Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

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Why Does the Insurance Company Focus on My Past Medical Care?

Posted Friday, December 18, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextWhen you are injured in a motor vehicle collision, slip and fall, or some other type of situation where an insured person or business may be negligent in causing the injury, then you should understand the types of things the insurance company will be looking for in defending against your injury claim. This is where an experienced Seattle injury lawyer near you may be able to put things into perspective to maximize your financial recovery. One way that insurance companies limit what they have to pay injury victims is by focusing on past medical issues. Consider a few reasons why this is the case.

*Pre-existing Medical Conditions*First, the at-fault party’s insurance carrier will want to obtain as much of your medical history as they can get. There are many reasons for this, but perhaps the very most important is to screen your past medical care for signs of a pre-existing condition. Although under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance companies are currently unable to deny medical coverage to those with pre-existing medical conditions, this is not the same with auto and commercial liability policies. An auto insurance carrier or general commercial policy for a store or restaurant will invariably have a right to dig into your past a bit and find out if the injury you are currently claiming was indeed caused by the event. Say, for instance, you fall at a store and claim that the fall caused back injuries. If the insurance company discovers that you had back surgery for a herniated disc three years earlier, then this can be used to suggest that the pain you feel was actually already there prior to ever falling in their insured’s store.

*Malingering*This oft-used phrase just means “faking it” to get paid. Insurance companies will look for a history of filing small injury claims. If they discover that you have had a lot of chiropractic care and several prior injury claims, they may be on high alert in searching for evidence of a potential fraudulent claim. Likewise, a history of medical care for the very thing you are claiming may be a sign that you are faking the current symptoms to play off an old injury or condition.

*Aggravation of Other Conditions*Not all purposes for seeking past medical care are nefarious, however. The insurance company will also want to make sure that they are 100% clear on what injuries the injured person has and is claiming. In some cases, past medical treatment may unearth signs that the person had a weakened spine or some other hereditary condition that puts him or her at a much higher risk of serious injury in certain situations. This could mean that the claim is not a new injury, but rather an aggravation of an existing condition.

*How to Deal With Insurance Company Tactics*If you or someone you care about is hurt in the Seattle area, reach out to Pivotal Law Group. The firm is small enough to provide personal attention but large enough to tackle even the hardest cases. To get a free case evaluation, just call the firm or find us online today.