Helpful Information

Can I Be Compensated For Pre-existing Conditions In A Car Accident?

Posted by Harlene Labrum | Jun 09, 2021

Many of us deal with an ongoing medical condition or injury during our lifetime. The Center for American Progress estimates that roughly one in two Americans under the age of 65 are affected by pre-existing conditions. Additionally, as people age, the likelihood of suffering from ongoing health conditions is ever-increasing.

If you suffered injuries in a car accident due to another party's negligence, you are generally entitled to fair compensation, including damages for any worsening of your pre-existing condition or injury. However, recovering an adequate aggravated injury settlement that covers all your damages and future expected expenses could be challenging.

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Labrum Law Firm can advise you on your legal options and help you make decisions regarding your next legal steps if you suffer from an aggravated injury or condition after a car accident. Contact us for a free case review today at (615) 338-9500.

What Qualifies as a Pre-Existing Condition?

A pre-existing condition, according to HealthCare.Gov, generally refers to a previously known health condition or illness. When it comes to accident claims, a pre-existing condition refers to any injuries, illness, or health conditions that a claimant suffered before the accident occurred. In cases where injuries from car accidents concern the same body part that the claimant has a pre-existing condition in, such as the back, spine, or neck, recovering fair compensation can become legally complex and complicated to prove.

Common Pre-Existing Conditions

Potentially, there can be a variety of pre-existing injuries and conditions that can result in an aggravated injury settlement after a car accident, including but not limited to:

  • Arthritis
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Slipped discs
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Fractures
  • Concussions
  • Brain injuries
  • Knee injuries

Pre-existing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and others, can potentially also complicate injuries in accidents and could lead to aggravated injury settlements.

If your car accident injury aggravated a pre-existing injury or condition, consider consulting with a compassionate and experienced car accident lawyer from Labrum Law Firm who can offer legal advice and guidance.

Can I Pursue a Claim for an Aggravated Pre-Existing Injury?

If you had a pre-existing injury that was exacerbated or complicated due to a car accident injury, then yes, you are generally able to pursue compensation for the aggravated injury. However, it is important to note that you will not be able to seek damages for the original injury or medical condition with a personal injury lawsuit. 

A defendant is generally responsible for compensating individuals for their injuries even if the harm suffered is greater than would typically be expected. For example, if a negligent party in a car accident causes the victim to suffer multiple fractures, the victim can seek aggravated damages even if they suffered from osteoporosis or brittle bone disease, causing their bones to break relatively easily.

Likewise, if you had a previous serious injury, such as a neck or head injury, and a car accident triggers new pain, you could suffer years of chronic discomfort and expenses for medical treatments, physiotherapy, assistive devices, and even need surgery. In these cases, individuals generally have the legal right to go after additional damages and seek an aggravated injury settlement under the “eggshell plaintiff” rule.

According to Tennessee law, a plaintiff must be considered as-is. Therefore, an insurance company or defendant cannot deny fair compensation simply because the victim has a pre-existing condition or injury.

Complications Due to Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

It is important to note that any pre-existing medical conditions, just like pre-existing injuries, could lead to an aggravated injury settlement. For example, those suffering from diabetes can be more susceptible to amputations after suffering major wounds in an accident, as wound-healing is compromised in sufferers of the disease.

Likewise, a number of other pre-existing conditions can potentially also lead to additional medical needs and expenses with an injury. A victim with a pre-existing condition is generally able to seek damages arising from complications because without the accident and injury, these additional expenses would not have occurred.

Evidence Required to Prove an Aggravated Injury Claim

If you are looking to recover an aggravated injury settlement after a car accident, you will require relevant and clear evidence. The evidence should detail the nature and extent of your pre-existing condition before the accident and the effect of the accident injuries on your pre-existing condition.

Comprehensive medical reports may be required for supporting and proving your aggravated injury claim, including but not limited to:

  • X-rays and other imaging diagnostics
  • Physician reports and statements
  • Chiropractor or physiotherapy reports
  • Records of medical treatments

An experienced car accident attorney from our firm can help you collect any crucial evidence you could present for your case. The aim is to provide evidence of symptoms you experienced after your accident, the ways in which the accident has aggravated your pre-existing injury, and how your life has been affected by the worsening of your pre-existing condition.

How Labrum Law Firm Can Help with Your Case

Aggravated injury claims can be challenging and complicated to litigate. Moreover, since damages are typically greater in such claims, insurances and defendants tend to fight them vigorously. However, an experienced car accident lawyer can help you in a number of ways:

  • Communicate and negotiate with the applicable insurance company directly
  • Gather and organize the evidence required for your claim
  • Communicate with your medical providers
  • Build a case against the negligent party in your accident
  • Represent you aggressively in court

If you suffer from an aggravated injury or medical condition after your accident, time can be of the essence. Generally, victims must file personal injury cases within a year after their accident and injury in Tennessee or risk losing the right to legal recourse. A seasoned car accident attorney from Labrum Law Firm can help you get clear on your options and the next steps for recovering the compensation you deserve under the law.

Our legal team can see your case through from beginning to end and work tirelessly for your best interests, while you are free to concentrate on your health. Our attorneys work on a “no-win-no-fee” basis and only get paid if and when we win your case and you receive an aggravated injury settlement.

Call Labrum Law Firm now to schedule your free initial consultation and find out how we can help you: (615) 338-9500.

About the Author

Harlene Labrum

Harlene is focused and passionate about helping those injured in car wrecks.  She earned her J.D. at Nashville School of Law and her Bachelor's degree at State University of New York at Albany, awarded with the highest GPA and high honors.  Harlene began her career in law as a personal injury par...

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