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Often when a discussion about a personal injury due to a car accident begins, the discussion assumes the victim of the said accident was in perfect health. This is very rarely the case, everyone has pre-existing conditions, whether permanent or short-term. How does this affect injury claims and compensation? Let’s find out.
A victim is not entitled to compensation for injuries that existed prior to the accident. They are entitled to compensation for injuries gained from the accident. However, if your pre-existing condition is exacerbated, you may be entitled to receive compensation for the worsening of that condition if you can prove it worsened due to the accident.
A pre-existing condition should never discourage you from filing an accident claim. In many cases, the victim has received medical treatment for their pre-existing condition and therefore can produce medical records regarding that condition. If your condition was worsened from an accident, the compensation you receive is going to be based on the degree of difference from prior to the accident to after the accident. You will need a detailed and complete medical history to do this.
Some insurance companies are going to try to pay you as little as possible—actually, most of them. They’ll try to search your medical history to find something that discredits you. They want to use this information to say that your accident has had minimal effect on you and that they don’t need to pay you. Therefore, it is vital to hire an attorney. Your attorney is going to have had experience dealing with insurance companies and can help you maneuver their tricks.
The “Eggshell Skull Rule” or “take your victim as you find him” applies to victims with pre-existing conditions; though it is applied to every single personal injury claim. This rule states that the relative frailty of the injury victim isn’t a valid defense against a claim.
The rule is named after an imaginary case that illustrates the concept, imagine someone who was injured by someone else and they were unaware the victim’s skull was as thin as an eggshell. This condition would leave the person susceptible to injury. The defendant would then be liable for all damages that stem from the wrongful actions even if they had no idea of the victim’s condition. The takeaway from this rule is that no victim should dare hesitate to bring a claim and contact an attorney no matter their health prior to the accident.
Reach out to a trusted car accident attorney in Scottsdale, AZ to discuss your options, especially if you think that you’re being targeted by insurance companies over your accident. These lawyers are going to best know how to deal with those companies, and they’ll make it less stressful for you as a client.