(Long Island, NY) There are few things more upsetting than being the victim of an automobile crash…especially when you’re not the one at fault and you’ve suffered an injury due to another party’s negligence. But when it comes time to engage in an insurance claim to acquire rightful compensation for your pain, suffering, and lost time from work, you may find that the insurance company in question may take any and every opportunity to attempt to prove that your injuries were already in existence before the accident ever occurred – and thus, not their responsibility – in an attempt to weasel out of paying you what you’re entitled to.
Many insurance companies will try and use pre-existing medical conditions against the victim in an accident. Read on to find out what you can do to protect yourself. Photo Credit: witwiccan.
The experts at the Law Firm of Cohen and Jaffee – who have been dealing with personal injury cases for many years – note that using a pre-existing medical condition against an injured individual is a common tactic on the part of insurance companies representing the at-fault party involved in most accident claims. But even if you did have a injury or condition prior to an accident – or one that was made worse by the accident – it’s still possible to successfully combat such a defense and arrive at a fair and equitable financial settlement that can help to ease the difficulties that you are faced with.
Most people involved in accidents are not usually in a perfect state of health when the worst happens; often, people will suffer various injuries or medical conditions as life happens, which affect them to varying degrees in their day-to-day life. This is perfectly normal and quite common, experts say. Topically, an accident victim who files a personal injury case is not entitled to monetary compensation for a pre-existing condition that remains unaffected by the circumstances of the accident. However, they are fully deserving of payment when said accident aggravates and exasperates a pre-existing condition, with the degree of compensation dependant on how worse the condition has been made by the negligent actions of another.
Any medical condition that as in existence before a given accident is considered a pre-existing condition, and can consist of a vast array of issues, such as degenerative disc disease, osteoporosis, past surgeries, heart problems, arthritis, diabetes, and even emotional or psychological issues. And while pre-existing conditions can make insurance claims more complicated, but an injured party should never let that stop them from filing a claim.
An insurance company will go as far out of their way as they can in order to pay you as little as possible for any accident claim you may bring against them, often stretching the very limits of logic and reality in the process. In the case of a pre-existing condition, you and your lawyer will not only illustrate the exact nature of your prior condition, but the exact degree that the accident has worsened it as well and the exact degree to which this has negatively affected your day-to-day life. Insurance companies will comb through your medical history for anything they can use to dispute your claims, and in situations like these it’s critical for you to disclose any pre-existing condition that you may have – no matter how minor – in order to preserve your credibility.
Especially noteworthy in personal injury cases is something often referred to as the “eggshell” rule, which essentially states that a defendant must “take their victim as they find him.” In other words, a plaintiff possessing a pre-existing condition that might make them more vulnerable to injury does not establish a valid defense for a defendant, even if they had no prior knowledge of the victim’s vulnerability. This is an important rule safeguarding parties with pre-existing conditions, and a big reason why many insurance companies will pour over every aspect of person’s medical history in order to attempt to circumvent the “eggshell” rule and avoid a payout.
When you’ve been injured by the actions of another and find yourself under such intense scrutiny, it’s vital to make sure that you have an experienced personal injury attorney at your side to make sure you successfully navigate the maze an insurance company will resent you will on your journey to receive just compensation for your mental and physical harm, inflected upon you by no fault of your own.
Hurt in a car accident? Contact Our Team of Personal Injury Attorneys: When you’ve been in any automobile collision, you should not only seek immediate medical treatment, but also consult with legal counsel as soon as possible as well. Whenever you become hurt or injured through no fault of your own – through the neglect, indifference, or willful act of another – you should always be fully compensated, so call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP at 866-878-6774 now or fill out our simple form for a free consultation.