Will a Pre-Existing Injury Affect My St. Louis Car Accident Claim?

Insurance companies are notorious for doing everything they can to pay as little as they can in compensation to car accident victims.

st. louis woman injured in car accident

Insurance companies will generally look for some reason to either attribute a percentage of the guilt to you or find some cause to justify a lower claim or deny your claim altogether.

Could a pre-existing injury be that cause?

What Does the Law Say?

Missouri law clearly states that victims of car accident deserve to be compensated for the damage such an incident has caused them. In case the victim has a pre-existing condition, then the ‘eggshell rule’ applies, which essentially means the other party needs to take the victim as they find them.

Your pre-existing condition should not have any impact on whether or not you get compensated after the car accident, and if the insurance company denies your claim because of it, they are likely doing so without cause.

What a Claim Will Cover

The benefits you receive after a car accident will cover the costs you are forced to pay as a direct result of your car accident. That means medical bills, subsequent treatment, repairs, and even coverage for pain and suffering.

Treatment for pre-existing conditions is not eligible for compensation, because they were not directly caused by the car accident. As a result, if the car accident broke your leg, and you were also suffering from anxiety and following treatment, then the claim will generally only cover the medical costs of your fracture, and not also your anxiety medication.

However, if the incident aggravated your condition, then the situation changes. If your anxiety gets worse, and that has an impact on your quality of life, by law you may be compensated for it. Your therapist could testify and argue in your favor.

The issue is that you have to convince the insurance company that this is the case, which often means providing medical evidence that shows how your condition was pre-accident, and how it has gotten worse after.

Unfortunately, in some cases that may be difficult to prove, especially if there are no visual signs of the illness. People suffering from chronic pain, for instance, may see their condition flare-up and get worse, but ‘feeling more pain’ can be somewhat difficult to prove to the insurance company.

Speak With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Work with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer, preferably with experience handling cases involving pre-existing conditions. A lawyer can take over negotiations and discussion with the insurance company, as well as gather evidence to support your claim.

In the meantime, you can take the time to focus on your recovery. Insurance claim negotiations are difficult, and it’s almost impossible not to let them affect you if you do it on your own.

Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a free and private case evaluation.

Updated: September 3, 2019