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Preexisting Conditions In Car Accident Cases

By: Fred Moore | Oct 31, 2019

When you’re already suffering from an injury or have a preexisting medical condition, being involved in a car accident can have a serious impact on your health. At Moore Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys help you understand how a preexisting condition may affect your car accident claim and work with you to recover maximum compensation for your damages.

Common Preexisting Conditions That Can Be Worsened By Car Accidents

A car accident can exacerbate or aggravate preexisting conditions such as:

  • Herniated disc
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Other back problems
  • Previous fractures, sprains, and strains
  • Knee and shoulder injuries
  • Hernia
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Brain injuries
  • Anxiety, PTSD, and depression

Recovering Compensation With A Preexisting Condition

Even though car accidents often aggravate or worsen preexisting conditions, some injured victims believe it’s not worth pursuing compensation because they assume their claim will be denied due to their condition. However, just because you were already injured or ill, it doesn’t mean the party who caused the accident isn’t liable for making it worse. If an accident aggravates or accelerates a preexisting condition, you may be entitled to compensation. Hiring a personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling these types of cases is vital because you must show that the new injuries you sustained in your accident made your existing condition worse, which can be a daunting task.

Dealing With Insurance Companies & Preexisting Car Accident Claims

The at-fault driver’s insurance company may not be responsible for any treatment you would have undergone for your preexisting condition if the accident hadn’t occurred, but they may be liable for the cost of the treatment you may need if the accident caused your condition to worsen. For example, if you were already taking pain medication for a back injury and the accident made it worse, you may be able to recover damages for the cost of physical therapy that could help it improve but not for the pain medicine you were already taking.

Although insurance companies try their hardest to minimize or avoid paying settlements, having a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in your corner can make all the difference. It is extremely important to be completely honest with your attorney about your medical history to recover compensation. Insurance companies often use preexisting medical problems as an excuse to deny claims. They will go over your medical history with a fine-tooth comb to find any possible evidence suggesting the accident did not affect your preexisting condition or injury. Your attorney will review your medical history with you at the beginning of your case. Even if you think there may be something that could complicate your claim, make sure to disclose it to your attorney. Failing to disclose a preexisting condition can harm your credibility, can sabotage your claim, and may even expose you to legal action if the defense finds out you deliberately omitted medical information.

How A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Create A Solid Claim

There are several ways in which a skilled personal injury lawyer can demonstrate that your injuries were caused or exacerbated by a car accident. They may invoke the “eggshell plaintiff rule,” which means that the defendant must “take the plaintiff as they find him.” In other words, a negligent party cannot shirk their responsibility for causing injuries just because a person was frail, weak, or especially susceptible to injury.

Your attorney will also meticulously review your medical records and consult with your health care providers. If your preexisting condition has little or nothing to do with your current injury, your attorney may argue that evidence of your preexisting condition is irrelevant to your claim. For example, if you previously had a broken leg, but the current injury you sustained in a car accident caused back and neck problems, your attorney could argue that it is completely unrelated and should not be allowed into evidence. Seasoned personal injury attorneys understand how to use medical evidence to their advantage to build solid cases in preexisting car accident injury claims. They use their experience and resources to develop effective legal strategies that can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Contact A Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, our personal injury lawyers can assess your case and advise you on the best course of action to recover compensation. Call Moore Law Firm at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.