Insurance companies will look for any excuse to deny, limit, or mischaracterize your insurance claim. Over the decades, these conglomerates have spent millions, if not billions, of dollars analyzing and evaluating car accident claims to reduce their obligations. Claimants suffering from preexisting medical conditions before a motor vehicle collision endure additional complications as insurers will go out of their way to restrict recovery. Knowing your rights – and the law – will help protect you from being taken advantage of during your personal injury claim.
If an insurance adjuster refuses to properly acknowledge your claim because you suffered from preexisting medical conditions, here are some topics to understand.
1. The Egg Shell Rule. Law professors teach this interpretation of law in basic classes on torts and negligence. If you tap an egg fresh out of the carton, the egg is likely going to be just fine. However, if you tap an egg that already has a substantial crack, the entire egg might bust open. This applies to your body, as well. If you have a preexisting medical condition, a traumatic injury that seems innocuous to most might cause substantial damages to your previously “cracked” body. Insurers often forget this guidance applies to injured drivers after an accident.
2. Be Upfront, Do Not Hide Your Injury. Insurance adjusters spend most of their days reviewing medical records and working with medical doctors to understand injury claims. It is quite likely that their investigation will uncover your preexisting condition anyways. Being open about it improves your credibility and allows you to explain the condition in a way that benefits your case. Lying about these conditions may only lead to increased distrust and lower settlements.
3. Back to Baseline. Insurance companies do not have restore you to perfect health if you were already hurt before your car accident. If you were suffering from three out of ten back pain before your crash, and it took you six-months to return to your baseline medical condition. Treatment after your return to maximum medical improvement will likely not be considered by the insurance company or a jury.
4. Get Support from Your Doctor. Oftentimes, your medical providers are your best offense and defense in personal injury claims. If the insurance company is refusing to properly acknolwege your post-collision injuries because of mild preexisting symptoms, asking your doctor for help may be your best bet. A quick written declaration from the doctor might be all you need for the insurance company to fall in line. Worst case scenario, you have a massive leg up if your case is eventually placed into active litigation.
5. Use Your Attorney’s Experience. Personal injury attorneys have dedicated their lives to helping injured drivers, passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other individuals injured in accidents. Telling your attorney about your entire case – including all preexisting medical conditions – is important to ensure your claim is properly documented. Your attorney has the experience needed to properly frame your demand to best suit your claim.
The law office of Magnuson Lowell works tirelessly to help their clients find common sense solutions to personal injury claims. Our dedicated personal injury attorneys have spent years practicing to craft creative solutions to typical car accident claim issues. If you have a preexisting medical concern and your baseline condition was aggravated or exacerbated by a car accident, call today for a free case evaluation.