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Pre-Existing Injuries and Car Accidents

Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Jan 29, 2018 in Auto Accidents

car accident victim holding his neckAlthough insurance companies may try to use pre-existing injuries as justification to deny claims, accident victims often have the right to pursue compensation against the at-fault party even if they had a pre-existing injury.

The Phoenix auto accident lawyers at Phillips Law Group understand that dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be frustrating. If you suffer from a pre-existing condition and have been injured in an auto accident, do not hesitate to contact us for a free, no obligation consultation. We will help guide you through each step of the claims process.

Did the Accident Make Your Existing Injury Worse?

Many individuals who are harmed in auto accidents have suffered some type of similar injury in the past, whether from a work-related injury or a slip and fall accident. In these cases, an accident can impact a prior injury by:

  • Aggravating the pre-existing injury so that it requires additional medical treatment or corrective surgery
  • Escalating the pain in the location of the injury in a way that affects your ability to perform simple tasks, continue your daily routine or work

Although many injury victims may be hesitant to divulge information about a pre-existing injury, it is important that you explain how your injury was worsened by the accident. To do this, it is often recommended that you:

  • Do not hide your pre-existing injury – When you receive medical treatment following the accident, inform your health care provider of your pre-existing injury. It is important that you are open and honest about your condition so your health care provider can determine how the accident has worsened or aggravated your pre-existing injury.
  • Provide specific details about your injury – Be specific when describing your new symptoms after the accident and how they differ from your previous injury.
  • Request the same health care provider – If possible, try to see the same health care provider who treated your previous injury and is familiar with your pre-existing condition. This may provide you with a significant advantage because your previous health care provider can clearly explain how the injury has worsened or aggravated after the accident.

Your Right to Compensation

Often, insurance companies will try to use a pre-existing injury to deny your claim or pay you less compensation than what your claims is worth. However, a pre-existing injury should not absolutely bar recovery for a victim if the accident aggravated the injury.

Although you cannot obtain compensation for an injury that existed before an accident, you may be entitled to compensation if the auto accident worsened your injury or condition.

In personal injury claims involving a pre-existing condition, the “eggshell plaintiff” legal theory is often used. Under this theory, the insurance company must consider the victim’s health and medical condition as-is and cannot deny a claim based on a pre-existing condition.

Even if a victim is more susceptible to injury because he or she has a pre-existing condition, the victim is still entitled to compensation if the at-fault party worsened or aggravated the pre-existing condition.

An experienced lawyer can be an important advocate for an auto accident victim with a pre-existing condition. Your attorney can help gather relevant medical records that detail how the accident has affected your injury and worsened or aggravated its condition. We can make recommendations specific to your claim to help you recover the compensation you need.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer for Assistance

At Phillips Law Group, we have experience representing clients with pre-existing injuries. We have zealously advocated for them and their right to recover compensation when the accident aggravated their pre-existing injury.

If you think your pre-existing condition was worsened by a car accident, it is important to have a skilled legal advocate on your side. We offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation, and only get paid if we help you recover for your injury aggravation.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form to get started. 

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