If you’re involved in a car accident, a pre-existing condition can either help or hurt your personal injury case. It all depends on the circumstances of the accident and how it affected your situation.
Personal Injury Claims in Car Accidents
Millions of vehicular accidents occur on U.S. roads every year, leading to thousands of casualties and injuries. These injuries result in lost wages and hefty medical bills, not to mention physical and emotional distress. If you were involved in a car accident that is not your fault, you could file a personal injury claim against the liable party.
This process involves the insurance company determining the extent of your injuries and whether the crash caused them. However, if they discover that you have a pre-existing condition, they might have grounds to deny your claim or minimize the value of the compensation you’re set to receive.
How Pre-Existing Conditions Impact Your Claim
Often, a new injury or traumatic experience exacerbates a pre-existing condition. If this is the case, you may be eligible to get compensation for the aggravation of your condition. Below are some health problems that may worsen after you get involved in a car accident:
- Cardiovascular diseases
The stress and trauma of car accidents can lead to irregular heartbeats and cause heart attacks.
- Chronic conditions
The crash’s impact can exacerbate chronic and degenerative conditions such as back or neck pain and arthritis.
- Broken bones
You may get re-fractured if you have been involved in a car accident while having bone fractures that have only recently started to heal.
- Brain injury
If you have recently suffered from a traumatic brain injury, getting into a car accident might worsen your condition, like turning headaches into memory loss.
Disclosing Pre-Existing Injuries
If these pre-existing conditions worsen, not only will your health be in jeopardy, but they will also result in costly medical bills.
This is the exact reason insurance companies might scrutinize your claim and try to deny you compensation. They might allege that the severity of your suffered injuries is due to your pre-existing condition and not the accident. They might also say that your pre-existing condition may have contributed to your fault in the accident.
Despite these, you should not be afraid of disclosing your pre-existing conditions. In fact, if you have some, it’s pertinent that you tell the insurance adjusters about them. Hiding pre-existing conditions might decrease your claim’s credibility, especially if the insurer finds out that you didn’t disclose them.
The Eggshell Doctrine
The eggshell doctrine, recognized by California law, states that a personal injury victim’s existing health issues prior to an accident cannot be used against them to lower the value of their claim. So, even if a person without pre-existing conditions may have gotten less severe injuries if they were involved in a similar accident, the liable party must still compensate you for the full extent of your injuries.
Apart from the eggshell doctrine, an attorney that specializes in brain injury and other personal injuries can help with your case and get you the compensation you deserve. Haffner Law’s experienced personal injury attorneys are ready to help.
Contact us at 1-844-HAFFNER today.
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