They don’t always. But those records can tell a whole lot.
The most obvious thing they can tell is the medications you got for your accident, and what they cost. The cost of your medications is part of your damages – what you are entitled to be repaid by the insurance company for the other driver. So, theoretically, if you are hurt bad, and your doctor is prescribing a lot of medication, this information can help you.
But think about it. Those records can tell how often you are getting refills. So if you are not taking the medications according to schedule, the insurance lawyer can argue that you are taking too much medications, or too little. Does too much medicine make you an addict, ready to lie about pain to get another fix? Does too little medication make you a faker, lying about pain to make it look like you’re hurt worse than you are?
Most of the time, neither one of these applies. But you can’t be sure.
More than once, I’ve looked at histories of medications, and questioned whether the patient had a pain problem or was an addict. Another time, after a trial, a nurse who was sitting as a juror told me that while there was a consistent record of medication purchases, the doses were minimal – so the plaintiff could not be in the amount of pain she was claiming.
Once when I worked for insurance companies – I don’t anymore – I started a closing argument by telling an arbitration panel – truthfully – that the person asking them for money had taken 18 different medications in the five days before the accident.
Maybe most important – if you are taking significant doses of prescribed medication on the schedule set by your doctor – your prescription record can make a convincing argument that the pain from the injury is affecting your life, and you are doing your best to get better.
The other thing you have to know – if the case goes to trial, the insurance companies will probably get this information. You cannot hide your prescription history, and they will get it straight from your pharmacy. The judge will make you sign an authorization permitting them to look at it.
So be good, and take your meds. If you think they’re too much, or too little, or you are allergic, call your doctor and talk to him or her about it.
And finally, the insurance company doesn’t always think to ask for this information. So I often try to get it before filing suit, and sometimes before making a demand on the insurance company; it’s good to know important information before the other side knows it.
If you have this question, you should call me. I am a Cincinnati injury attorney.
I’d love to talk with you about this. Other lawyers refer their clients to me. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK. My phone is 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.