll have a respected medical professional’s opinion backing this up.
But what if your doctor says that the current injuries were made worse due to prior injuries? Then the doctor can still explain how the newest injuries have negative consequences on their own, consequences that you wouldn’t be suffering from without the additional recent accident. Just because prior accidents aggravate your current injuries doesn’t mean you won’t be able to still claim full recovery with the help of an attorney.
When and How to Disclose Prior Injury Information
Remember that while you need to be honest about prior injuries, how you disclose the information can make or break or your case. When you file for compensation, the insurance adjuster will ask for a recorded statement. You have the right to talk to a personal injury attorney before you present the statement to the insurance company, and it’s in your best interest to utilize this right. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you craft your statement so that you are not withholding information in a way that could jeopardize your credibility, but that you also aren’t hurting your case by wording something in a way that the other party could use against you. Tell your personal injury attorney about any previous injuries or accidents and share the notes and opinions from your doctor.
Always Be Careful of Insurance Traps
Do not share medical release forms or medical bills with your insurance adjuster without the green light from your personal injury attorney. Often, insurance adjusters will ask for medical release forms and medical bills with the indication that it will help you get paid faster. But don’t fall for this. Often, the insurance company is trying to get information that they will twist and use against you to avoid having to pay the full settlement you’re entitled to.
Avoid Simple Mistakes!
Were you injured prior to your most recent accident? Get a qualified personal injury attorney’s help today so that you can present the facts effectively. Don’t risk losing your chance for full compensation!
Even if you don’t have any “dark secrets” of past injuries, winning a personal injury case is still difficult. But you don’t have to face this challenge alone! There’s a personal injury law firm dedicated to winning your case in San Diego, CA.