The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Pre-Existing Injuries and Personal Injury Claims

Many people suffer from various medical conditions and previous injuries at the time they are injured in a car crash or other incidence giving rise to a personal injury claim. First and foremost, you need to know that the fact that you may already have some medical complications does not in any way bar you from recovering compensation for the injuries you sustained in an accident. Be it a heart condition, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, or degenerative disc disease, your pre-existing condition may complicate your personal injury claim, but it should not result in the denial of your claim.

How Will a Pre-Existing Condition Effect My Personal Injury Claim?

Things get complicated in personal injury cases where the injured party, the plaintiff, has a preexisting condition because it is a prime way for the insurance company to try and get out of paying a legitimate claim. Insurance companies will say that your injury was completely preexisting and it was in no way aggravated by the accident. These companies will do anything to try and pay out less money to claimants and they will take advantage of the preexisting condition avenue if it is available.

As stated before, while your preexisting condition may complicate your claim, it should not be a basis for the denial of your claim. It does not matter if your preexisting condition made you more susceptible to injury and that maybe someone without your health concerns would not have been injured had he or she been involved in the accident incident. This is based on the well-established “Eggshell Plaintiff Theory.” Under this legal theory, plaintiffs are entitled to full and fair compensation for any injury that resulted from the negligence of another despite the fact that his or her injuries are more severe than they would have been had they not had a preexisting condition. In its most basic terms, the eggshell plaintiff theory means that the defendant, the at fault party, takes the plaintiff as he finds him. Thus, if the defendant was the direct cause of the accident that resulted in the aggravation of a preexisting injury, he or she will be responsible for compensating the plaintiff for the harm done.

Even though, legally speaking, the defendant should be on the hook for paying for the new injuries or aggravation of other injuries and medical conditions caused by the accident, insurance companies will still try to pin everything on the preexisting condition. To help combat this approach, seek medical attention immediately following the accident. Medical records will be the evidence needed to support your claim. Also, go get evaluated by any doctor you may have been treating with prior to the accident. Have them put in your records the differences they see in your health and well-being after the accident. This will be crucial evidence to support the fact that you have new injuries or your condition was made worse by the accident.

Last, but certainly not least, never lie about a preexisting injury. Be clear with your treating physicians and attorneys about any prior injuries or illnesses. These things never remain hidden for long. It is better to know about them up front so things can be properly handled.

New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney Fighting for Our Clients

Insurance companies will do anything to try and get out of paying a claim or paying less than they should on a claim. The Cassidy Law Firm is here to hold them to their legal obligation on paying full and fair compensation on legitimate claims. If you have been injured in an accident, we’re here to fight for you. Contact us today.

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