How Can a Pre-Existing Condition Affect an Injury Claim?
Posted in Personal Injury on June 30, 2021
If you are injured due to someone else’s actions, you could file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party. Through this claim, you can recover compensation for the losses you suffered due to the accident, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, if you have a pre-existing condition, seeking compensation for your accident-related injuries can be a challenge. In these situations, it is important to understand how a pre-existing condition affects your claim.
Examples of Pre-Existing Conditions
A pre-existing condition is a term that refers to a health problem that you have before the date of your accident. This condition can be a chronic illness or a recent injury that you sustained. Common types of pre-existing conditions include the following.
- Brain damage
- Back problems
- Degenerative disc disease
- Sleep apnea
Can You File a Claim if You Have a Pre-Existing Condition?
If you are in an accident and suffer injuries, you still have the right to file a claim against the at-fault party. However, you will need to prove that you sustained new injuries due to the accident and that the new injuries you suffered made your pre-existing condition worse. The at-fault party and his or her insurance company will only be required to pay for your losses that you would not have sustained if the accident did not occur.
During the course of the case, however, the at-fault party’s insurance company may claim that your injuries are due to the pre-existing condition. In these situations, it is important to gather sufficient evidence that documents the state of your pre-existing condition and how the accident worsened your injuries. You will need to seek medical attention immediately after the accident to establish these medical records. A McAllen personal injury lawyer can also connect you with an expert medical witness who can evaluate your condition and provide testimony on your behalf, helping you establish the at-fault party’s negligence.
Can You Recover Compensation with a Pre-Existing Condition?
You have the right to file a lawsuit or insurance claim after an accident if you have a pre-existing condition, and you are entitled to recover the full extent of your damages. Under the eggshell skull rule, at-fault parties who harm another person are responsible for paying for all of their victims’ injuries, even if the injuries are heightened due to the pre-existing condition. You have the right to recover full compensation even if you had a previous injury or were actively undergoing treatment for another condition.
The eggshell skull rule gets its name from the idea that, if a person has a skull as thin as an eggshell and suffers worse injuries in an accident than a person who does not have this condition, the at-fault party is still liable for his or her damages. These losses may include all accident-related medical expenses, lost wages during recovery time, and property damage sustained in the accident. However, you will need to prove that your damages are related to the accident and not a result of the pre-existing condition. This can be challenging to accomplish alone.
If you are filing a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim with a pre-existing condition, you need an attorney on your side. The insurance company or at-fault party in your claim could use your condition as a way to justify a lower settlement, preventing you from securing the compensation you deserve. Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.