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Tips & Tricks

Personal Injury and Workers Comp Tips and Tricks

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Medical Authorizations

After you've been injured, insurance companies will send you medical authorizations as quickly as possible. They will often attempt to obtain your medical records related to the injury and many records that predate the accident as well.

Most people don't realize that these authorizations often include language that gives the insurance companies and their lawyers the right to contact your doctors to discuss your case. If you sign an authorization with this language, they could talk or write to your doctors behind your back! Believe it or not, there have been cases where surveillance tapes of the injured person were sent to his own doctor who then changed his opinion to the detriment of his patient.

Even if you already signed a medical authorization, it can be revoked. Contact KBA attorneys to learn how to protect yourself.

Video Surveillance [Top]

Most injured people do not realize that the very insurance adjusters they are talking to about their case may have hired investigators to conduct video surveillance. They may tape you carrying groceries, mowing your lawn, or even going on vacation. They may talk to your neighbors and co-workers to learn about your activities.

If you have medical restrictions from your doctor, you should do your best to fully comply with those restrictions. Failure to do so may jeopardize your case. Contact KBA attorneys to learn how to protect yourself.

Tape-Recorded Statements [Top]

Insurance adjusters love tape-recorded statements. Adjusters will often act like your friend, tell you that they only want to know the truth and assure you that eventually you will get the compensation you deserve.

But in fact, insurance adjusters are trained to defend injury claims. Their job is to protect the insurance company's interests, not yours. They know the laws, they consult with insurance company attorneys and they know how to ask the right questions and avoid the wrong ones.

For example, if you hurt your back at work bending to lift an object, the adjuster may ask whether you first felt back pain when you were bending down. If the answer is yes, she may go on to other issues and complete the recorded statement. The next thing you know you're getting a denial letter from the Workers Compensation insurance company. Why? Because the simple act of bending down is generally not a risk covered under the Workers Compensation Act. The adjuster's carefully-worded questions were intended to avoid information that may weaken the defense, such as the fact that your job required continuous bending, twisting or reaching.

No matter how nice they may be or appear to be, insurance company adjusters are not paid to look out for you. Contact KBA attorneys to learn how to protect yourself.

Medical Treatment [Top]

Many people injured in an accident make two mistakes:

First, some people wait too long to seek treatment. If you are hurt in an accident, it is essential to get a timely medical exam. A trained physician will know how to determine the nature of your injuries. Sometimes your life depends on early intervention. Many times, injuries can be treated more effectively with early intervention. Insurance companies often deny claims based on a delay in treatment. They argue that if the impact caused injuries, you would have sought treatment sooner.

Second, injured people often fail to tell their doctors all of their symptoms. Some might think the symptoms aren't related to the accident or just don't want to seem like a complainer. Patients often don't realize they have a serious accident-related injury until they see that their symptoms just won't go away. By then the insurance company has every reason to deny that the accident had anything to do with the injury, and will refuse to be responsible for any treatment arising out of the "new" complaints.

Contact KBA attorneys to learn how to protect yourself.

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Paul M. Byck
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Kreiter, Byck and Associates, LLC
180 West Washington, Suite 800
Chicago, Illinois 60602
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