One of the most frustrating aspects of filing a personal injury claim with an insurance company or going through a lawsuit is that a determination on the outcome is often made based on whether the plaintiff has a pre-existing condition. Even if that condition has nothing to do with the medical expenses for a new injury, it can become a sticking point in winning the case.
Although the plaintiff cannot get any damages associated with the pre-existing condition, it is possible to get financial compensation for any new injury, whether mental or physical. However, without having a qualified attorney, the insurance company will do whatever it can so that the pre-existing condition negatively impacts the new claim. Because of this, it is imperative to hire an experienced attorney.
If you have sustained an injury in an accident but have a pre-existing condition, you need to reveal pertinent information to your lawyer. Not disclosing this information could have a huge impact on whether you win or lose your case. Especially if the new injury affects the same part of the body as the pre-existing condition, full disclosure is essential. Both the insurance company and court would rely heavily on your credibility.
Another factor is whether your new injury is the result of a pre-existing condition. In other words, if you had a previous back injury, and after being in a car accident your back condition had worsened, your attorney would use his or her expertise to prove the accident complicated a pre-existing condition. This of particular importance if your injury was the result of a minor or low-impact injury. The reason is that if your case goes to trial, some jurors may be hesitant to grant you compensation.
Medical records are one of the most important factors in a pre-existing injury case. A qualified attorney will gather anything relevant, including x-rays, MRIs, CAT scans diagnostic tests, and other medical records to show that the accident worsened your pre-existing condition. Along with that, your attorney may hire an expert medical witness who can testify on your behalf and in layman’s terms to show the juror comparisons between medical records for the pre-existing condition and the new injury.
Additional records can be entered and testified on as well. For example, if you have had to go to physical therapy see a psychologist because of the aggregated pain and suffering, those records could help bolster your claim. Overall, the type and quantity of medical records provided as evidence will contribute to the compensation that you get awarded.
Before making any statements, agreeing to anything, or signing any documentation, you need to speak with a reputable attorney. Trying to deal with an insurance company on your own could prove disastrous, and without a lawyer, winning a lawsuit would be difficult. The bottom line is that if you have a new injury and pre-existing condition, you need to seek legal counsel immediately.