Can Pre-Existing Conditions Affect My Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury cases are rarely black and white. There are a lot of factors that go into building a solid case, and you can be sure both your insurance company and the at-fault party’s lawyer will look for ways to shift blame to you and negatively affect your settlement. One of the ways they do this is by suggesting your injuries existed prior to the accident, so you cannot claim compensation for medical bills, lost wages, or other damages related to them. While it is true that pre-existing conditions can complicate a personal injury case, they do not mean you aren’t entitled to compensation in the event of an accident.
In this article, we will take a look at certain types of pre-existing medical conditions that can affect a personal injury case and how your lawyer will help you overcome the legal and insurance bias associated with them.
What Counts as a Pre-Existing Condition?
As the name suggests, a pre-existing medical condition is simply one that you already had prior to your accident. This can cover a wide range of diagnoses, but some of the more common ones include:
- Chronic back/neck pain
- Shoulder injuries
- Prior brain injury (i.e. concussion)
- Vertigo/Balance issues
You don’t necessarily need to have had these conditions addressed by a doctor in order to have them be considered “preexisting.” There may be other evidence that you had an issue prior to your accident based on witness testimony, social media posts, email/text correspondence, etc.
How Will My Pre-existing Conditions Affect My Personal Injury Case?
The key issue in winning your personal injury case with a pre-existing condition is not to deny it, but to prove that it was made worse by your accident. You can have a history of migraines, for example, but submit proof that they have become significantly worse since a whiplash injury from a car accident.
Proving an injury was aggravated by an accident can be somewhat complicated. That being said, many people with a pre-existing or chronic condition have ample medical documentation with past symptoms, scans, treatments, etc. This history can be used to pinpoint the moment your injury got worse. For example, a sudden increase in visits, higher pain levels, or failure to respond to treatment that has worked in the past can help prove your condition worsened as a result of the accident.
Even if you do not have adequate medical documentation to definitively show that your accident worsened your condition, you still have the right to pursue legal action. Your personal injury lawyer will look for other ways to prove that your injuries were exacerbated by a new trauma.
What To Do if An Accident Worsens a Pre-Existing Condition?
If you are in an accident and you find that an old injury or chronic condition is suddenly worse, you will want to visit a doctor as soon as possible. He or she can determine the extent of your injuries and to what degree they may have been aggravated by the accident.
Your next step should be to contact a qualified personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will collect evidence and statements from the professionals treating your injuries, as well as other available supporting documentation to solidify your case. Among other things, this might include photographs, CCTV footage, and witness testimonies.
Denver Personal Injury Attorney
Going from managing a pre-existing condition to having your life turned upside down due to an accident can have far-reaching consequences. Those responsible for worsening your symptoms and reducing your quality of life should be held accountable. If you were in an accident in Colorado and are suffering from an aggravated condition as a result, contact Dave Roth with the Roth Group. Dave is a highly skilled insurance and personal injury attorney. He will help you successfully file your claim and pursue additional damages to get you fair compensation. Call or go online today to schedule a free consultation.