Paramedics attending to elderly man with oxygen mask, addressing pre-existing injury aggravated in car accident

Pre-Existing Conditions Can Impact Your Car Accident Claim

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Suffered Injuries Before an Accident? Learn How A Pre-Existing Injury Aggravated in Car Accident Impacts Your Claim Compensation

In some auto accidents, victims have pre-existing medical conditions that could worsen after an accident. If you have pre-existing conditions, insurers of the at-fault party may attempt to prove your injuries were not the result of the accident but of your past conditions to get out of paying for your injuries. If you or a loved one had an existing condition that became worse after being in an accident, you might need a car accident claim lawyer to help fight for the compensation claim you deserve. You can have a claim even if you have a pre-existing condition.

The legal professionals at The Law Offices of Blaine Barrilleaux believe that every client deserves compensation for their afflictions, especially if a past injury was made worse due to the negligent actions of another individual. Let our team of knowledgeable lawyers represent you on your accident case. We are willing to fight in court if the insurance companies do not cooperate.

How Do Insurance Companies Determine Pre-Existing Damage?

A lawyer discussing to clients how insurance adjusters take advantage of a pre-existing injury aggravated in car accident to get out of paying for their injuriesLouisiana adheres to the Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine. This means that the defendant takes the victim “as-is.” If a car accident aggravated your pre-existing condition, the at-fault party is still responsible. The legal experts at The Law Offices of Blaine Barrilleaux are well-versed in leveraging this doctrine to your advantage.

It is common for an insurance adjuster to contact you shortly after the accident. Remember, their primary goal is to minimize the payout. Be cautious when speaking with them, as they may try to get you to unwittingly admit to a pre-existing condition or downplay the severity of your injuries. Always consult your attorney before giving any statements.

It is important to note that in Louisiana, as in most states, the burden of proof lies with the victim. This means that you have to provide evidence that your injuries were indeed aggravated by the accident. Collecting extensive medical records, eyewitness testimonies, and expert opinions is critical.

Even if the insurance company denies your claim, you still have options. At The Law Offices of Blaine Barrilleaux, we are dedicated to helping victims get the justice they deserve and will fight for a fair settlement on your behalf. We understand how devastating an unexpected injury can be, which is why we make it our priority to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation.

If a car accident aggravated a pre-existing condition, contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll work hard to get you the compensation you need and deserve. Don’t let an insurance company take advantage of your rights.

Does Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Damages?

Whether or not your car insurance claim covers pre-existing damages depends on various factors, including the terms of your insurance policy and the circumstances surrounding the damages. In the context of car accidents, buying liability insurance typically covers damages that directly result from the incident in question. However, pre-existing damage is usually not covered unless it’s aggravated by the accident. Below are some scenarios:

When Pre-Existing Damage Might Be Covered

Aggravation of Pre-existing Damage:

Suppose a car accident exacerbates the pre-existing damage to your vehicle. In that case, your insurance company may cover the additional damages and repair costs to your damaged vehicle if you have the appropriate coverage.

Medical Conditions:

If a car accident worsens a pre-existing medical condition, then your auto insurance, or the at-fault driver’s insurance, may cover the additional medical costs associated with the worsening of the condition.

When Pre-Existing Damage Might Not Be Covered

Unrelated Damages:

If the pre-existing damage refers to unrelated damages that happened prior to the accident, then your insurer may not cover any of the costs associated with repairing or replacing the damaged parts.

Lack of Collision Coverage:

Suppose you only have liability insurance and not coverage insurance. In that case, your insurance company might not cover any damages to your own car, whether they are pre-existing or caused by the accident.

Policy Exclusions:

Some insurance provider policies may have specific exclusions regarding pre-existing damage.

Always review your policy or consult an insurance agent before purchasing insurance to understand what pre-existing damage is covered.

Common Types of Hidden Car Damage

After a car accident, it’s not uncommon to find hidden damage that isn’t immediately apparent. Such hidden damage can include:

Frame Damage:

Often, the frame or unibody of a vehicle is damaged in a collision, but this damage may only be visible with a thorough inspection.

Alignment Issues:

A car accident can throw off your vehicle’s alignment. This might not be immediately noticeable but can cause uneven tire wear and handling issues over time.

Electrical System Problems:

Wiring and electrical components can be jarred or damaged in an accident. These issues might not surface immediately but can lead to significant problems down the road.

Fluid Leaks:

Damage to the engine, transmission, or other components may cause slow leaks that aren’t immediately visible.

Suspension Damage:

The impact of a collision can damage the suspension system, affecting the car’s handling.

It’s advisable to have a professional mechanic inspect your vehicle for vehicle damages after an accident to identify any hidden damage. Additionally, if you believe a car accident worsened pre-existing damages or any pre-existing injury aggravated in a car accident, consult an attorney for legal advice and make sure you properly communicate the details to your insurance company.

How Do Car Insurance Companies Determine Pre-Existing Damage?

Past conditions should never be the reason you decide not to file for a potential compensation claim.

The trauma after an accident could impact previous medical conditions by causing them to flare up. Previous conditions that are commonly made worse after car accidents include:

  • Hernias
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Back Injuries
  • Degenerative Disk Disorder
  • Knee Injuries

In some cases, people decide not to file a claim because they assume they will not receive compensation because of past medical conditions such as these. Past conditions should never be the reason you decide not to file for a potential compensation claim.

For example, fibromyalgia flare-up after a car accident can be especially debilitating. Those managing fibromyalgia before an accident may find that the physical trauma and stress from the crash cause increased pain and fatigue.

Only a car accident claim lawyer can evaluate the case and determine if you can receive compensation for new or past injuries after a wreck.

What is the Eggshell Plaintiff Rule?

The eggshell plaintiff rule, also known as the “thin skull rule,” “soft shell,” or “fragile skull,” is based on the overall idea that a defendant should compensate the injured victim if the accident caused their pre-existing conditions to become worse than before.

In other words, you are not penalized for past conditions before the wreck. In these types of cases, the defendant must accept the plaintiff as they found them when the crash occurred. The at-fault driver and their insurance company can be held liable for the damages you suffered from the wreck, even if you were not completely healthy before the car crash.

A pre-existing damage car accident lawyer specializing in eggshell plaintiff cases can help victims recover damages if their pre-existing conditions worsen due to an accident.

The at-fault driver may not have caused any injuries, but they could be held responsible for causing your past injuries to become aggravated and creating increased damage due to the car wreck.

Previous Medical Records

Medical Records Stock Photo

If you or someone you love has pre-existing conditions, past medical records can be used in compensation cases by displaying how past conditions have been affected by the accident.

For example, old X-rays and MRI tests can be used to show the state of injuries that existed before the accident and help indicate how the wreck impacted those past injuries.

Previous medical records could be a major tool for gaining the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

It’s vital to remember insurance companies are not on your side because they want to avoid paying for your injuries. Insurance companies may ask you or your loved one to sign a medical authorization form. A signed medical authorization form will allow your entire medical history to become accessible and may be used against you during your case.

For this reason, it’s essential to speak with one of our car accident claim lawyers before signing any paperwork or speaking with insurance companies.

Evidence To Support An Injury Claim

Evidence is a vital part of any compensation claim. For example, past and recent medical records will help prove how the wreck caused greater harm to past conditions. The medical records must show how the accident made the previous injuries worse. Your physician needs to document the severity of the injuries and provide detailed notes of how the accident caused immense damage to pre-existing conditions.

Your physician needs to document the severity of the injuries and provide detailed notes of how the accident caused immense damage to pre-existing conditions

Also, you need to contact one of our experienced car accident claim lawyers who can help gather evidence for your compensation claim. We want our clients to return to their lives as quickly as possible. We will help organize the evidence on your personal injury case while you focus on recovering.

Hospital Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported there are “30.8 million emergency department visits for unintentional injuries.” When unintentional injuries happen, you need to seek medical attention because it can help you or a loved one receive compensation. Listed below are hospitals in the area where you can receive medical assistance:

For more information on the types of services these hospitals offer, visit the links above.

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Have You Had Pre-Existing Damage After a Car Accident?

Blaine Barrilleaux has over 25 years of legal experience and knows how insurance companies operate. We are ready to fight for every client that seeks our legal assistance and can help you stand up to insurance companies.

We understand the devastation you may be facing after a collision, especially if you have suffered past injuries that have worsened after the accident.

If you have a pre-existing injury, you need a law firm that understands your rights. Our car accident claim lawyers will walk alongside you and keep you up to date on the progress of your case. Call us today at (337) 989-1212 or fill out our free case evaluation form. We are ready to fight for you.

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