How can a Pre-Existing Condition Affect My Personal Injury Claim?
Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2018 at 4:49 pm
Being seriously injured in a car accident can lead to a long period of recovery and leave a person in need of long term medical care, even if the injured person was in the prime of his or her life and in great health at the time of the accident. The recovery for a person who is injured in a car accident, but who also had a pre-existing condition or illness can be more extensive and require much more in terms of medical treatment. With the medical bills pilling up, an injured person who had unrelated injuries or an illness before the accident may be concerned about his or her ability to recover compensation.
Having a pre-existing condition can affect a personal injury claim, but not always in the way a plaintiff may expect. Pre-existing conditions do not serve as a complete bar to recovery, and a plaintiff may still be able to prove his or her case and recover compensation following a car accident. However, in order to recover compensation, the injured person may have to take a different approach when it comes to proving injuries suffered.
The at-fault driver will often try to use the plaintiff’s pre-existing condition as a defense to decrease the amount of compensation the injured person recovers. The issue of pre-existing conditions affects two main parts of a personal injury claim – the causation and the damages. This means that the defense will try to argue that even if he or she caused the accident, the defendant did not cause the injuries because the plaintiff already had those injuries. The defendant can also argue that he or she should not be responsible for all future medical care because the plaintiff would have been undergoing treatment anyway because of the pre-existing conditions.
Recovery for injuries suffered when a person has a pre-existing condition can be measured in terms of how much the accident aggravated the pre-existing condition and made it worse. The at-fault driver in the accident is only expected to pay for the degree of harm he or she caused. The injured person usually shows that there has been an aggravation of the pre-existing condition by providing medical records that show how the previous injury or illness was before and after the accident.
The injured plaintiff may have to undergo tests or examinations by doctors from the defense. While the plaintiff may be required to undergo these examinations, he or she should remember that these doctors are not his or her doctors. Therefore, while cooperating with the examination, the plaintiff should avoid making statements that may compromise his or her case.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you had a pre-existing condition before an accident, it does not mean that you have no way to seek compensation for your injuries and other losses suffered in the accident. The first thing you should do is contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Waiting too long to file your claim can negatively affect your case. For information on how you can file a claim after a car accident in Atlanta, Georgia, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. today.