Will My Pre-Existing Injury Hurt My Personal Injury Claim?
Posted in Personal Injury on October 26, 2022
Pre-existing injuries are often brought up by insurance carriers or at-fault parties in an attempt to limit how much compensation they pay for an injury they caused. This can seem like a daunting problem when it comes to recovering compensation for an injury, but it does not have to be. Here, we want to examine how pre-existing injuries are discovered, why they are brought up, and how they could affect a Nashville personal injury claim.
Why do Pre-Existing Injuries Even Matter?
Pre-existing injuries should not matter for a personal injury claim, but they are going to come up if the other party finds out about them. Insurance carriers and legal teams for at-fault parties in an injury claim will look for any reason they can to limit how much money they pay and compensation to a claimant. This includes looking for other reasons why a person may be experiencing pain and suffering. If they can point to a prior injury and say, “That is why the claimant is experiencing pain and undergoing medical treatment, not the incident caused by the defendant,” they seed doubt into the minds of the insurance carriers or a personal injury jury.
How Are Pre-Existing Injuries Discovered?
Pre-existing injuries are discovered in a range of ways. Often, individuals put every facet of their lives out on social media, so an attorney or an insurance carrier may only need to do a little digging through past social media posts to find information about the pre-existing injury.
However, individuals are usually asked by an insurance carrier to sign over their medical records to the insurance claims adjusters can examine the medical records related to the current incident and injuries. When they ask for these records, they will get the claimant to sign a medical release authorization form. In many cases, they purposely leave the dates of information requested blank so that they will be able to obtain your full medical history from medical professionals. This would give them access to any previous injuries listed in your records.
What This Really Means for Your Claim
Regardless of whether or not a person has sustained a prior injury, this should absolutely not have any impact on a current personal injury claim. A new incident should mean that a person gets to file an entirely new injury claim against the effort party. The reality is that even if a pre-existing injury was aggravated by a current incident, there should still not affect their ability to recover compensation from the at-fault party. This is true even if the medical treatment is to help heal the aggravation of a pre-existing injury.
The focus of all injury claims should be on whether or not the negligent or careless actions of an at-fault party caused an injury or aggravated a pre-existing injury. The existence of the pre-existing injury should not be taken into account, and when you work with a skilled personal injury lawyer, they will make sure that any attempts by the other party to use appraise if the injury are squashed.