When you are involved in an accident, your personal injury lawyer will look for evidence that you were injured due to the negligence of another party. Once negligence has been established, you will be able to argue that you are entitled to compensation for medical bills. However, the defendant will do everything possible to reduce their liability and how much they must pay you in damages. One strategy is to argue that your injuries were actually a pre-existing condition.
The Importance of Pre-Existing Conditions
When you win a personal injury case, you will only be entitled to medical expenses that were necessary due to your injuries caused by the accident. However, if you have any pre-existing conditions that also need to be treated, you will not be able to bundle those treatments in with the treatments associated with your accident.
The defense will comb through your medical records to look for pre-existing conditions and past injuries. Some of your pre-existing conditions might be ones that you were born with, and other pre-existing conditions are conditions that might have developed as a result of a specific event. However, if you received medical treatment for your injuries and you have an established medical history, you may have an easier time proving that your new injuries are specifically the result of the accident.
If you have a pre-existing condition that you are aware of, you are required to disclose it. Otherwise, your case will be more complicated and the courts might dismiss your case outright. Also, your personal injury attorney will need to be aware of your pre-existing condition, so they can represent you to the best of their ability.
The state in which your accident occurred will determine to what extent the other party is responsible for your injuries, by how much your pre-existing condition might have contributed to your current condition. In some cases, your settlement might be reduced as a result. However, it's very rare that the courts will determine that the defendant is not responsible for your damages at all.
Because you may have your settlement unfairly reduced, you will want to speak with a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling your type of cases. While working with your medical team and a witness, you will be able to show that the pre-existing condition is not as much of a factor as the defense is trying to argue.