The older you get, the more likely you are to suffer from some kind of health issue. In fact, hundreds of millions of Americans have been diagnosed with an illness, injury, or medical condition at some point in their lives. Over time, you learn how to manage your health condition and live your life as normally as possible. This can all change, however, if you’re involved in a car accident.
Are you entitled to compensation for a pre-existing condition after a car accident? What happens if your accident makes your pre-existing condition worse? Can insurance companies refuse to pay you for any of your injuries because of your pre-existing medical condition? These are all important questions to ask if you’ve been injured in a crash.
What is a Pre-Existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition is an injury, illness, or health issue that affected you before you were involved in a car accident. In other words, you aren’t suffering from that particular health issue because of your car accident. It manifested before the accident.
Can I Recover Compensation For a Pre-Existing Condition?
Generally speaking, the answer is no. You are only entitled to compensation for injuries and harm that were caused by your car accident. Since you suffered from your pre-existing condition before the accident, insurance companies and at-fault parties are not responsible for paying you for that injury.
Insurance Companies Will Review Your Medical History to Limit Compensation
Insurance companies will do anything they can to limit the amount of money you receive after an accident. One way to limit or deny your claim is by refusing to pay for your injuries by classifying them as pre-existing conditions.
After you submit a claim, it will be carefully analyzed by the insurance company. Their investigators will investigate your injuries and look into your medical history. Insurers will refuse to accept responsibility for your car accident injury if there’s any proof that you’ve suffered from a similar injury in the past. Instead, the company will argue that your injury pre-dated the accident and that they’re not liable for your costs.
How Can I Prove That My Car Accident Injury Wasn’t a Pre-Existing Condition?
You’re entitled to compensation for any injuries that are the result of your car accident. However, you will meet resistance when you submit your insurance claim. If an insurer denies responsibility by classifying your injury as a pre-existing condition, you may have to prove them wrong. This can involve taking your case before a judge.
There are two steps involved in proving that your car accident is responsible for your injury and that it wasn’t a pre-existing condition.
- Disclose your medical history and records.
- Have your doctor testify on your behalf.
If a judge is concerned about the cause and origin of your injury, he or she may order you to provide the insurance company will your full medical history. The insurance company can also issue a subpoena during litigation to obtain copies. The insurer will sift through your records to find any indication that your injury pre-dated the accident. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Their only goal is to find some piece of evidence that can allow them to reduce or deny you the money you deserve.
Your doctor(s) may have to testify on your behalf to establish the cause and origin of your injury. They’ll be able to review your medical records, analyze your current injury, and determine its cause. Their assessment and testimony can often make or break your case.
What If A Car Accident Aggravated My Pre-Existing Condition?
Let’s say that you suffered a back injury nearly a decade ago. The injury doesn’t interfere with your life and only causes a bit of pain when it rains. All of a sudden, you’re involved in a crash at a Los Angeles intersection. This accident aggravates your pre-existing back condition. Now you’re dealing with chronic, crippling pain every day. Can you recover compensation for your back injury?
Yes. You should be able to recover some compensation for your injury. Why? The accident has aggravated the condition and inflicted physical pain and suffering that you didn’t experience before the crash. Even though you had a minor back injury before the accident, it didn’t really interfere with your day-to-day activities. Now you find that it’s difficult to work and do the things you enjoyed. These are harms that you’ve suffered because of the car accident. If it hadn’t been for the accident, your life wouldn’t have changed.
Valuing Your Injury Claim After a Los Angeles Car Accident
You can recover compensation if an accident made your pre-existing medical condition worse. However, insurance companies will still try to limit the money you receive for the harm you’ve suffered. They will likely launch a thorough investigation into the injury in question. They’ll try to find out how your injury affected you in the past.
Investigators may review your medical records, speak with friends and family, or analyze photographs and videos on social media. In some cases, investigators may even follow or surveil you to see, first-hand, how your pre-existing condition has changed since the accident. They’ll rely on any evidence that can be used to drive down the value of your claim.
Insurance companies shouldn’t have the final say in how much your injury case is worth. When you work with an attorney, you’ll benefit from a private investigation of your own. At Citywide Law Group, our attorneys will work closely with accident and injury experts as we review your case. Their professional insight can be invaluable as we build your case. With their input, we can make strong arguments that allow us to maximize the financial award you receive.
Get Help After Your Los Angeles Car Accident
Have you been involved in a car accident? Did the accident make a pre-existing medical condition worse? Is an insurance company trying to deny you to the money you deserve by saying that your injury pre-dated the crash? Contact Citywide Law Group for immediate legal assistance.
Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers and personal injury lawyers are here to protect your rights and get you the money you deserve. Your first consultation is free, so call for help today. We’ll review your case and answer any questions you have.