How a Pre-Existing Condition Can Impact Your Car Accident Claim

The truth is, your pre-existing condition will likely become a debated topic in the negotiations with the insurance company.

People are usually not in a perfect state of health before entering the process of a car accident claim. However, some of them may be suffering from a pre-existing condition, which is a condition that was diagnosed before the car accident occurred, and for which, a car accident victim had been receiving some form of treatment.

car accident doctor

If this is a similar situation to the one you’re in, you may be wondering how your pre-existing condition affects your claim. The truth is, it will likely become a debated topic in the negotiations with the insurance company.

Car Accident Claims and Pre-Existing Conditions

A car accident claim will not pay for any treatment you have for pre-existing conditions, however it should generally cover the costs of additional treatments if the car accident made your condition worse. This is the general rule, but as you might expect, there is a lot of room for interpretation.

Let’s put it into context. Say you were diagnosed with anxiety before the accident and were seeing a therapist regularly to take care of your condition. If you are involved in a car accident, the settlement will not include the cost of therapy because in this case anxiety is a pre-existing condition and the car accident is not responsible for it.

However, the event could make your condition worse. Your therapist may need to put you on medication because of it, in which case you can argue that your settlement should include the cost of the medication. You did not need this treatment before, but the car accident made your condition worse.

How a Pre-Existing Condition Can Hurt Your Claim

The problem with pre-existing conditions in car accidents is that you can’t prove that the car accident is the sole reason a condition got worse. Using the previous example, it will be hard to show that the car accident was the only event that leads to worse anxiety and the need for medication.

The insurance company may try to argue that some other event may be responsible, for example, a recent death in the family. Or, even if such an event does not exist, there is no way to know if the anxiety would not have gotten worse because of the nature of the condition itself, and the car accident just happened to occur.

How an Attorney Can Help!

If you suffer from a pre-existing condition and get involved in a car accident, don’t get discouraged. Speak with an experienced St. Louis car injury lawyer as soon as possible, to ensure you get the full amount of compensation you are legally entitled to.

Pre-existing conditions can complicate such claims. However, an experienced lawyer will understand how to build a strong case and make sure the insurance company doesn’t get its way. The fact that you were not in perfect health at the time of the accident should not mean you don’t get compensated.

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Updated: November 20, 2020