Drivers who cause car accidents in Florida are responsible for compensating the victims for their losses. Getting that compensation can be tricky. Boca Raton car accident victims often wonder: can I be compensated for pre-existing conditions after a car accident? The answer isn’t always simple.
Call Hollander Law Firm, P.A. to schedule a free consultation with our car accident lawyers. We’ll sit down and help you learn everything you need to know about getting fair compensation.
How Can a Boca Raton Personal Injury Lawyer Help With My Injury Claim if I Suffered From Pre-Existing Conditions?
Insurance companies are always looking for ways to limit their own financial exposure. “Blame the victim” tactics can take on a variety of forms. Insurance adjusters often try to prove that your injuries weren’t really caused by the accident. Once the insurance adjuster learns you had a pre-existing condition, you can bet that they’ll immediately challenge your right to compensation.
You don’t have to back down. At-fault drivers are responsible for pre-existing conditions aggravated by the accident. Of course, injury claims based on pre-existing conditions can be much more complex than your typical auto accident case. You’ll want an experienced Boca Raton personal injury lawyer by your side.
When you choose Hollander Law Firm, P.A., our attorneys will:
- Stand up for you when the insurance company claims the injuries predated the accident
- Fully investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident to determine the cause
- Locate all parties that might have been responsible
- Evaluate your medical records before and after the car accident
- Work with experts who can accurately value the cost of your aggravated injuries
Working with insurance companies is often challenging. It can be even more difficult to prove your case if you don’t have a lot of experience handling personal injury cases. That’s where our lawyers can help.
We have more than 28 years of experience helping accident victims in South Florida–and have successfully helped countless people recover fair compensation. Give us a call today so that we can discuss options for getting compensation for an aggravated pre-existing injury.
What is a Pre-Existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition is any type of medical condition, injury, or health issue that existed prior to the accident. In other words, some type of injury or illness that wasn’t caused by the accident.
Some types of pre-existing conditions aren’t likely to be impacted by a car crash. Others might become significantly worse after an accident. An at-fault driver isn’t responsible for compensating the victim for issues that predated the accident. They are, however, responsible for compensating the victim for issues made worse by the crash.
Common pre-existing conditions affected by motor vehicle accidents include:
- Back injuries
- Disc injuries
- Muscle strains
- Heart conditions
- Brain injuries
- Shoulder and knee injuries
- Deep vein thrombosis
- PTSD, anxiety, and depression
The bottom line: if you had a pre-existing condition and were hurt in a car accident, you can still be entitled to recover compensation. The amount will depend upon how the crash impacted your condition.
Understanding the Florida Eggshell Skull Doctrine
You don’t lose your right to compensation just because you’re susceptible to injuries. The eggshell skull rule holds negligent parties accountable for the damage their actions cause even if the damage is unpredictable or unexpected. In other words, at-fault parties take accident victims “as they come.”
Accident victims can recover financial compensation even if:
- A younger or healthier victim would not have been seriously hurt in the accident
- The at-fault party had no knowledge of the pre-existing condition
- Your condition made you particularly vulnerable to injury
However, you will be required to prove that:
- The injury or medical condition was stable at the time of the accident
- The accident make your injuries worse
Accident victims do have to take steps to mitigate the damage caused by the accident. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to seek medical attention quickly after an accident. If your injuries were made more severe because of your pre-existing condition and you failed to get appropriate medical care, your compensation award can be reduced.
Use Caution in Disclosing Your Pre-Existing Condition
It’s important to be honest about your pre-existing conditions. The doctor who treats you after the accident should have accurate medical information to provide the best care. However, it’s important to be careful when speaking to the insurance adjuster. The insurance company isn’t entitled to your full medical history without good reason.
When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before making any recorded or written statement.
What Should I Do if I Was Hurt in a Crash And Have Pre-Existing Conditions?
Your health should be your top priority–so you should see a doctor immediately even if you don’t require emergency care.
You should also:
- Be honest with your doctor about your pre-existing conditions
- Make sure to be clear that your pre-existing condition was stable before the accident
- Follow doctor’s orders
- Contact the doctor who treated your condition in the past
Once your condition is again stabilized, call a personal injury lawyer for help protecting your rights.
How Can I Prove My Pre-Existing Condition Got Worse Because of the Car Accident?
It’s a more common scenario than you might think. One minute, your health condition is completely stable and the next, something happens to create serious complications. You can expect the insurance company to look into your past. They’ll use your prior medical conditions or history to claim something other than the accident caused your injuries.
If the insurance company succeeds, you won’t be entitled to compensation for your losses. You’ll have to fight back to get the money you deserve.
Fortunately, doctors and other healthcare professionals keep detailed records. We’ll locate your previous medical records to provide evidence of your condition prior to the accident. We can then work with your current doctors and medical experts to show how your condition was made worse.
That’s why it’s important to get medical attention right away after an accident. It becomes easier for the insurance company to prove something else caused your injury if a lot of time goes by between the accident and your post-accident medical care.
Will a Pre-Existing Condition Impact My Compensation Award?
Once your pre-existing injury is de-stabilized by a car wreck, things can quickly get expensive. The medical bills will start to arrive quickly–and it can even be difficult to keep up with daily expenses while you’re not working.
Even if you had a pre-existing condition, you’re entitled to compensation for additional expenses caused by the accident.
That might include compensation for:
- New medical bills
- Lost wages if you can’t work
- Future medical expenses
- Lost future earning capacity if you aren’t expected to return to work
- Physical therapy
- Long-term care
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Damages for wrongful death
In short, you can recover compensation for anything the accident caused. The insurance company knows this. That won’t stop them from trying to scare you into accepting less than you actually deserve. Don’t give up hope.
Doctors and other medical professionals can provide insight into the impact of your accident. Our legal team will get these experts the necessary information about what caused your crash and how it happened. All you have to do is make the decision to call.
We know discussing your medical history can be uncomfortable, especially with a stranger. Our lawyers will do our best to make the process as simple as possible. Getting financial compensation after an accident can be critical to your future. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can protect your rights.
The Statute of Limitations is Already Running: Act Now to Protect Your Rights
In Florida, you have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit. If the accident was fatal, surviving family members have two years to pursue an action for wrongful death. The statute of limitations starts running on the day your accident happens.
That might seem like a lot of time. However, it’s a smart idea to get started quickly. Insurance companies also set important deadlines for filing an injury claim. Evidence is much easier to find soon after an accident. You don’t want to lose your right to compensation because of a procedural problem or lack of proof.
Even if you’re still struggling with your aggravated medical condition, our lawyers can get started on your case. Ready to learn more? Call our law offices for legal advice today.
Schedule a Free Consultation to Learn More About Getting Compensated for Pre-Existing Conditions After a Car Accident in South Florida
Don’t let your medical history discourage you from getting the compensation you deserve. To learn more about whether you can be compensated for pre-existing conditions after a car accident, call our experienced Boca Raton personal injury attorneys at Hollander Law Firm, P.A. Remember, your initial consultation is always free.