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Pre-Existing Injuries in Your New Personal Injury Case

Do I Need an Attorney After an Accident Involving Minor Injuries?

Posted on December 9, 2018

What happens if you have just been injured in a serious accident but you have already been dealing with previous injuries? These are known as pre-existing injuries by the insurance company and, you might believe you are in the clear, but sometimes the pesky insurance adjuster in your case doesn’t want to ensure that you receive full compensation. This means that the insurance company might deny you all of the compensation you deserve following your new accident, even if you know that you are owed them. This is due to the fact that the adjuster might write these pre-existing injuries off as ones that were solely ‘aggravated’ due to your original condition.

Nobody has to settle for less than they deserve in the midst of their injury case. You have the right to litigate or settle these matters based on what you know about your injuries, whether or not they were an aggravation of your prior injuries or new injuries altogether. You might know that your prior injuries have long since healed and that these new injuries have very little to do with the old injuries. Now you need help working toward the compensation you deserve during this difficult time, and it is important you work with an attorney to help you gain your rightful compensation.

The Eggshell Doctrine 

Pre-Existing Injuries in Your New Personal Injury CaseUnder the law, we have something that is known as the ‘eggshell doctrine.’ This means that you, the victim of an accident, are taken as you come. This means that somebody is unable to escape their liability in your accident just because you had pre-existing injuries in the past. Of course, this also means that the new defendant in your case does not owe you compensation for injuries that happened prior to this case – just if the injuries have worsened due to their actions.

If the insurance company knows that you have a pre-existing injury, there is always the risk that they will deny your claim right off the bat because they believe that your injuries are only related to the past incident and not the new one. Insurance companies always seem to be trying to evade financial responsibility in any way that they can or decrease the amount they believe that they owe.

If the insurance adjuster starts digging, they might try to have you sign a medical authorization form, which is when the adjuster asks you to sign a paper that will allow them to access your past medical records. Your attorney might have you avoid signing this form so that you can protect your rights, as you never know what they will find to use against you when they are doing their digging. Instead, they might be given medical records of your attorney’s choosing to show that your pre-existing condition was only aggravated, such as documentation and notes by your new doctor.

There is always a chance that your claim will be denied, which is why you must think ahead and speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible so that you can retain your rights during this difficult time. Your case is an extremely complex matter that involves many legal elements you might not be familiar with, which is why you need the experienced help of a personal injury attorney. At Katz Kantor Stonestreet & Buckner, we would like to extend our helping hand to you after you have been injured in an accident. Contact us for more information on how we can help you gain success in your case at 304-431-4050.

Note: Secondary sources were used to create this piece and, because of this, the information included has not been independently verified. If you notice a factual issue with our posting, please bring it to our attention and we will correct or remove it as soon as possible.

Disclaimer: Our intent in these posts it to bring attention to the dangers members in our community face and to encourage caution. Accidents do happen and we hope these posts help those affected. However, this information should not be misconstrued as legal or medical advice, and we urge you to contact a trained legal professional for more information regarding your specific situation.

Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner, PLLC is located in Princeton and Charleston, WV and serves clients in and around such cities as well as southern West Virginia including but not limited to the counties of Mercer, McDowell, Raleigh, Summers, Monroe, Kanawha and Wyoming.

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