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Many people are under the misconception that if they’ve been injured in an accident, they can automatically file a personal injury claim and receive compensation for their damages. However, the reality is that it’s not always that simple. If you have a pre-existing injury, it can affect your personal injury claim in a number of ways—and in some cases, it could prevent you from recovering compensation at all. Here’s how a pre-existing injury can affect your claim.
If you have a pre-existing injury, it’s likely that your damages will be calculated at a lower amount than they would have been had you not had the pre-existing condition. This is because the insurance company will argue that your current injuries are not entirely the fault of the other party but are at least partially due to your pre-existing condition.
Not only could the value of your claim be affected if you have a pre-existing injury, but the claims process could also take longer. This is because insurance companies will want to investigate whether your injuries are truly due to the accident or whether they’re related to your pre-existing condition. This investigation can add considerable time to the claims process.
If you do have a pre-existing condition, you’ll need to be able to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident and not by the pre-existing condition. For example, if you aggravate a pre-existing back injury in a car accident, you’ll need medical records or other evidence to show that the accident did indeed make your back injury worse. Otherwise, the insurance company may refuse to pay for treatment related to those injuries.
If you have been injured in an accident, it is important that you speak with a personal injury lawyer right away so that they can begin working on your case. Even if you have a pre-existing condition, an experienced personal injury lawyer can still help you get the compensation you deserve.
One of the first things an experienced personal injury lawyer will do is investigate your accident to determine how your pre-existing injury was caused or aggravated by the accident. In order to do this, your lawyer will likely consult with medical experts who can attest to the nature and extent of your injuries. Your lawyer will then use this information to build a strong case that demonstrates how the accident caused or aggravated your pre-existing condition.
Insurance companies are in the business of making money, not paying out claims. As such, insurance adjusters are often quick to deny claims or make very low settlement offers in an attempt to save the company money. A Charleston personal injury attorney will know how to deal with insurance companies and their adjusters. They will be able to negotiate on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve.
If negotiations with the insurance company break down, an experienced personal injury lawyer will not hesitate to take your case to court. They will be well-versed in the rules of civil procedure and will know how to present your case in a way that is most likely to result in a favorable verdict.
A pre-existing injury can complicate matters when it comes to negotiation with insurance companies following a personal injury claim, but having a qualified personal injury lawyer on your side will ensure that you get fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.