Will My Pre-Existing Condition Affect My Florida Personal Injury Claim?

by Feb 4, 2021Personal Injury

Will My Pre-Existing Condition Affect My Florida Personal Injury Claim?

by Feb 4, 2021Personal Injury

Will My Pre-Existing Condition Affect My Florida Personal Injury Claim
Will My Pre-Existing Condition Affect My Florida Personal Injury Claim

How Does Pre-Existing Condition Affect My Florida Personal Injury Case?

Accidents happen when you least expect them. The worst timing is when you’re already suffering from an injury. While people with pre-existing conditions will experience even more severe injuries, it is quite challenging to hold the negligently party liable. The pre-existing injuries can complicate your Florida personal injury claim and make it difficult to get the maximum compensation.

In most cases, the defendant argues that the prior injuries are the main cause of your pain and suffering.

What Is a Pre-existing Injury?

A pre-existing injury could be a chronic condition or long-term illness that a plaintiff has before getting into an accident. Some of the most common pre-existing injuries include degenerative discs, arthritis, eye infections, and depression.

If a sore leg gets injured, the at-fault driver can decline to cater to the medical bills since the injury occurred before the accident. Unless you prove that the leg got worse during the crash, the defendant won’t compensate you.

How a Pre-existing Injury Can Complicate Your Personal Injury Case

When claiming compensation for worsened injuries, it isn’t easy to estimate the compensation you deserve. However, the insurance company doesn’t always have to pay lower damages than you expect. The level of compensation depends on the medical evidence available.

Only a medical practitioner can determine how the accident has affected your injuries. If your sprained ankle has now escalated to nerve damage and you’re unable to work, you need legal help to claim damages for medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

You Should Provide Prior Medical Records

Besides establishing who is at fault, medical records help prove that your aggravated injuries resulted from the accident. These documents are essential if you want to claim damages for medical bills and lost income.

The emergency room records, prescriptions, and diagnoses provide evidence for your injuries and help predict the treatments you might require in the future. The nature of records that are provided to the court will determine how the pre-existing condition affects the personal injury case.

Medical records in pre-existing injury cases are essential because:

  • Medical practitioners are requested to provide them under subpoenas
  • Laboratory reports provide candid information after thorough tests
  • They validate the legal negligence claims
  • Detailed records show the clinical judgments before and after the accident
  • Prior medical records can go far back, up to five years

When it comes to pre-existing injuries, non-disclosure is akin to attempted fraud. You need to be honest about your prior accidents, medical conditions, and injuries.

If you withhold important information about your prior injuries, the court might nullify your claims after an investigation. Besides facing charges for lying, the judge may charge you for perjury. Rather than keeping crucial information to yourself, let your attorney handle any information that may complicate your claim.

Show How Accident Has Aggravated the Injuries

A pre-existing injury should not discourage you from seeking damages for your current medical condition. The detailed medical reports can work to your advantage since you have the evidence to show how the crash affected you. Your compensation will depend on the severity of the accident and its impact on your medical condition.

Detailed medical assessment reports are essential to the outcome of the lawsuit. You need a lawyer to prove:

  • An increase in disability
  • Change of treatment plans
  • A significant increase in the medical bills
  • Highlight minor sprains that have become major injuries

The defendant might try to reduce or reject your claims by blaming your pain on your age or prior injuries in your medical history. Insurance companies will use your medical history to search for evidence and reasons to pay you as little as possible. You need an experienced personal injury attorney to evaluate the severity of your pre-existing conditions.

The Eggshell Skull Rule

If you have a herniated disc that causes severe neck pain, it can be worsened by a motorcycle or car accident. Even if your herniated disc causes more harm than would have been expected, the negligent party is still liable for the whole damage caused.

With the help of a personal injury attorney, you can:

  • Highlight the high level of damage suffered due to vulnerability
  • Identify the physical attributes that make the plaintiff more susceptible to injury
  • Prove that the defendant was negligible
  • Hold the defendant liable for all injuries

Your attorney needs to know whether you were following a treatment plan and were in the recovery process. It’s also essential to highlight whether you were able to work despite the minor injuries. A competent personal injury attorney can determine how the pre-existing condition affect my personal injury case.

Claim Damages Due to Lost Earnings

It’s important to highlight that you were working despite your previous condition and that you’ve lost the ability to work due to the accident. You can prove your claim for lost earnings by multiplying the number of days you took to recover fully with your daily earnings (per diem).

To prove your case you will require the following documents:

  • X-rays showing fractures
  • CT scans showing injuries that conventional x-rays cannot show
  • MRI scans showing soft tissue damage
  • Pay stubs (at least six months)

If you lose your job due to non-attendance, your attorney can help you to determine a reasonable value for your Florida personal injury claim. Without proper medical records, an insurance company can justify a meager settlement offer by arguing that you didn’t sustain serious injuries in the accident.

Claim Settlement for Pain and Suffering

If you’re claiming compensation for a worsened injury or health condition, it’s tricky to determine the level of settlement or payment you should receive. Assigning monetary value to your suffering can be difficult if the injury has resulted in permanent disability. It’s essential to have:

  • Authority to access your medical reports
  • Assessment from relevant medical practitioners
  • Simplified report that highlights the impact of the accident on your prior injuries
  • Interpretation of technical lab and other medical reports

In some situations, you can claim damages for emotional distress if the injuries cause flashbacks, anxiety, depression, or inability to sleep. Since your testimonies aren’t sufficient to prove emotional distress, you need psychiatric exams, especially if you have sustained head injuries.

Previous Treatment Records Can Work to Your Advantage

While a pre-existing injury can complicate things, it’s easier to get compensation since the prior medical records can paint a vivid picture of the impact of the accident. Our attorneys will collect the strongest forms of legal evidence in an accurate and quantifiable manner. We have the expertise to prove the impact on your prior injuries, so you end up getting higher compensation.

If you have a Florida personal injury claim but are not sure how to go about it, an experienced Florida personal injury attorney will help you get compensated.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Skip to content