Pre-Exisiting Conditions

The Impact of Pre-Existing Conditions on Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims, even those that initially appear to be open-and-shut, can become very complicated very quickly. When pre-existing medical conditions are involved, you may find that the insurance company finds multiple reasons to drag out your request for compensation, downplay your injuries, and otherwise make this process as difficult as possible for you.

If you’re seeking compensation after an injury, it’s time to talk to the team at Peake & Fowler. Call us at 803-788-4370 to set up a consultation with our team now.

How the Insurance Company May Find Out About Pre-Existing Conditions

There are several ways insurance companies may find out about any pre-existing conditions or injuries you have. First, they may ask you to fill out a form giving them access to your health history. It is crucial to talk to your attorney before you sign anything—there is no reason for them to have unfettered access to your entire medical history. 

They will look for pre-existing conditions that they can blame your current injuries on. Second, they may find out from your medical records for your current injury. Your doctor may note that your current injury has aggravated a pre-existing condition, which clues the insurance company in. Finally, they may go so far as to dig into your social media. It’s important to keep your social media locked down to keep the insurance company from using your posts and information against you.

Insurance Companies May Use Pre-Existing Conditions Against You

Insurance companies are very good at saving money to pad their bottom line, and that extends to how they treat victims after accidents. If they can find any way to avoid liability or pin your accident on someone else, they will jump on the opportunity. A pre-existing condition is the perfect solution for them. They can then claim that that injury is what led to your current injury—not their client’s unsafe driving, poorly maintained walkway, or other negligence. They may claim that were it not for your pre-existing injury, you wouldn’t be injured at all right now. Of course, then it’s just a small step to claiming that they shouldn’t have to pay at all.

Even if they acknowledge that their client’s actions led to your current level of pain and injury, they may claim that so little of your current situation is due to their client that they should barely have to pay anything at all. They may shift an unrealistic amount of blame onto your pre-existing injury—no matter how old it is—in an effort to avoid paying you a full and fair settlement.

Protecting Your Right to Seek Compensation

Getting the compensation you are owed after an accident is challenging in the best of circumstances. But once you add a pre-existing injury into the mix, it’s even harder. However, there are things you can do to hold the insurance company accountable and fight for the compensation you deserve.

First, do not talk to the other party’s insurance company without talking to your own attorney first. The other party’s insurance provider is not your friend, and they are not on your side. Any questions they ask you and any information they get from you will be used to build their case, not help you get a fair settlement.

Second, lock down your social media and avoid talking to people about the accident until the matter is fully settled. The insurance company may go to great lengths to find evidence to use against you, and you certainly don’t want to help them out in that area.

Finally, retain a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident. They have seen situations like yours before, including cases involving pre-existing injuries. They already know what the insurance company’s plans are, which means they know how to push back against those plans.

Fight for Compensation with Peake & Fowler

If you’ve been involved in an accident in Columbia, it’s time to talk to the team at Peake & Fowler. We’re ready to advocate for you and demand the compensation you need to be made whole. Schedule a consultation now by filling out our online contact form or calling us at 803-788-4370.