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Pre-Existing Conditions? Can a Pre-Existing Condition Affect My Personal Injury Claim?

Posted in Car Accidents on March 26, 2021

If you have a pre-existing condition, it may have a positive or negative impact on any personal injury claim that you make. It may increase the value of your compensation or cause it to drop. Knowing this can help you to stay protected.

Redmann Law’s experienced New Orleans attorneys can help you determine the full impact of any pre-existing condition you may have toward a personal injury claim. If you’ve been injured as a result of someone’s negligence, it’s important to learn more about how it will affect your claim.

How Conditions May Help or Hinder Your Claim

While you might want to know definitively whether a pre-existing condition will help or hinder you, there are too many variables. It will vary from case to case.

In some instances, a pre-existing condition may cause your claim to go up because your injuries or conditions are now more severe. Since the injury or condition has been aggravated, it can be to your benefit, financially speaking.

However, there are also conditions that may have a negative impact. Insurance adjusters will often scrutinize your existing conditions to see if there are ways to show that the current injuries are illegitimate. There may be claims that you were already injured or that your medication hindered your abilities.

Below are some of the pre-existing conditions that are often worsened after an accident, causing further injuries in the body:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Back injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis and other joint issues
  • Neck issues
  • Brain injuries
  • Hernias
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Fibromyalgia

The best thing to do is be forthcoming about any pre-existing conditions. Don’t try to hide them as they’re going to come out when your entire medical history is reviewed. Attempts to hide pre-existing conditions will only make it seem as though you’re using this accident as a way to seek compensation for no apparent reason.

Understanding the Egg Shell Doctrine

There is something known as the “Egg Shell Doctrine” that protects you, the victim, against having your claim lowered based solely on the presence of existing health conditions.

Simply because you have pre-existing conditions does not mean that you have not been injured in an accident. You may have been injured even further than the average person because of your existing conditions, and that cannot be used against you.

The Egg Shell Doctrine also recognizes that you may have more severe injuries even in the smallest of accidents in comparison to the average person.

Essentially, everyone is their own person. You cannot be compared to the average person. Whether or not you have pre-existing conditions does not impact how your claim is handled in terms of how severe your injuries are.

Calculating Your Claim

Calculating a claim is not possible until the extent of your injuries are known. In many instances, you may have to see a doctor for multiple visits before you can start to learn of the timeline for your recovery.

There may be doctor’s appointments, surgeries, and even therapy sessions scheduled for months. All of those come at a cost. Only after a doctor has released you from their care can you start to truly calculate the cost of your claim. Once all of the medical bills are added up, your lawyer will determine the best multiplier.

If your pre-existing conditions caused you to be frailer, it may be that the medical bills are higher than the average person. Additionally, if you’re going to have a higher disability than you had before the accident, the multiplier may be higher.

How to Protect Your Claim

Insurance companies look to pay as little as possible toward personal injury claims. As soon as they see a pre-existing condition, they’ll use that against you. It’s why it’s critical for you to seek the help of a personal injury lawyer in Louisiana.

An experienced personal injury lawyer will determine how your previous conditions or injuries may impact your claim. You’ll want to follow legal advice to determine how to protect the value of your compensation.

As soon as you’ve been involved in an accident, there are steps to follow:

Your lawyer should be privy to everything about your medical history. They can only advise based on what you have provided them. By being open and forthcoming about everything, you will ensure that your credibility isn’t damaged with the insurance company or with the courts, in the event you need to establish a lawsuit.

Most claims are handled outside of the courts. However, if an insurance company tries to hold a pre-existing condition against you, a lawyer can help you to sue the responsible party. This is when the courts will have to review everything to determine just how an existing condition has impacted your injuries and how it will impact your ability to seek compensation.

Your lawyer can guide you through the entire process, including determining how and when medical information is disclosed. Additionally, you should avoid signing disclosures that give the insurance company full access to your medical records. Instead, let your lawyer determine what documents you should and should not sign. This will ensure you have the maximum level of protection in place.

Contact Redmann Law Today

There’s no reason why you should have to pay the price of someone else’s negligence. Even if you had pre-existing conditions that may have led to the extent of your injuries, you may be eligible for compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.

At Redmann Law, we have experienced New Orleans lawyers to help you fight for maximum compensation. We understand how to navigate the personal injury laws of Louisiana to show you how your claim can be handled.

Call today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our NOLA lawyers today. We’ll review your case and show you what the necessary next steps will be to protect yourself and seek compensation.