Pre-Existing Conditions and Personal Injuries

One of the many things that could complicate your personal injury insurance claim is a pre-existing condition. Insurance companies often use pre-existing conditions to their advantage to avoid paying clients the full values of their claims. If you have a pre-existing condition, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, it may be in your best interest to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you with the claims process.

Can My Insurance Claim Be Denied From a Pre-Existing Condition?

Pre-existing conditions and personal injury claims are often intertwined because a new accident can affect damage previously inflicted to the body from other accidents or health conditions. The new accident may exacerbate existing conditions, or your existing condition may make new injuries more severe than they otherwise would have been. Either way, the two can be linked during an insurance claim, making the legal process more complicated.   An insurance company cannot deny an injured party’s claim based solely on a pre-existing condition. However, it is important to proceed with your insurance claim with caution. An insurance company may try to reason that the pre-existing condition – not the accident in question – caused the claimed injuries. This tactic could allow the insurance company to minimize or potentially deny the payment of your claim.

As long as you can prove that your injuries were caused by or exacerbated by the accident in question, the insurance company of the at-fault party will be responsible for your financial losses. It is up to you, however, to prove your case to the insurer. Be prepared for an insurance company’s tactics, examination of medical history as well as how to combat them, as a claimant with a pre-existing injury.

What Is the Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine?

The eggshell plaintiff doctrine is a legal theory that will work in your favor during an insurance claim as someone with a pre-existing condition. This rule makes a defendant legally responsible for a plaintiff’s actual injuries and related losses – even if these losses are more severe due to an uncommon reaction to the negligence or intentional tort (e.g., even if the plaintiff was as delicate as an eggshell).

In other words, a defendant will be liable for magnified losses due to a plaintiff’s pre-existing condition. Even if you had an uncommon and unforeseeable reaction to the defendant’s negligence, making for more severe damages, the defendant will be legally responsible for the full losses and injuries you suffered in the accident.

Should I Disclose Pre-Existing Conditions to My Insurance Company?

Do not try to hide your pre-existing condition during your insurance claim, even if you fear the insurance carrier will try to use it against you. Honesty is very important if you wish to protect your right to recover. Be upfront about your pre-existing injury or condition during the insurance claims process. If you fail to disclose your condition, and the insurance carrier uncovers the condition itself, it may try to discredit you and deny your injury claim.

When to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in Kansas City

Remember, an insurance company cannot deny your claim based on the existence of a previous condition or prior injuries alone. If it wrongfully denies your claim due to a pre-existing condition, a lawyer can help you request an internal review of your case. This may be enough to reverse the insurance carrier’s decision. If not, your lawyer can represent you during an insurance bad faith lawsuit instead.

A lawyer can also help you win your original insurance claim. If you had a herniated disk, lower back pain, healed broken bone, arthritis, brain injury or another pre-existing condition before your accident, your lawyer can help you obtain a fair recovery. Your lawyer can help you prove the connection between your accident and the injury claimed using evidence such as detailed medical records. Learn more about your case, and how a personal injury law firm can help, during a free consultation in Kansas City.