Why do My Pre-Existing Injuries Matter in a Car Accident Claim?
by HGD Staff
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash, you might be wondering how you will cover all of the bills and expenses you have incurred. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced legal team, you can usually recover not only your medical bills and expenses, but also additional cash compensation for pain and suffering and other damages. One issue that often comes up, however, is the matter of pre-existing injuries. We all have some sort of existing ailment. Whether it is an old broken hand from high school sports or a heart condition, chances are you have something.
In fact, a 2015 report revealed that 95% of the world’s population suffer from some sort of medical condition, and as much as a third of the population has five or more issues. Among the most common are back pain and depression. When you are suffering from injuries you sustained in a car accident, your existing health issues can become the source of much discussion.
Why do Insurance Companies Care About Prior Injuries?
When you are injured and you file a claim for insurance, you are basically stating that the car accident caused your injuries. If there is reason to suspect that the car accident did not cause an injury, the insurance company will want to know. This is because the insurance company may try to use your prior injuries as a reason to reduce or even deny compensation.
What do You Have to Prove to Recover Compensation?
If you seek compensation for injuries in a car accident, all 50 states require that you prove the following in some way:
- That the other driver owed you a duty
- That the other driver breached that duty in some way (negligence)
- That the accident directly caused your injuries
- That you have suffered some loss of injury that can be compensated (damages)
It is the third element that becomes an issue when pre-existing conditions are concerned. Say you broke your arm in college and 20 years later, you break it again in a car accident. Now you claim that you are suffering extreme pain. It is unlikely that the prior injury had anything to do with your present medical care or pain.
On the other hand, if you have chronic back pain and were receiving medical care for back pain at the time you had the wreck, it is likely the insurance company will at least make the argument that the pain you are now experiencing is due to the existing issues, not the car accident.
Get Aggressive Legal Representation as Early as Possible
Many Americans have existing ailments. The earlier you contact an attorney to discuss your case, the sooner your attorney can begin reviewing your options. You need to make sure you are getting the right kind of care for your injuries. The key to remember is that if you have an aggravation of a pre-existing injury, you still have a right to be compensated for your pain and suffering, as well as your lost wages and medical expenses. While an insurance company might try to argue that your injuries were already present, our firm can aggressively pursue compensation.
Call Heninger Garrison Davis, LLC today to speak with a skilled attorney near you.