One of the most effective tools at a defendant’s disposal is the ISO ClaimSearch, which can shed significant light on whether an applicant has preexisting dates of injury from workers’ compensation claims or personal injury litigation.
Defendants can bolster their defenses against a case by identifying any and all nonindustrial causes of injury and disability. However, many applicants fail to disclose every claim they’ve ever made, whether it’s at a deposition or during a medical appointment with a physician.
For some, it’s intentional – they don’t want you to know about that auto accident that injured overlapping body parts. For others, it’s unintentional – it’s difficult to remember events that occurred years ago, especially if they only treated for a limited time.
Regardless of the applicants’ intent, the ISO ClaimsSearch is an objective discovery tool that will reveal previously-undiscovered information. Here’s an explanation of what this important discovery tool is, and how it can be helpful in evaluating a claim.
What is an Insurance Services Office (ISO) ClaimSearch?
The ISO ClaimSearch is a tool used by insurance companies to investigate a party’s claim history when a party seeks workers compensation benefits after an alleged industrial injury. As you can tell, an ISO ClaimSearch can be very beneficial for the insurance company and their defense.
The Insurance Services Office (ISO) keeps a database of all property and casualty claims of any kind made for any reason, including both commercial and personal. An ISO ClaimSearch can find a match for a past or present claim for the applicant based on one of the following:
- Social Security;
- Address (Past and Present);
- Employment History and
- Phone Number
Once you obtain a copy of the ISO, you may find that some of the matches are not the applicant involved with your current workers’ compensation claim. When reviewing matches based on name and address, this can be less accurate due to the fact that names and addresses can be shared with multiple individuals. With that said, when reviewing a match based on either a phone number or social security number, these tend to be very accurate.
Reasons Why an ISO Should be Obtained (Even in Accepted Claims)
In order to develop the best defense for any claim, you must have all available information at your disposal. An ISO ClaimSearch is an amazing tool in obtaining crucial information. Below you will find a list of what an ISO can produce and why an ISO should be obtained even in accepted claims.
- First, an ISO ClaimSearch provides a full overview of the applicant’s claim history. This allows the defendant to fully identify any preexisting or subsequent injury or disability from auto and general liability losses. This can be extremely important when addressing apportionment with the applicant’s alleged injuries.
- Second, adjusters can access medical provider details through ISO ClaimSearch, which could lead to the discovery of preexisting conditions and other medical issues that may have not been disclosed by the applicant at the deposition.
- Third, with an ISO ClaimSearch, adjusters can identify other potential claims with related disabilities, leading to opportunities to negotiate early and beneficial workers’ compensation settlements.
- Fourth, ISO ClaimSearch is also equipped to help workers’ compensation adjusters discover potential fraud issues. Many times, during the deposition, the applicant will not reveal all past claims/injuries; an ISO ClaimSearch is a perfect way to develop a full picture of the applicant’s history.
As you can see, an ISO ClaimSearch is an amazing tool to help adjusters and their defense against an applicant in regards to possible apportionment, possible fraud, settlement and other beneficial discovery.
Nick P. Ward is a partner at Bradford & Barthel’s San Diego office, where he aggressively defends against a wide variety of workers’ compensation claims. If you have questions about workers’ compensation defense issues, please feel free to contact Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (619) 641-7942.
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