The manner in which you handle a preexisting injury can greatly impact your injury claim outcome. It is crucial that claimants disclose all past injuries to their lawyer before seeking compensation. Failure to do this can weaken your case and reduce the overall value of your claim.
Insurance companies are known to use this vulnerability in most claimants’ cases to ultimately pay less in damages. If your Toledo injury attorney knows the kind of arguments to expect from the insurance’s side, they can prepare better for all contingencies. If, for example, you have no history of pain or treatment in the injured area, it will be hard for the other party to use the preexisting injury argument to discredit your claim.
What is considered a preexisting injury?
Here are a few examples of what can be considered a pre-existing condition in a personal injury claim:
- Congenital abnormalities or birth defects
- Injuries from previous car accidents
- Medical conditions such as epilepsy or asthma
- Neck, joint and spine injuries that you’re still receiving medication for or that are still healing
Proving your personal injury claims
Most claimants often hide previous medical conditions and injuries because of the fear they will minimize their claim. It is true that insurance companies will do whatever it takes to evade paying out a substantial claim, but they cannot deny your claim if you can prove that the accident worsened your injury and/or pain. Here are a few ways to ensure you get compensated in the event you sustain injuries on top of preexisting injuries:
- Be diligent. The first thing that you should do immediately after getting injured is to seek medical attention. A comprehensive medical report will help you prove trauma and help prevent the insurance from claiming that something else caused your injuries.
- Be honest.On your appointment with the doctor, do not hide any information about both your new injuries and the ones you had before the accident. If you broke your finger before and are experiencing increased pain in the same finger, let them know. The previous injury could have weakened the finger and increased its susceptibility to new injuries. This information will help the doctor in performing the diagnosis and writing an accurate report.
- Be precise. Always list all new and preexisting injuries regardless of how trivial some of them may seem. It is imperative that the doctor records all of them during the initial exam to ensure they are included in the medical report in case they get worse.
The Eggshell Concept
The eggshell concept is a hypothetical theory in which a person with an “eggshell” skull is involved in an accident. Such a person would be very vulnerable to injury or trauma.
This theory is sometimes used by attorneys to argue that a previous injury has made the client more fragile or weaker, causing them to suffer relatively more severe injuries than the average victim. It can be an effective argument in low-impact accidents that have resulted in questionably severe injuries and extensive medical expenses.
It should be noted that injuries sustained relative to what is expected of the average victim cannot be used to disprove a personal injury claim.