Unfortunately, when it comes to personal injury claims against insurance companies, insurance companies will always try to offer you less money than you deserve to compensate you for injuries you sustained in a car accident. That’s just the way the insurance business works.
An experienced personal injury attorney like Robert Armstrong will work tirelessly to make the insurance companies pay what they owe, but often there are “red flags” that insurance companies look for in your medical records as a way to justify paying you less money.
What are some of the red flags that insurance companies will identify?
There are several factors that come into play when insurance companies examine your medical records. Red flags include:
- Degenerative changes – Degenerative means that your symptoms are chronic and that your condition continues to deteriorate or is irreversible. If your symptoms are degenerative, it will usually show up on tests like MRIs and X-rays. Typically, degenerative conditions are caused simply by the aging process, but degenerative changes could start to appear in your body as early as your 20s, so degenerative characteristics could realistically show up on almost anyone’s imaging tests. Insurance adjusters are quick to point out soft tissue injuries and claim that they are degenerative changes and not the direct result of a car accident. With the help of a good lawyer and the honest testimony of a medical professional, it could be proven that you weren’t having any discomfort or symptoms before the crash, even if there are degenerative signs that show up on your MRI or X-ray.
- Pre-existing conditions – If you broke your arm in a car accident, and it just so happens that you broke the same arm in a skateboarding accident two years ago, an insurance adjuster could try to link your current pain and aftermath of the injury to your last painful injury. The same could hold true for prior car accidents, slip-and-falls, or any other pre-existing injury. That’s why it’s so important to have the testimony of a doctor or other medical professional.
- Treatment gaps – If your doctor recommends that you go to physical therapy once a week, and records show that you consistently miss appointments and aren’t following your doctor’s orders, it could be a big red flag for the insurance adjuster. It’s common for crash victims to try to heal on their own without having the inconvenience of seeking medical treatment, but it’s important you don’t do that. Remember that an insurance company will do everything in its power to try to prove that you haven’t been completely honest and forthcoming about your injuries. Don’t give them any leeway.
There are many other red flags that could show up on your medical records, but with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney you can still get the settlement you deserve. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for help.