Contact a car accident lawyer immediately if you were in an accident that aggravated a pre-existing medical condition. Although insurance companies will try to avoid paying you due to your pre-existing condition, you still have a right to file a claim. A skilled personal injury lawyer in Huntsville, TX or Navasota, TX, can help you prove that the accident is the cause of your aggravated condition and seek compensation for any medical bills stemming from the incident.
An Accident Aggravated a Pre-Existing Condition: Do I Still Have a Claim?
Having a pre-existing condition doesn’t prevent you from filing a claim, but it can make securing compensation more challenging. When you receive a new injury in an accident, claiming it is a more straightforward process than showing that a prior condition has been aggravated.
However, don’t let that discourage you, as an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate your situation. Here’s everything you need to know about seeking compensation for an aggravated pre-existing condition.
Definition: Pre-Existing Condition or Injury
The legal terms pre-existing injuries or pre-existing conditions refer to an individual’s medical condition before the accident. Essentially, a pre-existing injury is a medical condition you have that did not originate with the accident. Pre-existing conditions can range in severity and affect any body part. However, for the condition to impact your claim, your accident must have aggravated the pre-existing condition.
Definition: Aggravation of a Pre-Existing Condition
When your pre-existing condition or injury is aggravated, that means a condition you had before the accident has been negatively impacted. Additionally, the decline of your condition needs to stem from the accident specifically. Deterioration of your health that would occur over time regardless of whether or not you were in an accident does not count as aggravation.
Say you have had a herniated disc in your back for the last two years, it causes you pain when you perform strenuous exercise, but otherwise, you live your life as usual. The herniated disc counts as a pre-existing condition. If you are in a car accident due to the fault of another driver and suffer debilitating back pain following the incident, their insurance company will try to deny your claim because of your existing medical condition.
In this case, you’ll need a lawyer to help you prove that the state of your back was affected due to the accident. Your lawyer will have to demonstrate how the accident negatively affected your condition and how your abilities and quality of life have diminished.
How to Recieve Maximum Compensation With a Pre-Existing Condition
Seek Medical Care Immediately
Having a trail of medical records will make proving your injuries easier and show insurers that your condition is dire enough to seek care. When you have a pre-existing condition that has been aggravated, you’ll want to make sure your healthcare provider knows about your existing medical situation and notes how the accident has affected it.
Receiving treatment from a medical professional who is familiar with your condition ensures the doctor will understand how the incident has changed your condition. However, seeing your usual provider may not be an option if you are severely wounded in the accident. In that case, you’ll want to provide your current care provider with complete details of your condition so that their records show how the accident has changed your life.
Explain the Situation to Your Doctor
If you inform your healthcare providers that you were injured in an accident and will be seeking compensation for your injuries, they can provide you with detailed notes of your care. They can also help you estimate any future care costs associated with the aggravation of your pre-existing condition. In addition, if the at-fault party’s insurance company contacts them to confirm your care, your doctor will be prepared.
If your condition requires you to see multiple care providers, you’ll want to communicate with all of them. Depending on the aggravated condition, you may even need to provide medical records from specialists not directly related to the accident. This information can provide insurers with a more comprehensive understanding of your injury.
Gather Evidence On Your Condition and the Accident
One of the critical components of filing a successful personal injury lawsuit is ensuring you have documentation to support every statement you make. Photos of the accident scene, witness statements, and police reports are all essential to proving events transpired the way you claim they did.
The same thing goes for statements you make about your health. For example, if your aggravated injury prevents you from mowing your lawn, you’ll need to have the receipt from the landscaping company you hired. Or, if the accident caused you to miss work, you’ll want a statement detailing your missed days and wages.
Be Upfront With Your Car Accident Lawyer
While minimizing aspects of your pre-existing condition may be tempting, it will only hurt your case in the long run. When you are honest with your lawyer, they can create a successful strategy for handling your claim. Even accidental omissions negatively impact your claim, as they make it appear as if you are unreliable, or worse, you and your lawyer are being intentionally dishonest.
Benefits of Working With a Personal Injury Lawyer in Huntsville, TX or Navasota, TX
While anyone dealing with the unfortunate reality of filing a personal injury claim will benefit from legal representation, individuals with pre-existing conditions desperately need a professional on their team. When insurers realize you have a pre-existing condition, they will be prepared to undermine the validity of your injury claim since their goal is to pay you as little as possible.
They Manage the Insurance Company
If insurance adjusters could be counted on to give victims the compensation they deserve, you wouldn’t have to worry about being treated fairly. Unfortunately, the insurer will be looking out for their interest, not yours, which means they aren’t concerned if they leave you with a substantial medical bill. When adjusters encounter victims without legal representation, they will try to manipulate and intimidate them into dropping their claim or accepting a laughably low settlement.
You won’t be prepared to deal with questioning about the incident or want to track down medical records while recovering from the accident. Insurers know that and will pester you, hoping you give up your claim. When you work with a lawyer, they will keep the adjuster at bay and compile the evidence you need for your claim.
They Will Prevent Mistakes
From filing the paperwork to submitting documentation by the deadlines, there’s plenty of room for error in a personal injury claim. However, a lawyer will ensure your case is airtight and contains the information you need to secure maximum compensation. They will also field calls from the insurer and contact health professionals for statements regarding how the incident has damaged your condition.
They Provide an Objective Perspective
Accidents are traumatic, and navigating the aftermath of one that leaves you injured can be overwhelming. When you are stressed, and in pain, it can be hard to make decisions objectively. Sometimes individuals will forgo seeking compensation because they feel like there is no point or as if they don’t have the mental and emotional energy to deal with it.
A personal injury lawyer will look at your case non-emotionally and provide professional insight. They can offer suggestions you may not have thought of and help you find a solution that meets your needs.
Don’t let your pre-existing injury keep you from pursuing the reimbursement you need. Contact Brian C. Gutierrez, Accident & Injury Lawyer, today to ensure you receive compensation for your injuries.