Personal Injury Claims CAN Be Affected By Previous Injuries Suffered
During a personal injury claim or auto accident claim, the victim usually faces a barrage of questions from the opposing party’s legal team and the insurance company about pre-existing conditions. This is a common tactic that they use to make it appear your injury wasn’t their fault and that you are simply embellishing a previous condition. Unfortunately, accidents tend to happen at the absolute worst time and this is out of your control. Having a previous injury worsen is much more common than you would think. Not many people are in a state of flawless health before their accident happens. Most people are dealing with all sorts of health problems at different points in their lives. In fact, previous injuries may make you more susceptible to another injury happening. So how big of an impact will previous injuries have on your personal injury claim and the amount compensation that you can possibly receive?
In most cases, the victim of an accident is not entitled to receive payment for injuries that previously occurred and that were unaffected by the accident. However, you are entitled to receive payment if the previous injuries were made worse by the accident. This is commonly referred to as an exacerbation or aggravation of a pre-existing condition. These conditions or injuries can be physical in nature, mental in nature, or a combination of the two. This doesn’t change the fact that opposing counsel and the insurance company will try to make your pre-existing conditions worse than they actually were and they can cause all kinds of complications during a personal injury lawsuit.
Insurance Companies Will Use Your Previous Injuries Against You
As mentioned above, insurance companies will usually highlight the fact that you had a previous injury in an effort to deny or minimize the amount of compensation they will have to pay. They will try to prove that your injury existed before the accident and therefore your claim is bogus. They will claim that injury was more serious that you disclosed and the accident did no further damage. Don’t be fooled, even though you might a valuable customer, the insurance company is not your friend. They are a business trying to maximize profits and they will do that at your expense.
Why It’s Important To Disclose All of Your Injuries
Complete honesty is critical to the success of your personal injury claim. Make sure that you disclose any and all previous injuries to your personal injury attorney at the time of the event. Not doing this can be a very costly mistake and the opposing counsel will most likely catch you in a lie. This can jeopardize your entire personal injury claim and it makes you look like a liar. Your new injuries will most likely have some sort of interaction with your previous conditions. Even if your previous injuries were not affected by the accident, you need be truthful about your medical history. The insurance company is looking for any way possible to discredit your claim and attack your character. Don’t give them any extra ammunition! They are very experienced at handling claims and finding ways to minimize or deny payouts, especially when the plaintiff seems to be hiding something or being deceptive. You need to avoid this situation completely.
What Is The Eggshell Skull or Eggshell Plaintiff Legal Theory?
This eggshell skull rule is a very common legal theory in personal injury circles. The theory is that a victim’s previously existing conditions makes them more susceptible to an injury during an accident. While this may be the case, it certainly does not mean that you are less entitled to compensation. This legal theory maintains that victims of an accident shouldn’t have pre-existing conditions used against them when assessing the leval of damage down to them if the conditions is worsened or re-aggravated.
Think about like this. If a man with a skull of an eggshell is hurt during a car accident and suffers a blow to the skull, they driver who is negligent is still fully responsible for the actual amount of damage caused despite that the man was fragile and more susceptible to a head injury.
Don’t Let a Previous Conditions Deter You From Seeking Compensation
In many occasions, victims of an accident are hesitant to file a personal injury lawsuit because they feel their pre-existing conditions will limit them. You should never feel this way as you have every right to collect compensation. In fact, a person who has a documented medical history and has received regular treatment will have an easier time providing evidence that the accident caused a new separate injury or worsened the previous one(s). This is why it’s so important to document your injuries after every single injury. If somebody failed to go to the doctor for their injuries, it is much easier for the insurance company to use this information against you. The compensation that your entitled to will depend on the severity of the condition before vs. the severity of the condition after the accident. Your medical records are the only way to show the difference.
As you can imagine, the insurance companies have access to all your medical records through discovery and will be looking it over with a fine-toothed comb to find any reason to deny your claim. For this reason, it’s important that you discuss your accident and previous injuries in detail to your personal injury lawyer at the beginning of the case. This information will be valuable for the attorney representing you and will make sure that they aren’t caught off guard with anything.
Contact The Clark Law Office If You’ve Been Injured
Nothing is more important than your health and well-being. Complete honesty with your personal injury attorney about your previous injuries, medical history, treatments, and the time for healing can help determining the value of your injury case. We will meet with you and discuss the details of your case and explain what legal options you have available to you for free. If an injury has made it impossible for you to work, we can help you recover compensation for lost income, your pain and suffering, and the cost of your medical bills. Don’t let your pre-existing conditions derail your case. We will investigate the circumstances of your personal injury claim, secure all the evidence necessary to prove your case, negotiate with the insurance companies that are fighting you, and guide you through the entire process. Call us today for a free consultation at (517) 347-6900. We charge no fees unless you win!