Can My Insurance Claim Be Denied Due To a Pre-Existing Injury?
Insurance adjusters work for the insurance companies so that they are trying to deny personal injury claims or, at the very least, devalue such claims should not surprise anyone. One of their favorite methods of doing this is using pre-existing conditions against their policyholders. While suffering from a pre-existing condition does not disqualify you from receiving compensation after an accident, there are some things you should know.
Pre-Existing Conditions and Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may argue that the injuries you sustained were because of your age or your health, that they happened on the job or while participating in a leisure activity. Their goal is to make you give up the fight and settle for far less than what you are entitled to. Once you stop fighting back, their job is done.
But does a pre-existing condition dictate what you can recover after filing a claim? The insurance company would certainly like you to think so. But nothing could be further from the truth.
With strong representation, you may be able to prove that your pre-existing injury was worsened because of the accident. Your attorney may convince the insurance company through negotiation or litigation that you should receive maximum compensation for your sustained traumatic reinjury.
Insurance Companies Acting in Bad Faith
Tragically, all types of insurance companies, from car insurance to homeowners to commercial liability policies, use pre-existing conditions to their advantage. That advantage is denying your claim to avoid cutting into their profits. After an accident, having a car accident injury attorney is especially prudent to avoid being intimidated into thinking you should accept less because of your pre-existing medical condition.
When faced with a claim that you or a loved one sustained injuries in a car accident, insurance adjusters may investigate other aspects of your life to detect ways around paying you. Work in a physically demanding career, are an athlete, have had surgeries, previous accidents or injuries, or of advanced years. The insurance adjusters will use these reasons to deny your claim. If they can blame your injury on anything but the car accident, they will.
By wrongly denying your claim, the insurance company is acting in bad faith. Practicing in bad faith is a crime, and you must seek legal representation so that you not only get what you are due but so they are punished for their egregious behavior. Your bad faith insurance lawyer specializes in spotting what the insurance companies do to their vulnerable victims and can bring their behavior before the court.
Your Claim Will Not Necessarily Be Denied
Though the insurance adjuster assigned to your case will try to find reasons to claim your injuries occurred before the collision, it does not mean your claim will be denied, or you will receive a reduced amount. Not with the right strategy, that is.
Your car accident attorney can take the adjuster’s claims of a pre-existing condition and frame them in another light. They will argue that those injuries were exacerbated by the accident, compounding the severity of the situation you are already struggling with. The adjuster will try to convince you that you are not eligible for the compensation you rightfully deserve. A skilled lawyer will take this obstacle and turn it into another opportunity to fight for you.
The Egg-Skull Rule Might Apply to You
This strangely named rule simply indicates that the person who caused the accident must pay for all of the injuries the victim filing the personal injury claim suffered, even if the same wounds would not have been as severe to a person without an “egg-thin skull.”
We did not name the rule, but we will use it to your advantage. Even if the injuries sustained in the crash were pre-existing and aggravated by the collision, the at-fault party is responsible for paying for the damages. With the exception of emotional or psychological trauma, the egg-skull rule does not only apply to psychological conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But, there are other approaches that your attorney may take to recover damages for emotional trauma.
It is crucial to record your injuries and how the accident has made them worse. Note how your life has changed due to the accident, such as activities you are unable to participate in, difficulties at home and at work, obstacles that are in your way that were not there before, loss of mobility, and any other medical documentation that can show what you have experienced because of the car accident. Your attorney will present this evidence when fighting for your claim.
Pre-existing Conditions are no Match for Dawson & Rosenthal Trial Attorneys.
Our experienced car accident injury attorneys are ready to combat any trickery that insurance companies acting in bad faith initiate to avoid paying our clients what they are owed. The skilled legal team at Dawson & Rosenthal is as compassionate towards our clients as we are fierce opponents to the insurance companies trying to take advantage of them. Contact us for a free consultation. We will review your case and determine a strategy that will lead you to maximum compensation for your car accident injuries.