A pre-existing injury has the potential to jeopardize your personal injury claim. Even a minor injury that occurred before the accident can reduce your payout or prevent you from obtaining a single penny in compensation. This is not to say every single accident victim who has a pre-existing injury will not be able to receive the money necessary to cover the costs of an auto accident in or around New Orleans. Let a proven New Orleans personal injury lawyer handle your injury claim to prove there is a causal relationship between the accident and your injury, pain, suffering, lost time at work, diminished working capacity, etc. Hire the wrong attorney or attempt to represent yourself in a pro se manner and you face long odds of establishing this all-important causal relationship.
Pre-existing Conditions of Note for Personal Injury Claims
All sorts of pre-existing injuries and conditions can compromise your New Orleans personal injury claim. Just about any physical or mental malady endured before the accident qualifies as a pre-existing condition. Those plagued by osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, depression, asthma, high blood pressure, a heart condition, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease and an array of other conditions will face a tougher legal battle than those without such pre-existing conditions.
If you have a pre-existing injury or condition, do not attempt to conceal it from your attorney. Be completely forthright about your injury or condition and your attorney will have the opportunity to analyze your case in-depth with complete accuracy. If you hide your injury, you run the risk of it being uncovered at a later point at which it might put your personal injury case in jeopardy. As soon as the insurance provider learns of your pre-existing injury, they will either deny your claim or dramatically reduce their settlement offer.
The Importance of Medical Records for Those With Pre-existing Conditions
Successful personal injury legal arguments are based on a solid foundation of evidence. Medical records are of the utmost importance for accident victims who have a pre-existing condition. Truly comprehensive medical records detail the victim’s health prior to and after the accident. The degree of the pre-existing injury matters a great deal. The best personal injury attorneys review all medical records in-depth prior to the pursuit of justice.
Medical tests performed before and after the accident, expert medical professional testimony and physician reports have the potential to make or break your case. If your New Orleans doctor does not provide detailed notes and analysis in your medical records, it will be challenging to prove the accident is the true cause of your injuries, pain, suffering, etc. The documentation of your physical and/or mental condition before and after the event in question must detail the injury’s severity and how it has altered your life.
A Pre-existing Injury Does not Have to Derail Your Case
If you have a pre-existing condition, do not assume your case is an automatic loser. The right New Orleans personal injury attorney will present a convincing case that the accident is fully or at least partially responsible for your injury, pain and other losses. In some situations, injury victims provided with regular medical treatment find it is easier to provide evidence of their medical history than those who have not visited with a medical professional in a decade or longer. The compensation available to those with pre-existing conditions hinges on showing how severe the condition is and how it impacted the victim’s life prior to the accident. This is precisely why detailed medical records that document previous conditions in as much detail as possible are so important for personal injury claims.
Compensation is Available for an Accident That Aggravated a Pre-existing Injury
If your pre-existing injury is aggravated or worsened by the accident, it is still possible to obtain compensation. Even if the accident caused a setback in your recovery, it still might be possible to obtain compensation for related medical expenses, pain, suffering and additional losses. Though the insurance company is not required to cover the cost of treatment that would be necessary had the accident not occurred, this group must pay for treatment attributed to the accident. This compensation could total several thousand dollars, tens of thousands of dollars or even more.
After an accident, don’t take on the insurance company alone. Contact Wright Pichon & Gray.