How Can a Pre-Existing Condition Impact Your Auto Accident Claim?
Summary: The law in Missouri says if you are the victim of a car accident, then you are generally entitled to compensation, whether it’s for your medical bills, property damages, or even the emotional toll these events can have on you.
The law in Missouri says if you are the victim of a car accident, then you are generally entitled to compensation, whether it’s for your medical bills, property damages, or even the emotional toll these events can have on you.
Car accident proceedings will most likely go through the at-fault driver’s insurance company, whose representatives will always try to lower the amount of damages they need to pay. And when the victim also suffers from pre-existing conditions, the process just got a lot more difficult. That’s exactly the reason why you need an experienced St. Louis auto accident attorney on your side.
What Is a Pre-Existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition is any issue you may have suffered from before the accident took place. Insurance companies can use them as arguments that your suffering caused by the accident is not as grave as you claim, because, in fact, it was the pre-existing condition that made you susceptible to injury.
For instance, if you have a medical record of back pain, then that may constitute as a pre-existing condition. If after the accident, you file a claim to cover medical bills for your back injuries, the insurance company may say your problems weren’t a direct result of the accident, because of your already known issues with your back. Depending on the situation, they can use this as grounds for lowering the compensation payment or even deny your claim altogether.
Here are some other examples of pre-existing conditions that can hurt your claim:
Fractures that have healed;
Knee and shoulder injuries;
Previous brain injuries;
What It Can Mean for Your Claim
The insurance adjuster cannot decide whether your health issues were caused by the car accident or the pre-existing condition. Only a doctor can make this assessment, which is why you should seek medical treatment after a car accident, even if you feel perfectly fine after the accident.
Legally speaking, pre-existing conditions should not hurt your claim for compensation provided your condition was stable at the time of the accident, and there was no indication your health could worsen suddenly. In other words, if you were in good health at the time of the accident, then your pre-existing condition usually will not hurt your injury claim.
However, it does fall under your responsibility to prove your injuries weren't caused by the pre-existing conditions, however. In these cases, you should consider discussing your case with an experienced attorney.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, get in touch with a St. Louis car accident attorney as soon as possible.
They can tell you what evidence is needed to prove your injuries were caused by the accident and the insurance company must pay your accordingly. Moreover, they can help make sure the insurance adjuster doesn’t try to trick you by offering a low ball deal.
Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. 24/7 at (314) 361-4242.
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