I'm a Plaintiff in a personal injury matter in Arizona. I've recently been issued an interrogatory from the Defendants of which requests (amongst other things) the name of my health insurance carrier. I have no qualms about disclosing medical history, but why do Defendants need to know if I have health insurance and whom it may be? Do you think an objection is warranted?
The scope of discovery in a civil law suit is relatively broad and generally is open to anything reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of evidence admissible at trial. This discovery standard is far broader than the standard at trial, which is relevance. So, an inquiry about health insurance is fairly standard. I highly recommend that if you do not have an attorney that you retain one ASAP before completing the discovery.
MORE ON DISCOVERY AND WHY YOU NEED TO ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS:
Your objection is warranted, and you should object. You may still provide your insurance information since you have no qualms about it. Realistically, AZ does not allow information about who paid your medical bills into trial. This is called the collateral source rule. The fact that you had health insurance, and the name of the company, is inadmissible. I suspect the defendant wants this information likely to obtain a more complete snapshot of the providers you have treated with over the years. You should consult with an attorney.
While it is true that the scope of discovery is broad, it is not without limits. Whether a request for information regarding your health insurance is appropriate will depend on the nature of the case and the claims and/or defenses being raised. If you have an attorney you should discuss with him or her whether an objection is appropriate in your case. If you do not have an attorney, you should consider retaining one.
Do you have an attorney? if so, ask that attorney for thoughts on this.
In Colorado, we have case law that stands for the proposition that once a plaintiff puts their health at issue post-tortious conduct, everything is pretty much fair game for discovery so long as it relates to medical care prior to the subject tortious conduct. What's that mean? It means that the defense gets to know the idnentity of your carrier so they can request records to ascertain if you have had any prior claims or any pre-existing conditions.
While I love Tucson and wish I was eating at an Eegee's as I type, I am not licensed in Arizona so check with an attorney that works in the personal injury world down there.
Yes, this is a typical discovery request in personal injury matters. When asserting a claim for a personal injury, you are opening your medical history up for examination with limitations. Health insurance records will provide the defense attorney with the identities of the medical providers you saw before and after the accident, which could assist the evaluation of whether your insuries were caused by the accident. However, once they have the health insurance records, the defense is not necessarily entitled to obtain all your prior medical records but must show a reasonable basis that the records could lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. I would recommend consulting a local personal injury attorney to adress thoses issues.
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