Will a Pre-Existing Condition Affect your Louisiana Personal Injury Claim?

man with whiplash after accidentIf you were involved in an accident and were already dealing with a pre-existing injury, you may be wondering how that previous injury will impact your new claim. While having a pre-existing condition does not bar a car accident victim from recovery, it could present challenges when it comes to proving your injuries and value of your claim. Insurance companies will often use this as a tactic to deny fair compensation or claim the motor vehicle accident did not cause the injury. So, it is crucial to contact an attorney immediately to guide you through the process.

Simply put, a pre-existing condition is a health condition that an injured person already had before a new accident occurred. The likelihood of someone suffering from a pre-existing condition is high, especially as you age. However, this should not keep personal injury victims from being properly compensated. Although the insurance company may want an injured party to believe otherwise, a squeaky-clean bill of health is not necessary to prove your injuries. If you suffer from a pre-existing injury, it is important to prove that the accident worsened that injury rather than caused it.

After an accident, seek medical treatment as soon as possible to help demonstrate that the new injuries you have suffered are a result of the accident. Then, continue with a strong pattern of treatment that can further prove that your injuries were caused or aggravated by the accident, not any previous injury. For instance, if a person already had a herniated disc before the accident occurred, it would be considered as a pre-existing condition.

Any previous injury has the potential to be aggravated by a new accident, but the most common issues are:

  • Degenerative disc disorders
  • Anxiety, depression, and PTSD
  • Prior surgeries
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Neck or back issues
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Under Louisiana law, when an injury causes aggravation to a pre-existing condition, the victim is still entitled to recover for the full extent of the damage. A defendant is to take the victim as you found them, also known as the” eggshell doctrine”. The injured party cannot be punished for their own frailty.

If a pre-existing condition is a component in your claim, it may require the testimony of a licensed medical professional who can help clarify your condition both before and after the accident occurred. Also, previous X-rays and MRI tests can be used as evidence to show the state of injuries that previously existed and how the accident impacted those past injuries.

It is crucial to make your personal injury attorney aware of any pre-existing conditions or prior accidents you may have had. Because insurance companies can obtain your medical records down the line, you do not want to conceal prior injuries. Rather, you should disclose any pertinent medical information to your lawyer so that he or she can negotiate the maximum settlement for you. Being open about your medical history allows them to predict any challenges the insurance company may raise and tackle them head on.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, and are unable to return to work, call us today for a free consultation! PHONE CARDONE at 504-522-3333, 225-706-3920 (Baton Rouge office), 1-888-892-2736 (toll free) or email us at ccardone@cardonelaw.com.

Contact Information