If you live with a serious medical condition or injury, you already spend a significant amount of time and money on medical treatment. The last thing you want while you’re healing is a car accident that has suddenly aggravated or enhanced your pain and made you feel worse.
The injury you were working to put behind you is front and center again, leaving you with more medical bills, more treatments, and even more surgeries. At this point, you begin to feel like you’re starting over, and now you’re wondering if you can sue the at-fault driver for the enhanced or additional injuries you’re now experiencing after the accident.
Thankfully, the Houston personal injury lawyers at Johnson Garcia LLP have over 30 years of experience helping injured victims like you who may have pre-existing conditions when they are involved in serious car accidents.
Here’s what you need to know about recovering damages from an accident when you have pre-existing medical conditions.
Millions of Americans have pre-existing medical conditions
When most people think about pre-existing conditions, they think about senior citizens and the elderly. However, pre-existing conditions do not discriminate. Anyone, no matter the age, can have a pre-existing medical condition.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, millions of Americans have a pre-existing medical condition. It’s been estimated that at least 54 million adults under age 65 have a preexisting condition.
Texas Eggshell Skull Doctrine allows personal injury victims to recover
While pre-existing conditions may affect life or health insurance eligibility, because of the Texas Eggshell Skull Rule, a personal injury victim can collect financial compensation for additional, enhanced, or aggravated injuries caused by someone else.
What is a pre-existing medical condition?
Pre-existing conditions are a constant topic of discussion when it comes to healthcare. You may have heard the term in health insurance and life insurance commercials.
A pre-existing injury is a health condition that you already had or received prior to the accident.
As a result of the car crash, that part of the body that was already injured could be damaged yet again. Any of the following injuries can be considered a pre-existing condition:
- Herniated disc and other back problems
- Neck pain
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cardiovascular or heart disease
Winning your personal injury case with a pre-existing condition
We live in a society where personal injury lawsuits are the norm. For any personal injury victim to seek justice and have their day in court, they must have been wronged and they must have suffered an injury to the mind, body, and emotional state as a result of that wrong (the accident).
Common personal injury cases include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents, slip and falls, bike and pedestrian accidents. If you already have a pre-existing medical condition, any of these accidents can make your condition even worse.
Here’s how to successfully pursue the maximum amount of compensation you may deserve from a personal injury claim with pre-existing conditions:
You want to be honest about your medical condition with your doctor and your Houston personal injury attorney. Share medical records with them to provide an accurate view of the status of your physical and mental condition prior to the accident. This helps to compare the pre-damages and post-damages so the attorney can properly determine a fair settlement amount.
The insurance company will work to place the blame on you for having the medical condition.
Some kind of way, they will try to argue that the car accident was your fault. They may try to conclude that you should not have been driving due to your pre-existing medical condition.
Because insurance companies do not want to own up to their responsibility, they may ask you to sign a medical authorization in order to obtain your medical records. Don’t let them.
A rule of thumb to remember is to always make sure the conditions you are disclosing are relevant to your personal injury case.
Attempting to introduce unaffected medical conditions can put your possible settlement in jeopardy.
If the injuries affected your ability to perform normally at work, or if you had to leave your job, show it. Share your pay stubs, time cards, and your employment file. Any evidence regarding the enhanced or additional injuries you suffered as a result of the accident can build a strong case against the other party.
Don’t let pre-existing conditions stop you from seeking compensation
The skilled Houston injury attorneys at Johnson Garcia LLP have over 30 years’ experience helping injured victims in a variety of personal injury cases. They’ve seen it all and can help guide you every step of the way.
Don’t let pre-existing conditions stop you from seeking compensation if an accident has enhanced your pain or introduced new injuries.
If you were injured in a car wreck in Texas while having a pre-existing condition, speak with our Houston personal injury attorneys today.
We’ll immediately get to work evaluating your injury claim and reviewing your medical records and expenses to determine the financial compensation you may be entitled to, so you can be made whole again.