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Hess Law LLC Jan. 16, 2024

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions Effect on an Injury Claim

It's common to feel overwhelmed when you're preparing an injury claim. This anxiety can often be intensified when pre-existing medical conditions are involved, as the connection between your previous health conditions and new injuries can significantly impact the outcome of your claim. However, understanding how these factors influence your case can empower you to take control of your situation, ensuring your rights are protected and your claim is fairly assessed. 

I've seen firsthand how challenging it can be when pre-existing medical conditions come into play in a personal injury claim. I empathize with your situation. You're not just dealing with the aftermath of an accident, but also grappling with how your pre-existing medical condition might affect your claim.

What Are "Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?"

Pre-existing medical conditions are health issues or injuries that were present before the incident that caused your current injuries. These can include chronic illnesses, past injuries, or even previous surgeries. 

For instance, let's say you injured your back in a car accident a few years ago. Now, you've slipped and fallen, injuring your back again. The injury from the car accident would be considered a pre-existing condition. 

In the realm of personal injury claims, pre-existing medical conditions can significantly impact the outcome. It's crucial to understand what this means and how it affects your case, but you're not alone. I'm here to provide the knowledge and guidance you need to understand this aspect of personal injury law. 

How Do Pre-Existing Conditions Affect a Personal Injury Claim?

Pre-existing conditions can complicate personal injury claims, but they don't necessarily prevent you from receiving compensation. Pre-existing conditions can affect a personal injury claim in several ways, including: 

  • The severity of the injury: If your pre-existing condition is aggravated or worsened due to a new injury, it could increase the severity of the injury, thus potentially increasing the value of your claim.  

  • Causation dispute: The at-fault party may argue that your current injury is primarily due to the pre-existing condition and not the recent incident, which could complicate your case and might lessen the compensation you receive. 

  • Claim denials: Insurance companies may deny your claim, citing the pre-existing condition as the primary cause.  

  • More evidence required: You might need to provide additional medical evidence to differentiate between the injuries caused by the accident and those from your pre-existing condition.  

As an experienced attorney, I'm here to help counter these arguments and build a strong case on your behalf. 

Understanding the "Eggshell Plaintiff" Rule

The "Eggshell Plaintiff" or "Eggshell Rule" is a legal principle that protects those who are especially susceptible to injury due to pre-existing conditions. According to this rule, the at-fault party is held responsible for all injuries caused, even if the victim was more vulnerable due to a pre-existing condition. In other words, defendants must "take their victims as they find them." This means that even if your pre-existing condition made your injuries worse than they would have been for a person without such a condition, the at-fault party is still responsible for the full extent of your injuries. 

Insurance Companies and Pre-existing Conditions

Insurance companies are businesses; their goal is to minimize the amount they pay out in claims. This often leads them to scrutinize pre-existing conditions closely, seeking opportunities to minimize or deny your claim. Here are key points to consider when dealing with insurance companies: 

  • Legal Support: Engage an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help negotiate with the insurance company, countering any attempts to minimize your claim due to your pre-existing condition. 

  • Disclosure: Be completely honest about your pre-existing condition. Concealing it could lead to a denial of your claim or even accusations of insurance fraud. 

  • Medical Documentation: Keep detailed records of your medical history. This includes reports before and after the accident that led to your current injury. These will be crucial in establishing the impact of the accident on your pre-existing condition. 

  • Eggshell Plaintiff Rule: Remember, the "Eggshell Plaintiff" rule applies. You are entitled to compensation for all injuries from the accident, even if they were aggravated by a pre-existing condition. 

Working with pre-existing conditions in personal injury claims can be challenging, but with transparency, thorough documentation, and skilled legal support, you can navigate this challenge with confidence and a sense of security. 

Why You Need An Attorney

An experienced personal injury lawyer can offer invaluable assistance. Here are some examples of how they can make a difference: 

  • Advocacy: Your attorney is your advocate, representing your interests throughout the legal process. They negotiate on your behalf, countering any attempts by insurance companies to minimize the value of your claim due to your pre-existing condition. 

  • Evidentiary Support: Gathering and presenting evidence is critical in a personal injury claim. Your attorney can help obtain necessary medical records, liaise with your healthcare providers, and potentially hire expert witnesses to strengthen your case. 

  • Eggshell Plaintiff Rule Application: Your attorney can help apply the "Eggshell Plaintiff" rule to your case, arguing that the defendant is liable for all your injuries, even if your pre-existing condition made you more susceptible. 

  • Peace of Mind: Perhaps the most significant benefit of hiring an attorney is the peace of mind it brings. Knowing that a professional is handling your claim allows you to focus on your recovery. 

In light of these points, it's clear that an attorney is not just a desirable asset, but a necessary ally in your personal injury claim involving pre-existing conditions. 

Choose Hess Law LLC for Experienced, Compassionate Legal Representation

I know it's tough. You're dealing with pain, medical bills, and the stress of uncertainty about your claim. But remember, I'm here for you. I want to ensure you have all the information you need to make informed decisions about your case. 

While it's true that pre-existing conditions can influence your personal injury claim, don't let this discourage you from fighting for the compensation you deserve. With over 35 years of experience, I've handled countless cases involving pre-existing conditions and have navigated the complexities of these claims successfully. 

If you're dealing with a pre-existing medical condition and are unsure how it might affect your personal injury claim, reach out to me at Hess Law LLC. I offer my clients free initial consultations so we can discuss your case in detail and explore the best course of action. Together, we'll fight for your rights and pursue the justice you deserve.


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