Can Prior Injuries Affect a New Car Accident Claim
If you have been injured by another driver’s negligence, the path forward can be challenging enough, but if you have prior injuries or a preexisting condition, it is likely to be complicated. The stress of being harmed by someone else’s negligence can be overwhelming and navigating the claims process toward just compensation may feel out of reach – but having an experienced Cumming car accident attorney in your corner can make all the difference.
The Insurance Company
The other driver’s insurance provider, which will be handling your claim, will be very interested in finding out everything it can about your prior injuries and in using the information to diminish your claim. Insurance companies are in the business of turning serious profits, and they are skilled at doing so, including using prior injuries against claimants.
The steps you can take to fortify your claim and protect your rights include:
- Carefully following your doctor’s instructions and advice for treatment
- Consulting with a dedicated car accident attorney early in the process.
- Refraining from making a statement to the insurance representative (this task is best left to your attorney)
- Refraining from posting on social media entirely, including Facebook and Instagram (it’s too easy to inadvertently provide the insurance company with information it can use to its own advantage)
- Leaving negotiations with the insurance company to your attorney
- Not accepting a settlement offer before carefully reviewing the matter with your well-informed attorney
Exacerbation or Aggravation
The insurance company will very likely attempt to prove that the injuries you claim to have sustained in the car accident were pre-existing. Drawing a dividing line between a prior injury and new injuries can be complicated. The insurance company is not required to compensate you for any injuries that you had before the car accident.
However, if you had a pre-existing condition which was aggravated or exacerbated by the accident, and that caused you to seek medical treatment, then you are entitled to recover those medical bills as an aggravation of a pre-existing condition. Whereas, if you were treated for a chronic condition for which you would have needed the medical treatment regardless of whether you had the auto accident, it would likely not be considered as proximately caused by the accident. You can also be compensated for pain and suffering and lost wages for injuries which constituted an aggravation of a pre-existing condition. For these types of claims, you will need an expert witness to establish the medical causation for the treatment.
In addition to your prior injuries being exacerbated or aggravated, you can obviously experience new injuries that are properly attributable to the accident. The overall losses you’re facing can be immense, including:
- Damage to your car
- Cascading medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent injuries and disfigurement
Because your ability to recover as fully as possible is closely related to your ability to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled, fighting for your rights is in your best interest.
Look to an Experienced Cumming Car Accident Attorney for the Help You Need
The formidable car accident attorneys at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland in Cumming dedicate their work to guiding challenging claims like yours toward favorable resolutions. For more information about how we can also help you, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 770-887-1209 today.