Rarely is the medical history of a person completely free and clear. It is far more common that a person has experienced a range of medical conditions, injuries, and general aches and pains over the course of a lifetime. Unfortunately, insurance companies are all too quick to say that accident injuries are, in fact, pre-existing medical conditions, even when this is not the case! They will use anything like this against you in order to try and get out of paying for your claim. We’re here to tell you that this is not right. You have a legal right to be compensated for the harm you have suffered in an accident. While pre-existing conditions may complicate a claim, it does not make it any less valid.
Pre-existing Conditions and Your Personal Injury Claim
Pre Existing conditions are those illnesses and injuries you experienced prior to and at the time of an accident that led to filing a personal injury claim seeking compensation for the harm suffered in the accident. It is common for insurance companies to try and make preexisting conditions relevant to a personal injury claim even when they shouldn’t be. The insurance company may say that your back pain was something you previously complained of and received treatment for and was, therefore, not caused by the accident. This, however, is not necessarily the case.
You see, as an accident injury victim, you are entitled to recover for the harm you suffered as a result of the accident caused by the negligence of another. This could mean that you suffered new injuries or even that you suffered an exacerbation of a preexisting condition or injury. In both cases, you are entitled to the harm caused by the accident. Therefore, even if you previously complained of back pain, you would still be entitled to compensation for any worsening of that back pain caused by the accident.
You are also entitled to compensation for harm caused by an accident even if you had a preexisting condition which made you more susceptible to injury than other people. This is known as the eggshell plaintiff rule. You take a person as you find them. It does not matter if a person was a special case and had a preexisting condition which made them more vulnerable to accident injuries. That person is still entitled to damages including the full extent of the injuries caused by the accident.
When preexisting conditions are present, however, medical evidence plays an extra critical role in a personal injury claim. Medical records will not only be used to show the injuries caused by the accident, but medical records after the accident can be compared to those recorded prior to the accident to show the difference the accident made in causing new injuries or exacerbation of previous injuries. If you had preexisting conditions at the time of the accident, be clear with your treating doctor about the different symptoms you are experiencing now that you may not have experienced prior to the accident.
Personal Injury Attorneys
At Compass Law Group, we fight for the injured and won’t let insurance companies rob you of your right to full and fair compensation. Contact us today.