If the injuries sustained in your accident are similar to a previous injury from an unrelated incident, you will likely face an intense battle with the insurance company. In fact, the insurance company may simply try to deny your claim. And if the accident has merely aggravated a pre-existing condition, the insurance company will try its hardest to place a strict limit on the amount they pay out. Why is this?
How a Pre-Existing Condition Can Affect Your Injury Claim
Insurance companies will claim that your condition existed before the accident. To what degree they attribute the symptoms you are now experiencing to your pre-existing condition will be important in determining what you may or may not receive in compensation.
In short, having a pre-existing condition can wreak havoc on your personal injury claim. That's why it's so important for clients to be as up-front and honest as possible during their initial consultation with an attorney, especially in regard to pre-existing injuries and medical conditions.
In a personal injury lawsuit, there are no secrets regarding your medical history. Even if you are represented by a personal injury attorney, the insurance company will have (and will use) the legal right to request information regarding your past medical history for as many years back as they feel is necessary.
What to Do to Protect Your Claim
It is important that you understand how a car accident claim works. First, a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney can help make your case by connecting a single event, such as an auto accident, to current and ongoing medical issues. Once that relationship has been firmly established, it's much more difficult for an insurance provider to deny a claim or give you the runaround.
Victims should also seek the appropriate medical treatment before pursuing a personal injury case. Evaluation by a qualified physician can help differentiate between a new injury and a lingering injury or one that's been aggravated.
Nothing is more important than your health. Having a full understanding of the extent of the injuries, the course of treatment, and the rehabilitation time is critical in establishing the value of your case. If an injury leaves you unable to work, lost wages might also be recovered, along with additional funds for pain and suffering.