Hi I’m Steve Sleeper. I’m here with Injury Lawyer Offutt Air Force Base Mike Dyer. And Mike, I’ve just been injured in an accident. Should I sign a medical release immediately?
[Mike}The at-fault party is going to want you to sign a medical release immediately. You don’t have to do that. In fact I would strongly recommend you don’t, because it’s nobody else’s business.
The medical release you sign is going to require your Social Security number. It’s going to require your birthday, and it’s also not going to have any limitations. It’s going to be an unrestricted medical release. There’s more information they can get from that release than they can get if they subpoenaed you and you went to court because there are limitations a judge can put on and say, “That’s just none of your business.”
The release goes into the insurance company’s database and it covers all the claims that have ever been made. So if a woman had a child fifteen, twenty years ago, and during the course of childbirth there were some complaints of back pain and then the woman’s injured in a car crash twenty years later – the insurance company may say, well, we have a preexisting condition. Other examples would be finding things from your childhood
The insurance industry makes sure nobody rips them off. That’s why they keep all this data, so that if you fill out an policy for life or health insurance, they can go to the database and see if you told the truth.
They also use that information if you have a claim. So they can say, well, we may have been at fault. Maybe the driver was drunk – maybe it was just negligence. Yes, we did crash into your car, but we don’t think your back was hurt that bad. We don’t think so, because it looks like you had a claim 12 years ago, doing some gardening, or 15 years ago, doing a sports activity.
[Steve] So, what’s the first thing I should do, if I’d been in an accident?
[Mike] The first thing you should do see how you’re feeling. If you’re not feeling as good as you did before the accident, you should go see your doctor. You’re not going to know right away, because it takes a little while. Sometimes you’ll know immediately, but sometimes it may take a few hours.
If you’re hurt in an accident, the standard you want to look at is not, am I hurt; because you start to judge yourself. You start to feel like you’re whining or making a big deal about it. If you’re hurt in an accident, the standard is; how did I feel the day before the crash? Does my neck feel different than the day before the crash? That may be an injury. You may want to get it checked out. If your arm is stiff and you can’t lift it because you had a seat belt on, that’s something you want to have your doctor look at.
[Steve] Thanks Mike. For free copies of Mike’s informative books, “7 Costly Mistakes Nebraska Accidents Victims Make” and “7 Common Mistakes that can Destroy Your Worker’s Compensation Case” – call 888-DYERLAW. Injury Lawyer Offutt Air Force Base.