The injuries that you’ve suffered in your car accident may be extensive, leaving you unable to live the normal life that you once enjoyed. While you should be compensated for your injuries, fighting for and actually recovering those financial resources can be challenging. This can be especially true if you had pre-existing injuries that were then exacerbated by your car accident.
How pre-existing injuries may impact your claim
If you’re pursuing a personal injury claim, you’re going to spend a lot of time negotiating settlement with an insurance company. One sticking point in these negotiations, though, may be your pre-existing injuries.
The insurance company is going to try to minimize the extent of your accident injuries by chalking them up to your pre-existing condition. If they’re successful in doing so, your damages may be significantly reduced. If you go to trial, this could put you at risk of recovering far less than you deserve. This puts you in a tough spot where you have to try to find an agreement with the insurance company or take a risk by taking your case to trial.
So, what can you do to protect yourself and your interests? Let’s look at some of your options here:
- Know what constitutes a “pre-existing condition”: The insurance company and the defense in your case is going to try to stretch the definition of “pre-existing condition.” After scouring your medical records, they may try to argue that an injury that you suffered years, maybe even decades, ago is a pre-existing condition that was exacerbated by your accident. Don’t fall for this. Make sure that you have a full understanding of your medical history so that you can appropriately discount the insurance company’s and the defense’s claims.
- Get clarification from your doctor: If you’re concerned about how a prior injury or illness may impact your claim, you should talk to your doctor about it. They may be able to help specify how much, if at all, your accident has exacerbated the condition or how your pre-existing condition has contributed to what you’re now experiencing. Make sure that these opinions are documented so that you can rely on them later if you need to do so.
- Be honest: The truth will come out in court. If you try to hide a pre-existing condition because you’re worried that it will hurt your claim, you may end up shooting yourself in the foot. When information about your pre-existing condition comes out, it’ll look like you were trying to conceal it because you knew it would minimize the validity and value of your claim.
- Talk to experts: Even though you might have your own doctor to back up your position, it might be helpful to have another expert on your side. Therefore, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. After all, the defense may have their own expert to testify contrary to your position, so you need to know what to expect and how to effectively counter it from an expert’s standpoint.
Are you ready to build the comprehensive case that you need on your side?
The outcome of your case can dictate your financial stability and your recovery in the short term and the long term. With so much at stake, you owe it to yourself to build the strongest case possible according to the facts.
If you’d like to learn more about how to do that so that you can fully protect your interests, now is the time to think about reaching out to a legal professional to learn more about how to build the compelling case that you need.