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Jackson & New Orleans Workers' Compensation / Blog / Car Accident / I Have a Pre-existing Condition – How Could it Affect My Personal Injury Claim?

I Have a Pre-existing Condition – How Could it Affect My Personal Injury Claim?

In the event of a slip and fall or car accident, it is vital that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Oftentimes new injuries will go unnoticed for those with pre-existing conditions, as some injuries do not present directly after an accident and take time to manifest. Furthermore, it’s important to understand whether or not the accident made your pre-existing condition worse.

After an accident, your insurance company will search for any reason they can to minimize your claim. This includes asking for personal medical records under the guise of validating any injuries that happened because of the accident. What these lawyers are really doing, however, is searching for any pre-existing conditions you may have. If any are found, they will likely push the idea that the accident did not cause the injury, and that it was exacerbated by your pre-existing condition.

If you have questions or concerns about a personal injury claim or how a pre-existing condition might affect that claim, the experts at Lunsford, Baskin, & Priebe, PLLC, can help. We have helped hundreds of clients with pre-existing conditions get the benefits they deserve.

Medical Records and Physician Testimonies

Medical records from a doctor are almost always vital to settling a personal injury claim, especially if you are claiming damages for an accident that worsened your pre-existing condition. In some cases, an independent medical examiner will review your physician’s diagnosis and provide testimony that the accident did indeed worsen your condition. If this is verified successfully by the medical examiner, the at-fault party will be held liable for any accident-related expenses.

The eggshell skull rule is a rule in law that states defendants are responsible to pay for damages as a result of their wrongdoing whether the injuries sustained were made worse by a pre-existing condition or not.

Pre-existing conditions are somewhat of a double-edged sword as they can be used both for and against the plaintiff. A defendant will use records of your pre-existing condition against you by arguing that your injuries were already suffered beforehand and that they are not responsible for old injuries. On the other hand, a medical examiner’s testimony can be used to prove that a pre-existing condition was worsened by the accident, and the plaintiff should receive payment for damages and medical bills.

The importance of seeking medical attention as soon as possible is a big factor here. Defense attorneys will do everything they can to convince a judge or jury that your injuries were old and not caused by the accident. The longer you wait between the time of the accident and seeing a doctor will decrease the efficacy of your argument in court. Even if the only injuries you suffered were because of a pre-existing condition, the timeliness of your medical records will prove that your injuries were a direct result of the accident.

Connect with a Mississippi Personal Injury Lawyer ASAP

Most importantly of all is transparency. One of the worst things you can do is attempt to cover up any pre-existing conditions you might have. Some courts may see this as fraud, and it will severely harm the chances of you receiving a substantial payout on your claim. Disclose any pre-existing conditions you have with both your physician and personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Time is of the essence in personal injury cases, so don’t wait to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer if you or a loved one have suffered injuries in an accident.

For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Mississippi, contact Lunsford, Baskin, and Priebe, PLLC. After-hours visits are available.

 

Video Transcript
Pre-existing injuries, pre-existing medical conditions can affect any personal injury claim. And the reason is that an insurance company is always looking for a way to blame a person’s injury or a person’s pain that the person is alleging is related to an accident… the insurance company is looking for a way to blame that on something unrelated to the accident or something that predates the accident.
So insurance companies will regularly get copies of an injured person’s medical records from the date of an accident. They will often hire doctors to come in and review preexisting medical records, or even examine the injured person in person to try and come up with some argument or some excuse as to why all of the pain problems and injuries that the person is alleging are related to that accident are actually related to something pre-existing or unrelated. So if you have a complex medical history or you have prior injuries, certainly if you’ve been involved in a prior accident or had a prior lawsuit is more important than ever that you have a competent attorney that can review your prior medical history and help you defend yourself against those arguments that the insurance companies routinely make.
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