Many people suffer from illnesses and injuries throughout their lifetimes, and pre-existing conditions can play a major role in some personal injury cases. Typically, an injured victim cannot recover compensation for underlying conditions that were not caused by an accident, but they are entitled to compensation if those pre-existing conditions were made worse by the accident. The best accident attorneys always advise clients to disclose any pre-existing conditions to ensure they have all the information they need to build a solid personal injury case.
Why Your Attorney Needs To Know About Pre-Existing Conditions
Informing your attorney of any pre-existing physical injuries or mental health conditions such as anxiety, PTSD, or depression is critical to establishing whether or not an accident caused the conditions to worsen. When you file a personal injury claim, insurance companies will scrutinize your medical history for the purpose of blaming your current injuries on a pre-existing injury or medical issue, regardless of how minor the pre-existing condition may be. A good personal injury lawyer will establish the degree to which an accident aggravated a pre-existing problem and/or caused new and distinct injuries. This is a critical element when determining the amount of compensation you may be able to pursue in a personal injury claim.
Failing to Disclose a Pre-Existing Condition Can Jeopardize Your Claim
When discussing your medical history with your lawyer, it is essential not to hold anything back. For example, you may consider a childhood injury like a broken wrist irrelevant. It may not be – leave it up to your attorney to determine how it could affect your claim.
Detailed medical records documenting your pre-existing health issues are critical to establishing their severity and how they affected your life before, and how the injuries you sustained recently have made these pre-existing issues worse.. Seeking medical care as soon as possible after an accident can actually help prove how recent injuries may have worsened an old injury or condition.
Forgetting or deliberately failing to disclose a pre-existing condition could hurt your credibility, affect your chances of recovering compensation, and may even result in an insurer taking legal action against you if an omission is discovered later.
A Pre-Existing Condition Won’t Always Prevent You from Recovering Compensation
Some victims who are already living with an injury may be hesitant to file an accident claim because they think their pre-existing condition will prevent them from recovering any compensation. This is simply untrue – again, leave it up to an experienced attorney to determine whether or not a claim is worth pursuing. Even if your pre-existing condition means you may not recover as much compensation as you would have without it, if someone else was responsible for causing new injuries or worsening old injuries, you deserve to be compensated for your damages.
Scheduling a case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer can’t hurt – your initial consultation is free. Top car accident lawyers will thoroughly assess your case, review your complete medical history, and advise you of all the options that may be available to you.
Personal injury claims are complex, and pre-existing conditions can make it even more difficult to recover the full and fair compensation you need. Contact a personal injury attorney today at Perna & Abracht, LLC by calling 610-444-0933 to learn more.