Personal injury claims can be complex and complicated, depending on the type of accident, injuries suffered, aggravating factors, etc. Naturally, a personal injury lawyer will do everything in their capacity to ensure their client’s cases receive the utmost legal attention and ultimately a favorable payout for their damages.
However, certain issues can complicate a personal injury case from the start. One such crucial issue is the existence of a previous health condition before the accident and injury. Pre-existing conditions can complicate a personal injury claim in many ways, including pushing the burden of proof. Furthermore, the new injuries may further complicate the pre-existing conditions, exposing the victim to far greater risks than they should be.
Understanding the impact of a pre-existing medical condition on your personal injury claim can help you handle the case better. Find below the important information to know.
What Are Pre-Existing Conditions?
Pre-existing medical conditions are injuries or health problems that existed before you were involved in an accident or sustained an injury. This pre-existing condition could be anything from common issues like chronic back or neck pain, migraines, or disease conditions like diabetes, epilepsy, or even cancer.
It is important to note that these conditions have already impacted your ability to live wholly and may be further aggravated by the injuries sustained from the personal injury accident.
How Do Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Your Injury Claim?
Naturally, pre-existing conditions are often aggravated by newer injuries that further compromise the victim’s quality of life. One problem, however, is that the at-fault party’s insurer may try to downplay the extent of the new injuries sustained due to existing conditions that have already compromised your health.
Insurance companies may also try to make a point for themselves by claiming the presence of an existing condition or complication whose side effects may have blown the injury effects out of proportion.
Pre-existing conditions can also put the accident victim in a bad situation, especially if they fail to disclose it to their lawyer. The at-fault party’s insurer and lawyers may use this concealment to their advantage, pushing to have the case dismissed or lower damages awarded.
How To Maximize Recovered Damages With Pre-Existing Conditions
In most cases, the money awarded may not be enough to cover the damages suffered in accidents wherein the victim suffered pre-existing conditions. However, there are ways by which the victim can improve their chances of commanding more money for their losses.
Some tips to keep in mind when filing an injury claim with a pre-existing condition include;
Pay Attention To The Evidence
Evidence is an important part of any legal case, including a personal injury claim. You want to ensure that you preserve the evidence of the accident and injuries suffered as much as possible. People with pre-existing conditions are advised to seek medical attention as quickly as possible after they’ve been in a personal injury accident.
Seeking immediate medical attention establishes the effects of the accident, details the injuries suffered, and ultimately ensures that a proper record of the accident and injuries are kept.
Ensure to make videos of the accident scene, take pictures, take down the details of eyewitnesses, collect a copy of the police report, and make an incident report for personal use.
Know Your Claims
Personal injury claims can be complex and complicated. Insurance companies are interested in paying out as little as possible in damages, which may mean exploring different options to void your claim.
It is important to work closely with your personal injury lawyer to understand your claims and what to expect. Ensure that your injury lawyer is fully briefed with regards to the incident or accident that has led to your injuries. The attorney will use their legal knowledge and experience to determine the claim or claims cases you may be able to file to recover losses.
Be Honest With Your Lawyer
One of the greatest undoings of your personal injury case is not being honest with your lawyer. Your injury lawyer deserves to know every little detail of the case, including the past medical procedures you’ve undergone, treatments and diagnosis, how you’ve handled past diagnoses, etc.
Providing detailed information about your pre-existing condition ensures that the attorney is kept abreast of the latest regarding your case and can help them prepare better to defend you. It also ensures that your accident lawyer knows what to calculate in damages and protects them from being blindsided by new information during negotiation or trial proceedings.
In the end, a pre-existing medical condition can aggravate your new injuries and their effects. However, being honest with your attorney can significantly improve your case and chances of recovering damages.