Not all St. Louis car accident claims are simple and straightforward. Here’s what you need to know if a pre-existing injury was aggravated in your car accident.
Anyone who gets injured in a St. Louis car accident caused by the fault of another person or party is generally entitled to receive compensation for both economic and non-economic losses from the at-fault party. However, not all claims are simple because the circumstances surrounding every case differ. When making an injury claim following a car accident, some people wonder if their pre-existing medical condition or prior surgeries would influence their financial recovery.
For example, the victim who wants to make a claim had undergone a wrist fusion before the accident, and the fuse was not completely healed. The accident caused a fresh injury to the wrist, and the victim’s condition gets aggravated. In such cases, the victim would likely still be able to make a claim.
What Is a Pre-Existing Condition?
You may have heard the term “pre-existing condition” in the context of health insurance, and it means pretty much the same thing in the field of law.
A pre-existing condition is any kind of health issue or injury that you experienced in the past, and has affected your health before your car accident. About 50% of all non-senior adults have a condition or injury that may count as a “pre-existing condition.”
Medical History and Insurance Companies
When a person files a claim for a car accident injury that resembles any other injury in your medical history, the insurer will likely argue that the fresh injury is a mere aggravation of the pre-existing injuries. The victim does not have to accept this argument as they are legally entitled to fair compensation for their injuries whether they are new injuries or an aggravation of previous injuries.
Proving New vs. Pre-existing Injuries
No matter you have suffered a completely new injury or aggravated any previous injury, you need to prove it, and the best proof is your medical records. If the prior injuries have got aggravated then there would become overlap in the medical treatment. The victim would need the doctor’s help to prove whether the injuries are new and separate or pre-existing.
Make sure you tell your doctor everything about the car accident right from the start. Tell your doctor about all your symptoms no matter how minor they seem. Let the doctor know of the pain, soreness, numbness, tingling or any discomfort you felt on impact. The doctor’s opinion would be binding on you, and his/her diagnosis and prognosis of your car accident injuries in relation to the pre-existing injuries would be the best evidence in support of your claim.
Remember, insurance adjusters are trained and experienced and when you file a claim they would ask for your medical records. Although they do not have a legal right to check out your records, if you do not provide them, the adjuster can deny your claim. It is important to be honest about any pre-existing conditions or it can affect your credibility and of course, your injury claim too.
Do Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Compensation After a St. Louis Car Accident?
If you or a loved one had a pre-existing condition and then was seriously injured in a car accident in St. Louis that made the condition worse, you may be worried that this will affect their ability to get compensation. Let’s discuss the basics of pre-existing conditions and why it’s a good idea to discuss your pre-existing conditions with an experienced attorney.
Can You Seek Damages For Pre-Existing Injuries & Conditions?
It’s not possible to seek damages for pre-existing injuries and conditions, as a general rule of thumb.
For example, if you have experienced back pain in the past and you’re taking prescription medication for the pain, then you are involved in a car accident that results in a broken leg or arm, you can only seek compensation for the broken leg or arm. If the accident did not affect your back, you can’t seek damages for this issue since it was a known and pre-existing condition.
You May Be Able To Recover Compensation if Pre-Existing Injuries or Conditions Are Aggravated
Worried that a pre-existing condition will stop you from getting compensation for an injury caused by a car accident in St. Louis? In most cases, this won’t happen – because even though you can’t seek damages for pre-existing injuries, you may be able to get compensation if an auto accident makes the condition worse.
Using the above example again, let’s say that you have experienced back pain in the past, and are on pain medication for this issue. Then, you get in a serious accident that results in fractured back vertebrae.
In this case, you may still seek compensation for the injury, even though you have experienced back issues in the past. The injury to your vertebrae could aggravate or accelerate your previous back pain – which would not have happened if you were not involved in a St. Louis car accident.
Auto Accident Claims Attorney St. Louis
If you have a pre-existing condition and you suffer a fresh injury in an automobile accident, it would be in your best interests to get in touch with an automobile accident attorney to help you deal with the insurance company and obtain rightful compensation. Call (314) 361-4242 today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer.
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