What Happens to Your Personal Injury Claim If You Have a Pre-Existing Condition?
As a Memphis personal injury attorney, I sometimes come across cases where my client had pre-existing conditions before their injury. This can be confusing to folks: does your injury claim cover your injuries if you already had a health problem? In order to understand pre-existing conditions and personal injury, it may be easiest to give some examples.
Injured with an Unrelated Pre-Existing Condition
Let’s say you’re in a grocery store and slip on a huge puddle that’s been there for an hour. It’s a clear personal injury claim. However, you also have an ongoing hearing loss issue. When you go to see the doctor for the other injuries from your fall, you check in about your hearing.
You ask them whether your hearing loss might get worse because you took such a spill. Your doctor tells you that, no, it won’t affect your hearing one way or the other.
In this situation, your personal injury claim and pre-existing condition are totally unrelated. The injury won’t make your health condition worse. You still have a claim, but your hearing loss won’t be included in the list of damages.
Injured with an Exacerbated Pre-Existing Condition
On the other hand, let’s say you have rheumatoid arthritis. It’s a pre-existing condition that causes aches and pains, especially in certain parts of the body. Then, let’s say you’re injured in car accident, and it was clearly the other driver’s fault.
You go to the doctor, who says the wreck affected your back. What would already be a bad whiplash injury for most people is even harder for you: it takes longer to heal, the pain is worse, and it will all last a lot longer.
In fact, your doctor tells you the accident will even make your arthritis worse. As a result of this careless driver, you could experience additional pain for the rest of your life.
This is called exacerbation, which means the injury made your condition worse. In that situation, you can absolutely include your pre-existing condition. Your injury claim should cover the cost of increased medical bills and pain and suffering.
A Personal Injury Attorney for Complicated Injury Claims
Pre-existing conditions can complicate a personal injury claim. But that doesn’t mean you should give up.
Too often, my clients find me after someone else told them they didn’t have a case, because their situation is complex. The attorney might say pre-existing conditions prevent you from proving how badly the accident hurt you.
But that doesn’t scare us.
Our attorneys work tirelessly to build a case for each client—and that’s our WHOLE client, pre-existing conditions and all. We look at all the ways the injury might have affected you, and then we fight to get you the compensation you need and deserve. And we don’t get a penny unless we win for you.
Don’t let questions about pre-existing conditions stop you from pursuing your case. Contact us today for a free appointment, no strings attached.