Having a Pre-Existing Medical Condition Shouldn’t Prevent You From Protecting Your Rights
September 28th, 2016 by Attorney Julie Butcher
Negligent drivers and property owners in Kentucky find you as you are. Many of us suffer either temporary or chronic medical conditions that don’t prevent us from being out and about, living our lives. We get by and make the best of things. In the course of your daily routine, you may be the victim of a negligent driver or property owner. Because of that car accident or slip and fall, in addition to inflicting new injuries, the force of the accident may worsen or aggravate a pre-existing condition.
Having a pre-existing medical condition does not prevent you from seeking compensation for your injuries, though it may result in the insurance company trying to muddy the factual waters of the case. You can be compensated for new injuries and the aggravation of your prior medical condition due to the accident, but not for the underlying condition you had to begin with.
The negligent party is responsible for all of the consequences that flow from the accident, including the aggravation of a prior injury or medical condition. Pre-existing medical issues can make you more vulnerable to injury, but the aggravation of the injury would not have been suffered if the other party had not been negligent, if the accident had not occurred, so that party should be held accountable.
Assume, for example, that you have chronic back pain and limitations before the accident which measure three on a scale of one to ten; but after the accident your condition becomes worse and rates a score of seven. You can seek compensation for the additional treatment, surgery, medications and physical therapy you may require due to the worsening of your condition from a three to a seven.
If you had a medical condition or prior injury that was bothering you when you suffered the accident, when you talk to us you need to be open and honest. You need to talk about what your situation was like both before and after the accident. Your medical history needs to be examined by our office and will be thoroughly analyzed by the insurance company.
Don’t try to hide this information because you think your case might suffer due to this pre-existing condition. Not bringing up these conditions could seriously harm your credibility and your claim’s value, especially if the pre-existing condition affects the same area of your body that was injured in the accident.
During the case, the insurance company may claim you’re not entitled to compensation because your condition has not worsened, it’s only as bad as it was before. Medical records and expert medical testimony is important in all personal injury cases, but they are critical in a case involving pre-existing conditions.
They can be used to explain to a jury your situations before and after the accident and how the accident impacted your abilities and how you live your life. This information and testimony can also show how vulnerable your condition was to being worsened by the accident.
Don’t let the fact that you weren’t in perfect health before an accident stop you from protecting your legal rights. If you have been injured in a vehicle accident or due to a slip and fall in Kentucky, you can rely on the Julie Butcher Law Office, which has extensive experience handling the claims of those injured due to the negligence of drivers and property owners. Call us at 859-233-3641 or fill out our contact form so we can talk about the circumstances of your case and how we might help you obtain justice.