How a Pre-Existing Condition Affects a Personal Injury Case
If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The insurance company that is financially responsible for your injuries, however, is not on your side. Insurance companies are notorious for doing what they can to avoid giving claimants large payouts. This includes using pre-existing conditions or injuries against claimants and even their own policy holders.
How Might a Pre-Existing Condition Impact Your Personal Injury Settlement?
During your personal injury claim, you will have the task of proving that what you are claiming is more likely to be true than not true. You will need clear and convincing evidence that shows that the other party (the defendant) is more likely to be responsible than not responsible for the injury that you are claiming. If you have struggled with a pre-existing medical condition or injury, this can make it more difficult for you to prove that the defendant is responsible for your injuries.
A pre-existing condition such as an old broken bone, back injury, herniated disk, degenerative disk disease, concussion or brain injury, high blood pressure, cancer, or diabetes could give an insurance company a reason to reject your claim. Whether the rejection is legal or valid depends on if you are claiming a new or old injury. While you cannot recover compensation from a defendant for an injury or illness that you had before the accident, you can claim compensation for a new injury, as well as an old injury that was exacerbated by the accident.
What Is the Eggshell Skull Doctrine?
Accident claims involving pre-existing conditions rely on the eggshell skull rule to determine a plaintiff’s ability to recover financial compensation. The eggshell skull rule is a legal doctrine that makes a defendant liable (legally and financially responsible) for a plaintiff’s injury even if the plaintiff had an unforeseeable and uncommon reaction to the defendant’s negligence or wrongdoing.
This doctrine means that even if a plaintiff had a pre-existing condition that resulted in more severe injuries than a normal plaintiff would have experienced in the same accident, the defendant is liable for the full extent of the victim’s injuries. A defendant must take a plaintiff as he or she is at the time of an accident. The eggshell skull rule doesn’t hold a defendant liable for a pre-existing injury or condition that was not impacted or exacerbated by the accident.
What to Say to an Insurance Company About a Pre-Existing Condition
Under the eggshell skull doctrine, an insurance company cannot deny your claim based solely on the fact that there is a pre-existing condition or injury in your medical history. It can, however, deny your claim if it finds evidence that you knowingly and intentionally concealed information about your pre-existing condition during the claims process. This is why it is critical to be honest and upfront about your pre-existing condition with an insurance company. This will increase your credibility and prevent you from being punished for an omission.
Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
For the best chance of success as a personal injury claimant with a pre-existing condition, hire a personal injury lawyer in Wisconsin to represent you. A lawyer can go up against an insurance company to pursue maximum financial compensation for your recent injury. Your lawyer won’t let an insurance company take advantage of you or give a wrongful denial because of a pre-existing condition. Your lawyer will negotiate with an insurance company for fair and full monetary coverage for your claim even with a pre-existing injury.
A pre-existing condition will make your personal injury claim more complicated in Wisconsin. You will need to obtain copies of your relevant medical records to prove that the accident caused, contributed to or exacerbated your injuries, for example, and that you are still eligible for compensation despite a pre-existing condition. A lawyer can help you with these tasks and pursue your goals for a personal injury settlement using experienced legal advocacy. Call (414) 273-7400 today for a free consultation at Mingo & Yankala, S.C. for more information.