How They May Affect Your Personal Injury Claim
Many people who are injured in an automobile accident have pre-existing medical conditions–that is, injuries and illnesses that were present before the crash. Some people assume that because of these pre-existing ailments, they will not be able to make a Colorado personal injury claim. This is not necessarily so.
When you bring a personal injury claim to recover damages, your medical history will be examined. Your past injuries, illnesses, or medical conditions will likely affect how your case is handled.
If you have any pre-existing conditions, you must disclose them when you make a claim for your present injuries. Failure to do so will only make you appear dishonest, and it will weaken your case.
Although you won’t be able to seek damages for medical problems that you had before the accident, you may be able to pursue damages if the crash demonstrably aggravated your previous condition. Fortunately for personal injury victims, your being ill or injured when a traffic accident happens does not allow negligent drivers to escape liability for making your condition worse.
To recover damages, you must prove that the new injuries suffered in the auto accident have made your existing injuries worse, delayed your recuperation, or prevented your recovery entirely. The insurance company of the at-fault driver will not be required to pay for medical treatment you would have undergone had the accident not occurred. But they may very well have to pay for treatment you would not have needed otherwise.
Common Pre-Existing Conditions
Pre-existing conditions that may be aggravated by auto accidents include:
- Chronic back problems. Conditions like arthritis and degenerative disc disease can be aggravated by car accidents, resulting in debilitating pain for persons who might otherwise have been able to keep their discomfort at a more manageable level.
- Head injuries. Persons who have suffered a traumatic brain injury are at particular risk of re-injury in an automobile accident. Persons who have experienced a mild concussion may sustain a much more serious head injury. Among the possible consequences are memory loss, mood swings, and problems with motor function.
- Broken bones. A broken bone that has not fully healed may re-fracture in a car accident, possibly requiring surgery or longer recovery time. The accident may even cause a permanent injury or disability.
- Fibromyalgia. Some studies have linked the onset or exacerbation of fibromyalgia to the physical and emotional trauma caused by an automobile collision. Because there is no known cure, patients frequently incur significant medical expenses for indefinite periods of time.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in an auto accident in Colorado and are concerned about the impact that pre-existing medical conditions may have on your chances for recovery, contact personal injury attorney Dan Rosen at (303) 454-8000 or (800) ROSEN-911 to schedule your free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case.