Dealing with an insurance company can be direct and painless or misleading and worrisome. Many people may make mistakes because they feel pressured and are not secure in the knowledge of what they can and cannot do. This is often the case when an insurance adjuster requests medical records or an examination. A professional Chattanooga personal injury lawyer from the McMahan Law Firm in Tennessee wants to prevent these kinds of mistakes.
Sometimes an insurance adjuster will make a request that makes a great deal of sense. Say you’ve suffered a head injury and you’ve sent the adjuster a relevant record from your physician but not the results of an MRI. The adjuster may request these, which isn’t exactly suspicious.
On the other hand, sometimes an adjuster will make a request that raises an eyebrow or two, to say the least. Requesting records that go too far back or seem to have little to do with the incident in question may leave one feeling anxious. It is an adjuster’s job to limit your benefits, and they may try to shift the cause of suffering from a sustained injury to a pre-existing condition, whether this is actually the case or not. It is important to consider what an adjuster may be trying to do before fulfilling a request.
People have a tendency to accept agreements without looking at them, which is a common mistake that can have serious consequences. Insurance companies may try to trick you into signing away too much information by hiding this request in a tedious document. It is important to read everything carefully, or get someone who is on your side to assist you with the process.
It is also important to receive everything in writing and to avoid verbal agreements. If an insurance adjuster tries to deny a previous statement, it is particularly handy to pull out a long list of email correspondence proving your point. Whenever possible, collect written agreements and even signatures from your adjuster.
Handle things yourself except for payment when possible. When an insurance adjuster reasonably requests a record, tell them you’d be happy to send it over if they pay the fee. Avoid letting the adjuster talk directly to your physician or specialists, instead communicating with them on your own and getting back to your insurance company within a couple weeks.
Reserve the Right to Say No
Protecting your privacy is a right, and if at any time you feel uncomfortable with a request, you may refuse, consult your lawyer, and remind the insurance adjuster that if or when the claim ends up in court, they may dispute it then. This is especially important when an insurance adjuster requests an independent medical examination, or IME. These medical examiners are far from independent, as they are paid by the insurance company to find as little wrong with you as possible. It is fair of you to say that you are uncomfortable with this idea.