Personal injury claims arise when a person is injured due to the negligence or wrongful actions of someone else. These claims can encompass a wide range of incidents, from car accidents and slip-and-fall accidents to medical malpractice and product liability cases. Navigating the ins and outs of this area of the law can be complicated and it does not help things that insurance companies on the other side will be prepared to fight tooth and nail to avoid paying out on a claim. One favorite strategy for an insurance company to employ to undermine or deny a claim is to cite pre-existing conditions of the claimant. Let’s take a look at what a pre-existing condition is and how it can impact a personal injury claim.
Pre-Existing Conditions and Your Injury Claim
A pre-existing condition refers to a health issue or injury that a person had before the accident or incident in question. These conditions can be chronic, such as arthritis, or acute, such as a herniated disc. The presence of a pre-existing condition can complicate a personal injury claim in a number of ways.
For starters, pre-existing conditions can complicate the causation versus aggravation analysis. One of the key factors in a personal injury claim is establishing a direct link between the accident and the injuries sustained. If a pre-existing condition existed, the at-fault party may argue that the injuries were not caused, or not entirely caused, by the accident but were due to the preexisting condition, at least in part. If a preexisting condition existed, however, and the accident aggravated or worsened the condition, the injured party may still be entitled to compensation for the worsening of their condition.
As such, the damages assessment can also be complicated by preexisting conditions. Both sides will argue regarding what injuries were the result of the accident, and thus compensable, and what was preexisting. It can be difficult to decide what medical expenses and pain and suffering were attributable to the accident and what was the result of a preexisting condition. This can play a central role in disputes about the appropriate compensation amount for the injury victim.
In cases where preexisting conditions are at play, evidence and documentation will be critical. Claimants must be diligent in their medical treatment and be clear with providers about the symptoms they are experiencing now, after the accident, and how it differs from their experience before the accident. This will help clearly demonstrate how the accident exacerbated a condition or directly caused harm to the claimant. Medical records and expert witnesses
Personal Injury Attorney
Your medical history should not preclude you from recovering full and fair compensation for the harm you have suffered in an accident caused by the negligence of another. At BoyesLegal, APC, we fight for you. Contact us today.