Impact of Pre-Existing Injuries on Your Car Accident or Personal Injury Claim
No one wakes up and decides to get into an accident. This means the vast majority of people are unprepared and shocked when an accident occurs. It also means that when an accident happens, you should not be prohibited from taking legal action simply because you were already struggling with a prior injury or pre-existing condition.
The Egg Shell Skull Principle
The legal basis for recovery is known as the “eggshell skull doctrine.” This means that the victim should be taken as he or she comes. In other words, the victim should not be precluded from being compensated simply because he or she suffers from a medical condition, previous injuries or is more vulnerable to injuries.
The insurance company or third party should not escape financial liability simply because the injured party is more vulnerable or has a pre-existing condition.
Defenses Available to the Insurance Company
When you or your Houston car accident attorney file an injury claim, an investigation is carried out by the insurance company not only through investigators but also assessors. Insurance companies have devised various means to disclaim liability for your injuries. They include:
- Denial on the basis that you have a preexisting injury;
- Claim that the new injuries you suffered was caused by the preexisting medical condition and not from the accident itself;
- Denying a claim arguing that the accident did not have any impact on the preexisting medical condition.
What Should You do?
If you find yourself in an accident that worsens an existing injury, do the following:
- Disclose all medical issues: Be completely honest with your lawyer. Give him or her your full medical history whether or not you think it is related to the present injury. Honesty about a previous medical condition before an accident that resulted in a re-injury puts you in the good graces of the law and increases your credibility during the insurance claims process.
- Avoid signing medical authorizations: An insurance company will ask for unrestricted access to your medical records. Do not consent. Instead, have your lawyers send the relevant medical report.
- Obtain legal assistance: Many people try to handle their car accident and insurance claims by themselves, thinking that they will save the expense of attorney’s fees by not consulting one. This is not wise. Personal injury attorneys work on contingency which means they are not paid unless they settle your case.
Get yourself a lawyer who is well versed in personal injury claims and who will know about all applicable laws in your state. A lawyer can protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. The lawyer can then provide the insurance company with the medical records that will support your claim for compensation.
Now is the Time to Take Action
Remember, Texas law puts the burden on you to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the other driver was negligent and therefore liable for your harms and losses. This is why it makes sense to retain the services of a skilled and experienced Houston personal injury lawyer at Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. We offer a free, confidential case review. Call today 713-221-6800.