Types of Pre-existing Injuries That May Affect an Accident Claim
If you were injured in an accident, you have a right to recover compensation from the responsible party. But that does not mean it is going to hand it over without a fight. One common tactic insurers use is arguing that your injuries were pre-existing. Below, we detail a few types of pre-existing conditions that may affect an injury claim and how we can fight to win you compensation.
What are some common pre-existing injuries that can affect accident claims?
Certain types of injuries are more likely to bring pre-existing conditions into play. For instance, if your head slams into the steering wheel or dash, causing brain trauma, and you have no history of head injuries, then the insurance company will find it difficult to claim a pre-existing injury.
But with other types of injuries, it is more common to face pushback. That is why you need a skilled Atlanta accident lawyer on your side. Many of the following pre-existing conditions might lead to issues in an accident claim:
Neck and Back Injuries
Whiplash is a common injury in rear-end collisions. The force of the collision pushes your head forward and back in a rapid motion, resulting in a neck sprain or strain. However, because neck and back injuries are common, the insurer might argue that something else caused yours. For instance, if you saw a doctor or chiropractor for neck pain in the last year or two, the insurer might use this as evidence to deny your claim.
Your spinal discs are like cushions that separate the vertebrae that make up your spine. They have a tough exterior and softer interior. A herniated disc occurs when some of the softer inside material pushes out through a tear in the exterior. This can affect nerves in the area and result in pain, tingling, and numbness. Herniated discs happen quite frequently in accidents.
The problem is, normal wear and tear on your body can cause your discs to degenerate and potentially herniate. The other party, or the insurance company, might question whether your injury actually occurred in the accident. We can anticipate this argument and provide evidence to refute it.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Your soft tissue refers to your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Accidents often cause injuries to these delicate tissues. But, like with herniated discs, soft tissue damage can have many causes, including the simple process of aging. If part or all of your claim involves a soft tissue injury, we need to be ready for opposition from the insurance company. We will consult your medical records to determine if it is possible to argue your injury is new or at least, unrelated to the pre-existing condition.
Broken or Fractured Bones
A broken or fractured bone, even after it heals, can be more susceptible to future breaks. Suppose you broke your femur in a football game. When your accident happens, you break your leg in the same place. The other side might try to argue that the break would not have occurred had it not been for the pre-existing injury.
How can I recover compensation even with a pre-existing condition?
It does not make much of a difference how your pre-existing injury occurred. What matters is that the symptoms were present before your accident. This allows the other party or insurer to argue that your previous injury, not the accident, is the cause of your current symptoms.
The challenge is proving that the accident is either the actual cause of your current injury or made your pre-existing injury worse. There is a lot of subjectivity involved, which is why the skill of your Atlanta accident lawyer matters.
How can we maximize your chances of winning benefits in spite of your pre-existing injury? There are a few ways:
- Disclose everything up front: The worst thing you can do is try to hide a pre-existing injury or pretend it does not exist. When the other side uncovers it — and it will — it can use the lack of disclosure to raise the question of what else you might be hiding.
- Obtain thorough medical documentation to fight accusations: Our first avenue is to argue the injury is not pre-existing or related to a pre-existing condition. The more medical evidence we can produce to prove this, the better. This goes for both your current injury and the one from before. Our attorneys work to obtain thorough medical records of both injuries.
- Argue aggravation of a pre-existing condition: In some cases, arguing that your injury has nothing to do with a pre-existing condition is near impossible. In these cases, we can argue that the accident aggravated your pre-existing condition, making it worse than it was before. We can use expert testimony to prove how this occurred.
The sooner you start on this process, the better your chances of a favorable outcome. That is why the first thing you should do following an accident — after getting the medical care you need — is speak with a qualified accident lawyer in Atlanta.
Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. today.
There are many different ways pre-existing conditions can affect an accident claim, but the team at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. will do everything it can to disprove the other side’s assertions.
Jason has a track record of winning big settlements for accident victims — even those with pre-existing injuries. He can put his skills and resources to work for you.
The consultation is free, and we do not receive payment until you do. Ready to get started? Call today for an appointment: 404-474-0804.