After a car crash, slip and fall, or another type of accident, you may sustain an injury that leaves you with hefty medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. If the accident wasn’t your fault and you file a claim against the liable party’s insurance company, you expect to be fully and fairly compensated by them. In the event the insurance company does not believe your injuries were actually caused by the accident and are related to a pre-existing condition instead, they may deny your claim or try to get you to accept a low offer. Keep reading to learn how pre-existing conditions can affect Florida injury claims.
Contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney for help in proving that your injury was the direct result of an accident so you can get appropriate, fair compensation. To schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case, contact David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. today.
What is a Pre-Existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition is a physical or mental condition or ailment that you had before an accident. For example, if you’ve had a back problem for years, you have a pre-existing condition as that issue was not caused by the accident.
Another example of a pre-existing condition is arthritis. If you’ve suffered from joint problems for a long time, you can’t state the crash caused your arthritis. You can, however, state that the accident made your condition worse. High blood pressure and depression are pre-existing conditions that are often exacerbated by accidents.
When a person’s pre-existing condition has been permanently aggravated, the injured person suffers permanent damages or changes to the normal course of an ailment or condition. The permanent aggravation of that condition causes damage that will never be fully reversed or healed, and therefore never return to their health status before the injury. Often, a doctor will wait to make the determination that an aggravation is temporary or permanent, once the person has reached his or her “maximum medical improvement,” at which time his or her activities of daily living (ADL) will not progress further in year, with or without the help of medical treatment.
Where the lines begin to blur – and where defendants often aggressively assert arguments against the plaintiff for “no new injury” – is when the pre-existing condition is associated with the accident-caused injury.
Should You Disclose a Pre-Existing Condition?
Contrary to popular belief, it’s vital to disclose your pre-existing condition when pursuing a personal injury case. If you fail to do so, you risk further complicating your case and may face a dismissal of your claim. By being honest and upfront about a pre-existing condition, you can show how said issue was aggravated by the accident.
Can You Receive Compensation for a Pre-Existing Condition?
The truth is that many insurance companies will try to use a pre-existing condition as an excuse to deny your claim or pay you less than it’s worth. While you cannot recover compensation for a condition that you had before the accident, you may be able to collect it if the crash worsened your condition.
Under the eggshell plaintiff theory, the insurer must consider your health and condition as is. An insurance company does not have the right to deny a claim simply because you have a pre-existing condition. Even if you’re more prone to injury because of your issue, you still have the right to get compensated fairly.
If you do get hurt in an accident and have a pre-existing condition, be sure your doctor provides you with medical documentation that proves how your injury affected your condition and/or was caused by this particular accident.
Why Should I Contact a Personal Injury Attorney?
A claim that involves a pre-existing condition can become complicated very quickly. Therefore, it’s a good idea to consult a highly skilled personal injury attorney who can help you collect relevant past and current medical documentation that proves how the accident worsened your pre-existing condition. Legal representation can reduce your risk of a claim denial or low offer, ensuring your rights remain protected, despite your pre-existing condition.
Speak With a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve incurred injuries in an accident and have a pre-existing condition, contact the David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. as soon as possible. Attorney Fuchs will protect your rights, and make sure you don’t get taken advantage of by an insurance company. Reach out online to schedule a free case consultation.