A personal injury claim may happen unexpectedly when you get injured. There are times when an accident happens and worsens a condition you already have. It could be a slip and fall incident, a vehicle crash, or even a work accident. While there’s no way you can pretend the accident is responsible for your existing injury, you can still file for a claim. Although having a pre-existing condition makes filing a personal injury claim difficult, it isn’t impossible.
When you have a pre-existing condition and file for a personal injury claim, the opposing side will try to prove your condition worsened before the incident. This is why we recommend hiring a Miami personal injury lawyer. First, however, this article explains how a pre-existing condition can affect your personal injury claim.
Types of Pre-Existing Conditions that Could Worsen Due to an Accident
A pre-existing condition is any health condition that existed before you got into an accident. Some pre-existing conditions could get worse when you’re involved in an accident. Some of these conditions include:
- Degenerative back problems and disc diseases
- Previous brain or head injury
- Previous back injury
- Neck stiffness and joint problems
- Cardiovascular conditions and broken bones in the past
There are occasions where degenerative changes in your body aren’t apparent till you experience trauma. After the accident, a doctor can determine that there was already a pre-existing condition even though you weren’t aware of it. In cases like this, the accident didn’t cause the degeneration but sped up the process. You could also file a personal injury claim because it caused the symptoms you weren’t experiencing before.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Claim if an Accident Worsens Your Pre-Existing Condition?
In an accident, you might experience injuries that would worsen a pre-existing medical condition. There’s also a possibility that your wound has healed but reappeared because of an accident. In such cases, you can file for a personal injury claim. However, there’s no way to receive compensation if the injuries existed before the incident.
You can only receive money when you sustain injuries that affect or worsen your pre-existing condition. Again, you should prepare to face opposition as the other party will claim the wounds existed beforehand. That’s why understanding how a personal injury claim works and hiring an experienced attorney is crucial in getting the compensation you deserve.
Protecting Your Personal Injury Claim
If you have a pre-existing condition before involvement in an accident, you should be honest with your lawyer. If you hide that you have a pre-existing condition, it decreases your chance of winning your claim. One crucial fact in personal injury claims with pre-existing conditions is medical records.
There’s a need for detailed medical records when you have a pre-existing medical condition. Ensure that every doctor involved in your treatment after the accident keeps detailed records about how the accident impacted your condition. These records will serve as evidence for your condition before the accident and explain how it worsened after the accident. You should also try to obtain testimony from medical experts.
The Eggshell Doctrine Protects You
One vital doctrine that’s in your favor when you have a pre-existing condition is the eggshell doctrine. This doctrine states that the court takes you as you are without using your frailty against you. It means that you cannot be denied compensation simply because you’re more prone to injuries than an average person. Although the accident might have caused little harm to a healthy person, it caused you severe injuries. Because this doctrine exists, an insurance carrier cannot deny your claim because of your medical history.
What You Should Do
When you want to file for a personal injury claim, you can do things to ensure your claim is solid. Below are the actions you need to take.
- Stop signing medical authorizations for insurance companies. They can use the information they get to discredit your claim.
- You need to get legal assistance. A lawyer that has experience with your state laws can get you the compensation you deserve.
- Ensure you disclose every medical issue to your lawyer. Whether you think it is essential or not, you should inform your lawyer.
Get Help for Your Personal Injury Claim Now!
When an accident aggravates your pre-existing condition, the law is on your side. However, you should expect difficulties, especially from the liable person’s insurance company. That’s why you should get help from an experienced Miami personal injury lawyer. When you book a free case evaluation with us, we’ll help you understand your case better and ensure your rights are protected. We work on a contingency fee basis and will demand no upfront fee.