The insurance company often tells victims that, due to a preexisting condition, they will be declining to cover a portion of your damages. Although a victim may not be able to recover compensation for damages which existed before this most-recent event, the victim has every right to be compensated for their pain and suffering, any related medical bills, and/or any worsening of symptoms.
It’s important to make your attorney known of any type of previous injuries or preexisting conditions, even if you don’t think they apply to this case. Failing to disclose preexisting injuries, particularly those that impact the same areas of the body, could introduce a curveball for your attorney down the line.
The insurance company will uncover prior injuries you’ve suffered, and will attempt to use them to lower the value of your claim. If your attorney knows what arguments to expect from the other side, they can better-prepare for all contingencies. For example, if you’ve had no history of treatment or pain for several years, this can help deflect those arguments.
A preexisting injury (e.g., thin skull) may make someone more vulnerable or susceptible to suffering a serious injury. Even a minor car accident could result in a catastrophic injury in some cases.
It doesn’t matter what types of injuries this accident or act of negligence would have normally caused to the average victim. The law states that the defendant “takes the victim as they find them.”
This “thin skull” or “eggshell skull” rule is especially effective in a low-impact car accidents where a jury might question whether or not the crash could have caused such extensive medical expenses.
One benefit to those who have experienced prior injuries is that your lawyer can compare your past medical documents with present ones in order to objectively validate just how much the most-recent event worsened the victim’s condition.
Based on X-rays or MRIs taken years apart, a medical specialist can affirm exactly how the mishap affected or even intensified the complainant’s condition. The expert witness can likewise use medical documents to compare the complainant’s degree of pain, extent of needed care, or disability prior to–and after–the accident.
The best thing you can do is speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Disclose all of your preexisting injuries, any serious car accidents, and any injury claims you’ve made in the past. To discuss your case with our Dallas attorneys, shoot us an email or call us at 214-720-6090 (local) or 1-833-720-6090 (toll-free).