Pre-Existing Injury- How It Can Impact Your Compensation Claim

Pre-Existing Injury- How It Can Impact Your Compensation Claim

May 12, 2020 Off By Glespynorson

Getting injured in a car accident is unfortunate enough. To make things worse, you will probably face an insurance company that would want to pay you as little as possible despite a valid claim. A pre-existing condition is something they may use against you. This is an opportunity for them to prove that your injury was not a consequence of the car accident or that the mishap was only minimally responsible as the cause. What you really need in such cases is a qualified car accident lawyer to ensure that you get the financial compensation you deserve, regardless of any pre-existing injury or condition. Let us explain the implications that such injuries may have on your claim.

Common pre-existing injuries or conditions

To start with, you must know the common conditions that may get aggravated due to a car crash. Even if these were already there, the accident can make them worse and you may end up requiring treatment. Here are the common ones to consider:

  • Lower back strains
  • Degenerative disc disease or herniated disc
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hernia
  • Arthritis
  • Broken bones that have healed
  • Shoulder and knee injuries
  • Brain injuries

Understand the Eggshell Skull Rule

When it comes to claims involving pre-existing conditions, the eggshell skull rule is the one that you need to understand. According to this rule, a pre-existing condition can affect the damages you can claim after an accident in a way that you will get compensation only for the specific injuries you have suffered in the mishap. However, the insurer cannot use the pre-existing condition as an excuse to withhold your compensation, or even offer a lower amount in settlement.  But injury attorneys emphasize the importance of honesty disclosing a pre-existing condition or previous injury. Covering it up may actually be seen as fraud and can even jeopardize your legitimate case. Rather, you will absolutely get fair compensation despite your previous injuries if the following hold true:

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  • Your previous condition was stable when the mishap took place
  • Prior to the mishap, there wasn’t a reason to think that your condition would change or get worse

Timely treatment is important

One of the key aspects of securing compensation in personal injury cases is timely medical treatment for your injuries. The fate of the case greatly depends on proving that the injuries were caused by the mishap only. And in case of pre-existing ones, you need to validate that they were aggravated by the crash. While timely medical treatment can get you back on your feet, it also ensures that you have the documentation required to make your case stronger. Additionally, you will also have to provide detailed reports and records about the pre-existing injury. These should include the past records as well as the recent ones right after the accident. The physician notes will validate whether the injuries were the result of the accident rather than your underlying condition.

An accident claim with a pre-existing injury can be somewhat complicated. For a victim, the best decision would be to hire a seasoned car accident attorney who can strengthen your case and make sure that you get a fair settlement for your injuries.