Can I Be Compensated For Pre-Existing Conditions After a Car Accident?

If you were hurt in a car accident in Gainesville, you could be entitled to financial compensation. When someone else causes the crash, they’re responsible for paying damages to the victim. You might be wondering–can I be compensated for pre-existing conditions after a car accident?

At Allen Law Firm, P.A., our Gainesville car accident attorneys are here to help you understand your legal rights. Don’t let a pre-existing condition stop you from protecting your right to compensation.

Call our law firm for a free consultation to learn more today.

How Can an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Help Me Recover Compensation if I Have a Pre-Existing Condition?

Man with whiplash after traffic collision

Accident victims with pre-existing conditions are much more likely to suffer serious consequences after a car accident. The accident may exacerbate your injury and, when combined with the impact of the crash, make your life that much more difficult. At-fault drivers are only responsible for the consequences of their actions.

You may be entitled to significant compensation, but the insurance companies will do everything they can to avoid paying.

We fight back by locating strong evidence to back up your claim. Here are just some of the reasons why you need an experienced Gainesville personal injury lawyer to protect your rights:

  • We’ll investigate to determine the cause of the crash and identify all responsible parties
  • We know how to fight back when the insurance company argues that the injury pre-dated the accident to avoid paying fair compensation
  • Our lawyers will obtain and analyze your full medical records to get a clear picture of your history
  • We’ll work with experts to help with the complex task of valuing your claim if you have a pre-existing medical condition

To recover compensation for a pre-existing injury, you have to show the costs related to the aggravation of the injury. That can be difficult on your own, especially when the insurance company is fighting you every step of the way. Expert testimony can provide critical information about how the accident made your injury worse–and how that worsened condition has impacted your life.

Remember, you don’t have to give the insurance company access to your full medical history.

In fact, you should never provide the insurance company with information without first speaking with an experienced attorney.

At Allen Law Firm, P.A., we’ll do everything we can to hold the at-fault party accountable and maximize your right to compensation in a personal injury case.

If you had a pre-existing condition and were later involved in a car accident, don’t hesitate to call our law offices for legal advice. You have legal rights and we’re here to protect them.

What is a Pre-Existing Condition?

brain injuries

A pre-existing condition is some type of injury or illness that existed before you were in the car or truck accident. Some illnesses are unlikely to be made worse by a crash. Others, however, can be made much worse. The following are examples of some existing injuries that could be made worse in an auto accident:

  • Brain injuries
  • Herniated discs
  • Back injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Hernias
  • Muscle strains
  • Joint damage
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Nerve injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis 

Pre-existing conditions can be both physical and emotional. For example, if you suffered PTSD prior to the accident, the trauma of the crash could worsen that condition. 

Can I Recover Compensation for a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?

You generally cannot recover compensation for something that wasn’t caused by the car accident. Assume you broke your leg playing soccer. If you were in a car accident the next week, you can’t recover compensation for expenses for treating the broken leg in the first place.

You can recover compensation if the car accident aggravates a pre-existing condition.

In other words, if the car accident makes the broken leg worse, you’re entitled to damages for that worsened condition.

The Eggshell Skull Rule in Florida

Florida courts have adopted a legal theory known as the eggshell skull rule. The basic premise of the eggshell skull rule is that a negligent party takes their victim “as they are”. The negligent party is responsible even if the victim’s reaction to the accident is unforeseeable and uncommon.

A simple example can illustrate. Assume that a car accident victim has a skull that’s as thin as an eggshell. Under normal circumstances, the victim of a minor car accident might suffer a mild concussion. Because of the eggshell skull, the victim suffers a massive brain bleed and is permanently disabled. 

The negligent party who caused the accident is responsible for the victim’s full damages even though the reaction was unexpected. The negligent party can’t escape liability just because the victim was predisposed to more serious injuries.

Time is Limited to Pursue Your Right to Compensation

In Florida, the statute of limitations gives you four years to file a personal injury lawsuit. The clock begins running as soon as the accident happens. Unfortunately, it can sometimes take a while for you to discover that the accident aggravated an injury you already had.

While it’s possible that the statute of limitations could be tolled–or “paused”–during this period of time, it’s best not to count on it. If the courts don’t agree, you could lose your right to compensation entirely. It’s always best to speak with a personal injury attorney right away, even if you aren’t sure.

You can begin protecting your legal rights today. Just call Allen Law Firm, P.A., and schedule your free consultation with our legal team. There’s no risk in learning more–and you could have everything to lose by not taking action.

What if the Insurance Company Claims My Injuries Weren’t Caused by the Accident?

Insurance companies often claim that you had the injury prior to the crash. This is a valuable scare tactic for insurance companies. If the injury pre-dated the accident, then the person who caused the accident shouldn’t be entirely responsible if the injury was aggravated by the accident.

Don’t be scared off if the insurance company tries this with you. This type of “blame the victim” strategy rarely holds up.

negotiations

It can be extremely difficult for an insurance company to prove this. After all, the insurance adjuster does not have a full understanding of your medical history–and you’re under no obligation to give them a full history. If you saw a doctor quickly after the accident, your medical records can be used to prove your side of the story.

The doctor who treated you will have run tests and completed a full exam.

Your records will include their opinions, recommendations, and notes. We can use this, along with medical testimony, to disprove the insurance company’s claims.

What if the Insurance Company Blames Me for My Injuries?

You do have a legal duty to mitigate the damage caused by an accident and resulting injuries. The comparative fault rule in Florida apportions financial responsibility between all parties responsible for the injury. If you share in the fault–either because you were partly responsible for the accident or you failed to seek medical attention–you can be held partly responsible for the financial damages.

Can I Recover Damages for Pre-Existing Conditions Aggravated by the Car Accident?

Yes, you are entitled to compensation for pre-existing conditions that were aggravated by the accident. Negligent parties are responsible for compensated victims for all injuries caused by the crash. This includes pre-existing injuries or medical conditions that are made worse.  

At Allen Law Firm, P.A., our personal injury attorneys will fight to get everything you deserve, including money for:

  • Medical bills that go above and beyond your initial treatment for the pre-existing condition
  • Hospitalization
  • Emergency room care
  • Lost wages and income
  • Future medical bills
  • Lost future earning capacity
  • Physical therapy and rehab
  • Medical devices
  • Long-term care
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Damages for wrongful death

Make no mistake, the insurance company will try to scare you into dropping your accident claim or accepting a lowball settlement. Our law firm has seven former insurance adjusters on staff. We understand the tactics used by insurance companies all too well–and we know exactly how to fight back.

With a recognized law firm in your corner, the insurance company is much more likely to take your injury claim seriously. We’ll put the full weight of our resources and experience to work to protect your rights and get the fair compensation you deserve. All you have to do is take the first step and call. We’re always available to help, so don’t hesitate to schedule your free consultation.

Wondering “Can I Be Compensated For Pre-Existing Conditions After a Car Accident?” Speak With an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you’re wondering whether you can be compensated for pre-existing conditions after a car accident, the answer might be yes. Choosing the right lawyer can be one of the most important financial decisions you ever make. Call an experienced Gainesville personal injury lawyer at Allen Law Firm, P.A. to learn more. Your consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose by calling.