If you are a resident of the Sunshine State and you have never been involved in a car accident, you should consider yourself very lucky. Florida records an alarmingly high number of accidents each year, many of them leading to severe injuries. There were 341,399 car accidents recorded in Florida in 2020, and over 12,400 of those car crashes resulted in incapacitating injuries.
These scary statistics prove how unpredictable car accidents can be. The worst thing that can happen is a car accident occurring and injuring you while you are already suffering from an injury. People with preexisting conditions are likelier to experience more drastic injuries in an auto accident.
Unfortunately, it can be a challenge to hold the at-fault party liable to pay for the damages you have incurred if you have a preexisting condition. Preexisting injuries tend to make personal injury cases quite complex. It can become difficult for accident victims to receive the maximum possible compensation, especially if you are not working with West Palm Beach car accident lawyers for your case.
Most cases see the defendant argue that the preexisting injuries are the primary reason for the pain and suffering and use that as an excuse to devalue or discredit your personal injury claim.
Today’s post will be a guide to help you understand how preexisting conditions can affect your car accident case.
What Is A Preexisting Condition In A Car Accident Case?
A preexisting condition is any chronic health condition, injury, or long-term illness that the plaintiff in a car accident already had before the accident occurred. Arthritis, depression, eye infections, and fractured bones are some of the preexisting conditions that could be applicable to a car accident case.
Suppose that you had a sore leg that was badly injured in a car accident. In that case, the at-fault party involved in the case could claim that they are not liable to cover the medical bills concerning the sore leg because it was an injury you already had before the accident.
You will have to prove that the auto accident worsened the preexisting condition; otherwise, the at-fault party might not be held liable to compensate you for it.
How Do Preexisting Conditions Complicate Auto Accident Cases?
When making a claim to seek compensation for injuries worsened by a car accident, determining the amount in compensation you deserve is not simple. However, it does not mean that the insurance company will always pay a lower amount in damages than what you deserve. The amount you can receive in compensation can depend on the available medical evidence surrounding the injury.
A medical practitioner is the only professional who can establish how the auto accident impacted the injuries you already had. Suppose that you had a sore leg, but the accident caused a muscle tear that has left you unable to work. In that case, you will need legal help to prove this as a fact and claim damages for the pain and suffering, lost wages, and the medical expenses for the recovery process.
The Importance Of Older Medical Documents
It is always a good idea to save copies of your medical records from previous injuries and preexisting conditions. Your past medical records can be instrumental in establishing whether the accident aggravated your injuries. Medical proof of the impact of an accident on aggravating your preexisting injuries can be critical in making a strong claim for damages.
The nature of the medical records presented to the court can establish how much of a role any preexisting condition plays in a car accident case. Transparency is absolutely imperative in a car accident case or any personal injury case. It means that withholding any important information about your preexisting conditions could result in the court dismissing your claims.
The judge can do more than merely nullify your claim. If found guilty of withholding important information, you may be facing legal charges for lying and perjury. If there is any sensitive information regarding your injuries, you would do well to at least share it with your personal injury lawyer. Let the lawyer handle any information that can make your personal injury claim more complex.
Proving How The Accident Worsened The Injuries
Having a preexisting condition does not mean you should completely forfeit your right to seek damages for the current medical condition. Provided you have detailed medical reports, you might be at an advantage in a car accident case, even with preexisting conditions. Your compensation may be different based on how much the court deems the accident worsened your injuries.
A detailed medical assessment report is essential for a fair outcome in the case. You will need an attorney who can prove the increase in disability, a change in treatment plans, a significant hike in medical expenses, and highlighting any minor sprains that became substantial injuries due to the accident.
Insurance companies often use your medical history to look for any excuses to minimize the amount they are liable to reward you with a settlement. An experienced car accident attorney can evaluate the severity of your preexisting injuries and prevent insurance companies from lowballing you.
The Eggshell Plaintiff Rule
Suppose that you have a herniated disc that has been causing significant neck pain. A car accident can make the problem worse. Even if the preexisting condition was already a factor, determining that the at-fault party made it worse could result in them being liable for the entire damage caused. An experienced attorney can help you establish the necessary facts that can result in a sizable payout for you.
The aggravation of a preexisting condition is compensable just the same as a new injury, provided that your lawyer can prove it.
It is crucial to be completely transparent with your lawyer to ensure that you get the best possible outcome in a personal injury case while carrying any preexisting conditions. An expert car accident lawyer knows how to prove whether the accident worsened the injuries.
Records Of Preexisting Conditions Can Help Your Case
Preexisting conditions tend to complicate personal injury claims. However, it does not mean it will always work to your disadvantage. Having all the medical records of your preexisting injuries can serve as crucial evidence in making your claim stronger. It can provide a better picture of how the accident worsened the injuries.
Working with experienced West Palm Beach car accident lawyers can help you determine the best possible approach. The right lawyers know how to collect and compile the evidence necessary to make a strong claim in your favor in an auto accident case.
The other party’s legal team might try to turn the tables on you by claiming that your pain and suffering were a result of your preexisting conditions. But an experienced auto accident attorney in your corner can use it to your advantage and increase your chances of getting adequate compensation. Consider contacting Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers if you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident with preexisting conditions. They can help you navigate the complex legal procedures for a more desirable outcome in your case.