Can I Be Compensated For Pre-Existing Injuries After a Car Accident?
If you suffered from pre-existing conditions before you got into a car accident in Clearwater, you might worry that an insurance company will give you a hard time when you file a claim.
In Florida, accident victims are entitled to damages – regardless of any injuries, illnesses, or health conditions that pre-dated a crash. The Clearwater car accident lawyers at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers can help you fight for a full financial recovery.
Our Board Certified civil law attorneys have 65+ years of experience helping accident victims pursue full and fair compensation from insurance companies and negligent parties. That includes sizable awards for new injuries and the costs of aggravated conditions that pre-dated an accident. Give our law office in Clearwater, FL a call to discuss your case at no charge today.
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How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me Recover Compensation For Pre-Existing Conditions After a Car Accident in Clearwater?
Pre-existing conditions can easily be worsened in an accident. However, expect the insurance company to try using your health against you. They’ll claim they aren’t responsible for paying for a health condition that predated the car accident.
Unfortunately, pre-existing conditions are often aggravated in a car wreck. That tends to drive up the value of your insurance claim–giving the insurance company a huge incentive to find a way to deny or reduce your settlement.
The law doesn’t support these types of tactics. You may very well have the right to be compensated if your pre-existing condition was aggravated.
An experienced Clearwater personal injury lawyer at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers can fight to recover full compensation for all of your losses–including those stemming from certain pre-existing conditions.
When you choose us, you can expect a law firm that will:
- Use more than 75 years of experience handling personal injury cases to your advantage
- Keep you in the loop while we handle every aspect of your case
- Consult with respected experts and specialists who can help prove that the accident worsened your pre-existing condition
- Make sure your insurance demand includes the full amount you’re entitled to receive
- Find out who and what caused your accident
- Work to hold every responsible party accountable–even if more than one person caused the crash
- Fiercely defend you when the insurance company tries to blame you for getting hurt
You don’t have to sit back and let the insurance company use your pre-existing condition to limit their own liability. Get help from an experienced personal injury attorney today. Our lawyers have seen it all over the years. Our Board Certified trial lawyers know what it takes to win the full range of compensation you deserve.
Ready to learn more? Your initial consultation is always free, so don’t hesitate to call.
What Types of Injuries Are Considered “Pre-Existing”?
When it comes to car accident claims, a pre-existing condition is a medical condition or injury that impacts the same body part injured in the crash.
Although you’re entitled to be made “whole” again after an auto accident, pre-existing conditions can complicate matters. At-fault parties are only responsible for the damage they cause. If you were hurt before the accident, they aren’t responsible for damage they had nothing to do with.
However, if your condition was stable at the time of the accident, you can recover compensation if the accident made it worse. In other words, you’re entitled to compensation for the increased pain and suffering, additional medical expenses, and other types of losses you wouldn’t have incurred without the accident.
Some examples of pre-existing conditions that are often aggravated in motor vehicle accidents include:
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Heart conditions
- Back injuries
- Disc injuries and spinal cord injuries
Cases involving pre-existing conditions can get messy quickly. Call our experienced personal injury attorneys at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers today. We’ll do everything we can to recover the full compensation available in your case.
Florida Follows the “Eggshell Skull Doctrine”
The eggshell skull doctrine is a legal concept that’s used to hold responsible parties accountable even for unexpected damage. Under the eggshell doctrine, negligent people take their victims as they come. Even an “eggshell plaintiff” can file a claim and receive compensation after a car crash.
Compare two accident victims. One is a 25-year old male; one is a 95-year old male. Assume that each party was involved in a rear-end collision under the exact same circumstances. The 25-year old walked away with a few scrapes and bruises. The 95-year old sustained serious chest injuries and, because he also suffered from a heart condition, spent three weeks in the hospital.
The at-fault driver in each crash is responsible for the full extent of the victim’s injuries. That’s true even though the driver couldn’t have known that someone in the other vehicle suffered from a heart condition. It’s not a defense to say that the 25-year old emerged from the same crash with barely a scratch.
However, it is necessary to prove that your pre-existing condition was stable at the time of the crash. You can’t recover compensation for the medical care you would have needed absent the car wreck.
Should I Disclose My Pre-Existing Condition After a Crash?
Trying to hide a pre-existing condition can damage your claim. When the insurance company investigates, they’re likely to uncover plenty of information about your prior history. Failing to disclose something relevant can damage your injury claim.
On the other hand, you don’t want to give the insurance company too much information. They don’t need to see all of your medical records.
The best course of action is to first disclose your pre-existing condition to your personal injury lawyer. Our lawyers can then disclose any relevant information to the insurance company.
Do I Need Medical Attention If I Feel Okay After a Car Accident?
You should always seek medical attention immediately after a car accident. This is even more critical if you have pre-existing conditions.
Florida no-fault car insurance laws require you to seek medical care within 14 days of the crash. It’s better to go directly to the hospital or medical facility.
When you have a pre-existing condition, the insurance company already has ammunition that can be used to limit the value of your claim. If time elapses between the accident and your treatment, the insurer can claim that something else made your injuries worse.
You can see the same doctor who has been treating your condition. That doctor can provide evidence about the stability of your condition prior to the crash. Expert testimony from your doctor can also make it more obvious that your pre-existing condition was aggravated by the accident.
How Does the Florida Statute of Limitations Impact My Right to Compensation?
Generally speaking, the Florida statute of limitations requires accident victims to file a personal injury lawsuit within four years of the date the accident happened. While there might be exceptions to the rule, there are no guarantees that they’ll apply in your specific case.
If you want to preserve your right to compensation, the best thing you can do is speak with a car accident lawyer quickly. We’ll make sure you understand the time limits that apply in your case.
How Will a Pre-Existing Condition Impact My Right to Damages After a Car Accident?
It’s not your fault that you suffered from a pre-existing condition. If another person causes a car wreck, you shouldn’t have to foot the bill when your condition gets worse. Your pre-existing condition just makes the insurance claims process more complex.
You’re not entitled to compensation for medical care and losses you would have suffered regardless of the accident. If you were taking high blood pressure medication prior to the crash and required surgery because of the crash, you’re not entitled to compensation for the blood pressure meds after you’ve recovered.
It can be hard to distinguish treatment you needed before and after the crash. That’s where our experts and specialists can help. At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, we’ve developed relationships with leading experts here in Clearwater. Their opinions carry weight at the negotiating table.
We’ll use our resources to recover compensation for losses caused by the aggravation of your condition. That might include:
- The cost of treating your worsened condition
- Lost wages and income while you recover
- Future medical bills you wouldn’t have incurred “but for” the crash
- Lost future earning capacity
- Physical therapy
- Long-term care
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Damages for wrongful death
- And more
Insurance companies will do everything they can to use your pre-existing condition to your advantage. They also have the financial resources needed to dig into your past.
Let our lawyers at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers level the playing field. You can give us a call to learn more about our law firm today. We’re always ready to take your call.
Call to Learn More About Your Right to Be Compensated For Pre-Existing Injuries After a Car Accident
You’re generally entitled to be compensated for pre-existing conditions after a car accident if the crash made your condition worse. An experienced personal injury lawyer can make a world of difference in these complex cases.
If you’re ready to explore your legal options, call our car accident lawyers in Tampa, New Port Richey, and Clearwater for a free case review today.