Unfortunately, the presence of a pre-existing medical condition does not preclude one from suffering additional injuries in an accident.
If you have suffered an injury in a car, while playing sports, or during a workplace accident, and are considering filing a personal injury claim, the presence of a pre-existing medical condition may affect your claim.
What is a pre-existing condition?
A pre-existing condition is a medical or physical condition, problem, or ailment that existed prior to an injury sustained in an accident. During personal injury litigation, an accident victim will likely face questions from the opposing party’s legal team and insurance company regarding the validity of their claim.
One common defense tactic is to argue that the injuries sustained by a victim can be attributed to a pre-existing physical or mental condition, thus absolving the blame from the defendant. As a result, how your legal team handles your pre-existing conditions will greatly affect your personal injury claim. An experienced personal injury attorney will always take pre-existing conditions into consideration when providing you with a consultation.
Here are some common examples of pre-existing conditions and how they may affect a personal injury claim.
- Chronic back pain, heart conditions, and prior surgeries are all examples of pre-existing conditions that can affect your personal injury claim.
- For example, according to a 2014 study, back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Furthermore, according to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain ranks among the most common causes of missed work every year. As a result, an accident victim who has a history of back pain would have to work with their medical and legal team to prove that their recent back pain was caused or exacerbated by their accident.
- Similarly, pre-existing heart conditions may prove to be an obstacle for those claiming damages due to negligence leading to new heart problems. In the United States heart disease is a leading cause of death in both men and women. Each year more than 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack.
Finally, surgeries to treat previous athletic injuries or heart problems may be reviewed to determine whether recent medical issues can be attributed to an accident or the past surgery.
The Eggshell Doctrine is used in cases where the victim’s pre-existing medical conditions have been aggravated by the accident. If you have a pre-existing that was stable before your accident, and you and your doctors had no reason to believe your condition would have changed, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries related to your pre-existing condition.
It is vital that you disclose any pre-existing conditions with your attorney during a personal injury consultation. A pre-existing condition does not preclude you from receiving financial compensation for your injuries. According to New Jersey law, cases in which an accident has exacerbated a pre-existing condition are eligible for financial compensation.
By being honest with your medical and legal team, you not only ensure you receive proper treatment for your injuries, but you also increase your chances of receiving accurate financial compensation.
Find the answers to your questions about your personal injury case
At Kreizer Law, we know how to help you receive fair compensation for your injuries. While you focus on your health, let us focus on making you financially whole. For a free consultation, contact us online or call (833) 457-3493 to begin evaluating your case.