HOW DOES A PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION IMPACT MY CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM?
Posted on Monday, November 28th, 2016 at 11:45 pm
Is an insurance adjuster telling you that you cannot recover full compensation for your car accident claim because of a pre-existing medical condition? If so, you need to understand your legal rights! Using a pre-existing medical condition to deny or decrease the value of an accident claim is a common tactic for many insurance companies.
Before you discuss your claim any further with the insurance adjuster or sign any documents, contact our Sacramento car accident attorney for a free consultation. Call our office at (916) 999-9000 to schedule your free appointment. Know your rights regarding a pre-existing medical condition BEFORE you do anything about your car accident claim.
Dealing With Pre-existing Medical Conditions After A Car Accident
When a person who has a pre-existing medical condition is injured in a car accident, that person is referred to as an “eggshell plaintiff.” Being an eggshell plaintiff does not mean that the person is not entitled to recover full compensation or his or her injuries. It simply means that the person may be at a higher risk for injury in an accident compared to a person who does not have a pre-existing medical condition.
Under California’s personal injury laws, a person with a pre-existing medical condition may receive full compensation. However, the person must still prove that the other driver caused the accident and that the person suffered damages because of the collision. With a pre-existing medical condition, making the medical condition “worse” is the key to recovering compensation in a car accident claim.
When a case goes to court, the judge instructs the jury as follows regarding a pre-existing medical condition:
“[Name of plaintiff] is not entitled to damages for any physical or emotional condition that [he/she] had before [name of defendant]’s conduct occurred. However, if [name of plaintiff] had a physical or emotional condition that was made worse by [name of defendant]’s wrongful conduct, you must award damages that will reasonably and fairly compensate [him/her] for the effect on that condition.”
Again, the key to recover compensation is to prove that the car accident made your pre-existing medical condition “worse.” If you can prove your medical condition has become worse because of the car accident, you should be able to recover compensation from the other driver. However, these types of car accident claims can be very complicated. The insurance company for the other driver may fight the claim aggressively, especially if the amount of damages is substantial. Hiring an experienced Sacramento car accident attorney as soon as possible can increase your chance of recovering full compensation for your injuries.
Call A Sacramento Car Accident Attorney Now
If you have been injured in a car accident, our Sacramento car accident attorneys want to help. We understand that you may be out of work and you may be struggling to make ends meet. We do not charge for the first appointment, so you do not need to worry about paying a fee to get the legal advice you need to protect your rights. Furthermore, we accept most car accident cases on a contingency fee basis — you don’t pay our attorney fees until we recover compensation on your behalf.
You can reach the Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or by chatting with a representative on our website. Contact our office today for your free appointment with a Sacramento car accident attorney.