The total amount of compensations that can be awarded in a personal injury case is determined by answering a number of questions. Issues like how the accident took place
, the severity of the injuries, the medical expenses and lost wages are always brought to attention.
Pre-existing injuries can influence the manner in which the insurance company or the defendant will react to your claims. One of our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers can help you calculate the settlement in those cases when you were already being treated for a condition that was aggravated by the accident.
How can a pre-existing injury influence your case?
Plaintiffs cannot claim compensations for injuries that were present before the accident
occurred. However, they can be entitled to compensation if a particular condition worsened after the accident took place. This can be the case in vehicle accidents when victims suffer from neck injuries, thus triggering a recurrent back or spinal cord
Most insurance companies will be very susceptible to cases that involve victims who have suffered in the past. The insurance policy will only cover the physical injuries that took place as a direct result of the accident and will refuse to pay compensations for any injuries that are not related to the particular accident that is being brought to attention. The insurance company may claim that the injury is not related to the accident and use it as a defense to minimize the compensation or refuse to pay altogether. One of our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers can help you negotiate with the insurance company. In some cases, the insurer will try to determine the plaintiff to sign an authorization that grants them access to the existing medical files. Our attorneys strongly recommend avoiding signing such a document or consult with one of our experts before doing so. It is always more suitable to provide the documents yourself than to allow the insurance company to gain access to them.
Has a pre-existing injury been aggravated by the accident?
Another possibility is that the accident caused a pre-existing injury or condition to aggravate. The defendant should not consider that he or she can escape liability just because the plaintiff was in a weaker state than any other individual and he is not really responsible for the degree of the injury.
A common rule that applies in these cases is the “eggshell doctrine” meaning that the defendant must take the plaintiff exactly has he or she is at the time of the injury. You can prove that a pre-existing condition has worsened or reappeared after the accident based on the past and present medical records. One of our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys
can tell you more about these rules.
Many victims who suffer from pre-existing conditions at the time of the accident will choose to seek legal advice. These cases rely on the ability to bring enough evidence up front and they will most likely rely on the assistance of a medical professional and numerous medical documents to prove the existence and severity of the illness or condition. It is important to always disclose any prior injuries to your attorney so that he can accurately assess the value of your claim. Pre-existing injuries are even more important if they occurred in the same part of the body as the current accident injuries.
Some personal injury cases settle before they are taken to court. If you are able to present accurate and undeniable facts that show the existence of a previous injury, one of our lawyers can help you calculate the damages
and negotiate with the defendant to obtain the rightful compensation.