How Will My Pre-Existing Condition Affect My Personal Injury Case?
If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the actions of another individual, business, or entity, there are likely various types of compensation available for losses. However, obtaining this compensation can be complicated if you have a pre-existing condition or have sustained an injury in the past. Insurance carriers and at-fault parties know how to use pre-existing conditions against you in your personal injury claim. Here, we want to discuss how a pre-existing condition can affect a personal injury case and what you can do to fight back against the other parties involved.
How do pre-existing injuries affect personal injury claims?
In the aftermath of sustaining an injury caused by somebody else, it seems logical that you should be compensated for any injuries the other party caused. However, any pre-existing condition or injury a person has sustained will almost certainly be used against them by insurance carriers or at-fault parties to justify paying a lower settlement or even denying a claim altogether.
It is vital to understand that insurance carriers are looking to do anything they can to lower the amount of money they pay out in settlements to injury victims. Ultimately, they are looking out for their bottom line – their profit. That is why they will dig into an injury victim’s medical records and look for any pre-existing injury or condition that could explain the current pain and suffering the victim is experiencing.
For an example of how an insurance carrier or at-fault party’s legal team may approach these situations, let us suppose that Jimmy is experiencing significant pain in his hip in the aftermath but a severe vehicle accident caused by Rebecca. In most situations, it will be determined that Jimmy should be able to recover compensation for any injury expenses and pain and suffering as a result of the incident because Rebecca was at fault. However, suppose that Rebecca’s insurance carrier was able to obtain Jimmy’s medical records, and they learned that Jimmy had a hip replacement surgery five years prior to the crash.
It is likely that the insurance carrier will argue that Jimmy’s current pain and suffering is due to his pre-existing hip injury and replacement as opposed to the car accident caused by Rebecca. What the insurance carrier will conveniently ignore is the fact that Jimmy’s hip would have been injured in the accident regardless of whether or not he had a pre-existing injury. They will also not want to highlight the fact that the crash caused by Rebecca likely exasperated any pre-existing injury.
What can you do to help your case?
Regardless of whether or not a person has a pre-existing injury, they should still be able to recover compensation in the aftermath of being injured by somebody else. If you or a loved one have sustained an injury and are worried about your pre-existing conditions being used against you, you need to speak to a skilled Seattle personal injury lawyer about your case as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to properly show how your pre-existing conditions should not influence the current injury case and present this information to the insurance carrier or, if need be, to a jury.