Does a pre-existing condition affect my car accident claim?

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Does a pre-existing condition affect my car accident claim?
January 10, 2023

A critical question we have received from clients is, does my pre-existing condition affect my car accident claim? Understandably, someone who has a pre-existing condition could be concerned. However, under Georgia law, pre-existing conditions do not prevent compensation. According to recent statistics, 54 million Americans have a pre-existing qualifying condition. 

For example, if someone with a pre-existing condition is injured in a car accident and their condition worsens, the at-fault party is liable. Understanding these claims can be challenging because insurance companies are motivated to prove that an auto accident victim’s injuries are pre-existing to avoid paying medical bills. So, it is crucial to ensure that you work with an experienced personal injury law firm in Atlanta that understands these types of claims. 

What is pre-existing injury or condition?

A pre-existing condition includes any injury, illness, or physical or mental health conditions you have or have experienced before your insurance claim. 

Here are just a few examples of pre-existing conditions; 

  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Back and spine injuries
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • PTSD and other mental health conditions
  • Sleep apnea

What to do after you have been in a car accident and you have a pre-existing condition?

After you have been in a car accident, it is always strongly encouraged to seek medical treatment, especially if you have a pre-existing injury or condition. It’s important to note that you should seek medical treatment or schedule a visit with your doctor before you file your claim. It would be best if you were honest with your doctor about your pre-existing condition. Your transparency can work in your favor if your case goes to court. Not being truthful can only affect your case if you attempt to hide evidence of your condition. Chances are the defendant’s lawyer will still discover your medical history, and then they will use the fact that you hid it to try and discredit your case. 

This is because your insurance company will want medical proof that your condition or injury was affected by your accident. In addition, if negligence on the part of another driver is responsible, you should ensure that medical professionals document these causes.

What is the eggshell plaintiff doctrine?

The eggshell plaintiff doctrine protects the rights of a plaintiff whose illnesses or injuries before the accident may make them more prone to injury. For example, a pre-existing condition can make a driver more susceptible to injury or sustain more injury than someone who does not suffer from those prior injuries. However, the liable party must typically still pay for those injuries. Therefore, if the claimant can prove their injuries were worsted or caused by another party, the at-fault party must still be held liable. This is why you can feel better prepared before you submit a claim by seeking medical attention and documenting all evidence of your injuries. 

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Do you have a pre-existing condition and need help after your car accident?

If you are involved in a hit-and-run car accident, contact us or call Georgia Trial Attorneys at 833-4TheWin. We are experienced car accident attorneys who are here to help you. It is essential to understand your options, and you need an expert on your side. At Georgia Trial Attorneys, we do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. We will tailor your case to your specific situation.

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