Should You Disclose Prior Claims or Injuries in Your Current Car Accident Claim?

  • Dec 8, 2022

Updated: Dec 26, 2022

Many car accident victims intentionally hide prior claims, injuries or accidents from their attorney, somehow thinking that it may help their case. In reality hiding such important information not only harms their cause but it may jeopardize an otherwise good case.

All pertinent information, whether good or bad, should be disclosed to your attorney. This includes prior personal injury claims, medical conditions and injuries. It is irrelevant that those injuries are unrelated to the current accident or that you have fully recovered – they must be disclosed.

Discussing prior claims will give your attorney an opportunity to be ready when it is brought up by the insurance company. Your attorney will also seek to minimize its impact on your current case and possibly exclude it at trial through a motion in limine. Finally, such information may have to be disclosed in response to discovery, thus the failure to tell your attorney about them may have other dire consequences.

The most important reason to disclose prior injuries or claims is that insurance

companies will find that information before there is any formal litigation discovery or a statement taken from the accident victim. Insurance companies generally have access to databases which is jointly shared and maintained. As soon as a claim is received, it is entered into the database. When an adjuster receives a new claim, the first place she checks are those databases. And if a prior claim has been filed, it will be found.

If the prior claims were legitimate and they were properly disclosed to your current attorney, then the attorney will have a better chance of combating any dirty tactics by the insurance company. All bad facts will eventually be discovered and will be used against you. So it is important to disclose them now rather than later.


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