Pre-Existing Injuries and Your Personal Injury Claim: What You Need to Know

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may quickly find it’s your word against the defendant’s insurance company. Even if you’ve done nothing wrong to cause your accident – such as a head-on car crash with a drunk driver or slip and fall accident on an unmarked wet floor – insurance companies will do just about anything to diminish the compensation you rightfully deserve for an accident. You may even find that insurance companies are willing to use a pre-existing injury against you to do so.

Experienced personal injury lawyers know that insurance company resistance is all-too-common in accident cases of all types. That’s because many insurance companies want to keep their shareholders happy, sometimes at the expense of people making claims. Unfortunately, this means keeping payouts to a minimum, no matter who’s at fault or who has been injured. If you’ve suffered a pre-existing injury, it’s wise to take the steps necessary to prove how the injury originally occurred. You may be entitled to compensation for physical and mental conditions made worse by your accident. Lawter & Associates, PLLC can help you with this.

Avoiding insurance company opposition to pre-existing injuries

There may be no doubt in your mind that your pre-existing injury was aggravated by a traffic crash, slip and fall accident, or an injury due to a dangerous product, prescription drug or medical device. But proving that to insurance companies can be exceptionally difficult. If a case goes to trial, proving the validity of your injuries to a judge and jury can be difficult unless accident victims contact an attorney and take the following steps:

  • Disclose all prior injuries. After you’ve contacted an attorney, be sure to disclose any and all previous injuries. A failure to disclose prior injuries – especially those affecting the same body part injured in the accident – can dramatically affect an injury victim’s ability to collect compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other damages resulting from the accident.
  • Determine if your accident aggravated a prior injury. Insurance companies may try to argue that your injuries were the result of a prior accident. But even if an injury victim is in a weakened condition at the time of their accident – such as a person suffering neck and back pain before a rear-end crash – the insurance company must take accident victims as they are at the time of their accident.
  • Compare medical records. Having documented proof of a pre-existing injury is essential in obtaining compensation for your injuries. However, it’s also critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible after your accident. That way, your attorney can compare past and present records in evaluating how severely your accident aggravated your previous injury.

Even if the cause of your accident and injuries were clear cut, it’s important for accident victims to remember that insurance companies will stop at nothing to downplay your injuries and deny your claim. By hiring a personal injury attorney, you can level the playing field with these insurance companies and dramatically increase your chances of receiving the compensation you rightfully deserve for your accident.

Get directions to Lawter & Associates, PLLC to discuss compensation for your injury.

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