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Pre-Existing Conditions and Personal Injury Claims

There is high probability that an accident can further aggravate and cause harm to your pre-existing condition. Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not have this in mind when determining the value of damages. Insurance companies frequently try to use a pre-existing condition to lower the value of an accident claim. However, there are various factors that go into this consideration.

If you have been in an accident and suffered a pre-existing condition, it is in your best interest to seek legal advice from a trusted legal team. At Simien and Simien we can evaluate your situation, determine a just value for your injuries and work hard to pursue nothing less than what you deserve. Do not let a pre-existing condition hold you back from getting the compensation that is rightfully owed to you. Contact our firm for your free consultation today.

Types of Pre-Existing Conditions

A pre-existing condition is a health issue you endured before the date of your recent accident. When you are injured in the same area of the body where you were previously injured in an older accident, the new injury can make the previous one worse or even deadly. Here are a few examples of common pre-existing conditions and how a major accident can turn them into a serious health hazard:

  • Back problems – Many people suffer back problems due to work, obesity or chronic medical conditions such as arthritis or degenerative disc disease. An accident can make these conditions worse, resulting in debilitating pain that is much worse than what they had prior to the accident.
  • Brain injuries – People who have suffered a previous traumatic brain injury are at a serious risk of developing a re-injury. Each additional brain injury may be worse than the previous one. While someone may initially suffer a mild concussion, a high-impact accident can result in a person developing a traumatic brain injury that results in memory loss and/or motor function problems.
  • Fractures – If an accident victim has a broken bone that has not healed, the bone could re-fracture and cause the injury to become worse.

If you were injured in an accident and had a pre-existing condition, it is important that you have skilled legal representation that can guide you through the legal steps of making a claim when a pre-existing condition is factored into your case.

Factors that Determine How a Pre-Existing Injury May Affect a New Injury

There are several factors that determine how a pre-existing injury may impact a new injury, some of which include:

  • Part of the body impacted – If the new injury is on the same part of the body that was impacted by a separate injury, it will most likely irritate a pre-existing condition.
  • Level of pain – Many times, a new injury may cause you to suffer severe pain in an area that is already injured.
  • Effect of new injury – A new injury may create complications for the previous injury, such as creating additional or more severe side effects. Some new injuries may require you to take medication, complete physical therapy or require additional medical interventions, such as surgery.

Because your claim may be directly impacted by your pre-existing injury, it is important that you thoroughly discuss these injuries with your medical providers, especially how the accident has impacted your previous injury. Explain the differences between the two injuries so that this information will be clear in your medical records.

The Eggshell Doctrine

The eggshell doctrine or “thin-skull” rule determines that the at-fault party is still responsible for the full extent of the injuries the accident causes to the victim. The doctrine holds the at fault party liable for the harm they cause, even if the victim was particularly susceptible to injury.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer for Help with Your Claim

If you have a pre-existing injury that may impact your claim, an experienced Baton Rouge personal injury lawyer from Simien & Simien can help determine if you have a viable case. We will investigate the accident and properly determine if your previous medical condition has grown worse from a new injury. Our qualified legal team will gather evidence that supports your claim and will fight hard to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.

Call us today to get started on your case. (800) 374-8422.