Why Your Medical History Before Your Accident Is So Critical
If you are familiar with the term “pre-existing condition,” you are probably aware that it is a phrase that health insurance companies use to deny people coverage. Pre-existing conditions have a role to play in personal injury cases as well. However, while insurance companies might want you to believe otherwise, having a pre-existing condition does not automatically bar a person from receiving compensation in a personal injury claim. In fact, being aware of a pre-existing condition may even help some claims.
What Is a Pre-Existing Condition?
In a personal injury case, a pre-existing condition is a health condition that the injured person already had before the accident occurred. For example, if you already had a herniated disc from an incident that happened many years ago, this would qualify as a pre-existing condition.
Insurance companies often cite pre-existing conditions as their rationale for undervaluing or even denying a personal injury claim. They often lead injured people to believe that only a person who had a clean bill of health before an accident is eligible to receive compensation in a personal injury case. However, the fact is that most people have some form of underlying health condition. What matters most in a personal injury case is not what happened prior to an accident but what happened as a result of the accident.
How Do Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Personal Injury Claims?
If you have a pre-existing condition that remains unaffected by a recent accident, the at-fault party cannot be held liable for the injury. Because of this, insurance companies often try to deny that any pre-existing injury was not caused by the accident, and therefore, they are not required to pay any compensation to the injured party.
However, it is important to point out that even if you had an injury prior to the accident, if that accident made your pre-existing injury worse than it was before, you might still be eligible for compensation. This kind of situation is common, but it can still complicate a personal injury claim. If a pre-existing condition is a factor in your case, you may require the professional testimony of an experienced physician who can help clarify the status of your condition both before and after the accident occurred.
Protecting Your Rights after an Accident
If you have a pre-existing condition that you believe may complicate your claim, do not let it prevent you from seeking the compensation you deserve. However, it is important to take the proper steps to ensure you are doing all you can to protect your interests.
First, seek medical treatment as soon as possible after you have been injured. This will help to demonstrate that the injuries you have suffered came about as a result of the accident. As you receive medical attention, be sure to maintain documentation relating to appointments with your physician and specialists, test results, prescription medication, and other medical information related to your injury.
Next, make sure that your personal injury lawyer is aware of your pre-existing condition at the first meeting you have with them. By letting them know about your medical history, you will help your attorney anticipate the actions and tactics of the defendant’s insurance company. Keep your attorney informed of any updates on your medical progress as well, so that they can take the appropriate measures to protect your claim.
Finally, do not allow an insurance adjuster to gain access to your medical records without consulting with your lawyer first. Insurance adjusters are paid to look for ways to save the company money by avoiding big payouts. If they are allowed to dig into your full medical history, they may attempt to use information pertaining to your pre-existing condition as a way of denying the connection between the accident and your injuries. Your attorney will know how to handle the insurance adjuster’s request in a way that does not do unnecessary damage to your case.
Contact an Experienced Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident in Louisiana and the insurance company denies your claim due to a pre-existing condition, your path to compensation does not need to end here. The experienced Lake Charles personal injury attorneys of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC have the necessary knowledge and skill to overcome these kinds of obstacles so that you still have a means of recovering the full compensation you deserve. Call us today at 337-800-8800 or contact us online for a free consultation, and we will discuss your legal options with you.