Can a Pre-Existing Condition Affect My Personal Injury Claim?
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Aug 27, 2018 in Personal Injury
Many personal injury victims are faced with opposition from the insurance company if they have a pre-existing condition. Even though having a pre-existing condition can make filing a personally injury claim a bit more complicated, you may still be able to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Contact our South Bend personal injury attorneys now at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak to schedule a free consultation and learn what legal options are available in your situation.
Types of Pre-Existing Injuries
An accident has the potential to aggravate a pre-existing condition, worsen it or cause a new injury. Common pre-existing injuries include:
- Back injuries: Back injuries commonly occur in work-related accidents. Heavy lifting or slipping and falling can aggravate an existing back injury for the worse.
- Degenerative disc disease: Degenerative disc disease causes the deterioration of one or more discs within the spinal column. This condition typically occurs and progresses with age. Personal injuries can cause degenerative disc disease flair ups, resulting in severe side effects, impacting your ability to work. Flair ups may be caused by a slip and fall or automobile accident.
- Neck injuries: Neck injuries may result from slip and fall accidents or whiplash during a car accident. Previous neck injuries can be impacted by a new accident, or new injuries may occur separate from the pre-existing neck injury.
The Eggshell Skull Rule
A legal concept used in cases where injury victims have pre-existing conditions is known as the eggshell skull rule. Under this theory, the person who caused another’s injury is not free of liability just because the victim’s pre-existing condition made him or her more susceptible to a new injury.
The eggshell skull rule applies even in cases where the victim’s pre-existing condition was previously unknown. Even if a person without the pre-existing condition would not likely have been injured in similar circumstances, the at fault party can still be held liable.
If your new injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.
Why Medical Records Are Vital
If you have suffered an injury caused by someone else’s negligence, your medical records will be a critical piece of evidence. Your medical records provide a clear picture of your health and medical condition at the time of the accident, and will show how your pre-existing injury was impacted by the accident.
Your attorney will look at the following in your medical records to determine if you have a viable personal injury claim:
- The area of the body affected by the new and pre-existing injury
- The time that has passed between the old and new injuries
- Your recovery status from the pre-existing condition
- If your new injury worsened your pre-existing condition
Your attorney must prove that your new injury was not related to or caused by your pre-existing condition, or that your pre-existing condition was worsened by the new injury.
Contact a South Bend Personal Injury Lawyer
If you suffer from a pre-existing injury, contact Pfiefer, Morgan & Stesiak now for expert assistance. Our attorneys have assisted many accident victims with pre-existing conditions get the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
Request a risk-free, no obligation consultation. Our South Bend personal injury lawyers will review your case and let you know what legal options are available for pursuing compensation. We charge no upfront fees and payment is only due if we recover compensation in your case.