After an accident, get ready for the insurance company to demand your social security number. For them, it’s standard practice but for you, it’s a big red flag that says BEWARE!
They might try to make you feel that it’s perfectly normal for them to insist on having your social security number, but here’s the truth: You DO NOT have to turn over your social security number to anyone in your personal injury case except for your attorney. Don’t do it!
They’ll probably give you a hard time if you refuse to turn it over and continue to try to convince you that it’s mandatory. At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we’ve even seen insurance companies try to refuse to provide a settlement check unless we release our client’s social security number.
Nope! Don’t worry – we will never provide a client’s social security number in a personal injury case, even if they try to withhold payment. This is simply a bullying tactic used by insurance adjusters and you shouldn’t give in to it.
If you’re our client, we’ll advise the insurance company that under California’s social security number confidentiality law, disclosure of a social security number in a personal injury case is not required for the release of settlement funds. And guess what? They’ll reluctantly agree and send you the check after all.
It’s sad that it requires such extreme measures, but this is just one example of why it’s a good idea to get a personal injury lawyer. We protect your rights and pursue the settlement amount you deserve.
Why Do They Want Your Social Security Number So Much?
You’re probably curious why they want your social security number so much. Here’s the secret. They want to dig deep in your past, plus continue to track you moving forward into the future. If you think that sounds intrusive, you’re right. It sure is!
An insurance company wants to keep your social security number on file, especially if you are opening a bodily injury claim related to a personal injury accident. Regardless of whether it’s a pedestrian, bicycle, motorcycle, delivery driver, Uber, commercial vehicle, or regular auto accident case, they want this data on file so that the entire insurance industry has access to the details of your injuries for years to come.
Using just your social security number alone, an insurance adjuster can dig up a ton of personal information about your life and your past – all without your authorization or consent. Now they can look into your medical history, financial status, criminal record, and much more.
If you’re faced with another personal injury case in the future, they’ll have all this information right at their fingertips. Before you or your attorney would be able to submit a bit of information, the insurance company can say, “We already know things about you.”
Insurance Companies Use Your Information Against You
An insurance company wants to minimize your claim and pay you as little as possible, so they’re eager for any ammunition to use against you. If your social security number leads to medical treatment for prior injuries, for example, that’s extremely valuable information to them. Now they can try to blame all your pain on a pre-existing condition.
The same goes for your criminal and financial past. Something that seems minor to you might get blown up into a big deal that limits or eliminates a valuable claim.
Even more disturbing, your social security number will be entered into a nationwide insurance database called the Bodily Injury Index. Claims adjusters use it to negotiate an advantage in claims that involve bodily injury. Almost every insurance company in the U.S. has access to this index and related settlement amounts.
This means even if you had a small-value personal injury case previously, the insurance adjuster can find out the nature of the injury and how much you received. Then they can use that information as a factor to set limits on what they will pay on your current claim, even if it’s a much more serious accident with severe injuries.
We strongly encourage you to maintain control of your personal data and refuse to provide your social security number. If the insurance company demands it, simply refuse and refer them to your lawyer at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers.
And here’s a bonus: It will be extra satisfying to remind them of the law protecting your personal information and still receive that settlement check!
We Handle Your Personal Injury Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After a personal injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including personal injuries in severe car accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.