Accidents are a part of life. If, however, you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, you will likely go through the personal injury claim process to recover on the damages you sustain. If you had an injury or medical condition prior to the accident, it will play a role in your personal injury claim. Knowing the basics can help you demystify the interplay between your preexisting condition and your claim.
Your Preexisting Condition
As the term implies, a preexisting condition is an injury or health condition that was already affecting you when you were involved in the accident. For example, if you had previously sustained a knee injury and then injure the same knee in a car accident caused by another motorist, your preexisting injury will play a direct role in your claim. The fact that you already have a knee injury, however, does not preclude you from being compensated for the injuries caused by the accident. If you do have a preexisting condition, it complicates the matter, and you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to help ensure that your rights are well protected.
Disclose Any Preexisting Conditions
Many accident victims are fearful of disclosing prior injuries out of concern that they will not be able to recover adequately on the current damages. This approach, however, is not in your best interests. You need to disclose any previous injuries to your attending medical professional to ensure that you receive the medical attention you need. Additionally, it is imperative that you share your preexisting condition with your personal injury attorney who will skillfully and appropriately address the issue with the insurance company on your behalf.
The Eggshell Skull Doctrine
There is, in fact, a legal doctrine that protects victims with preexisting conditions who suffer further damage due to someone else’s negligence. This doctrine is known as the Eggshell Skull Doctrine, and in a nutshell, it states that the party who causes you to be injured must take you as you are – preexisting injury and all. As the victim of someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Your Injury Causing Accident
If you have been in an accident that leaves you injured, do not presume that having a preexisting injury will negate your ability to recover on your losses. Further, if you have been in such an accident, seek immediate medical attention. Your health and your personal injury claim are far too important to ignore.