If you’ve been in an accident, you’ve probably noticed that your insurance company wants to know a lot about your health condition before the accident took place. And if you have a prior injury or disability, they may try to use that against you to deny your claim.
In this post, we’ll discuss what you need to know about personal injury claims and whether a prior injury can truly prevent you from getting compensation.
What is an “Eggshell Plaintiff?” And are you one?
An “eggshell plaintiff” means that the defendant must regard the victim precisely as he or she finds them. Defendants don’t choose who they injure, and a pre-existing condition is not the victim’s fault.
Pre-existing injuries can cause victims to be more vulnerable to future injuries. For example, let’s say you injured your back in a bike accident two weeks ago. And then got into a car accident. The impact from the car accident may exacerbate the previous injury.
In this case, the eggshell rule means the defendant should not blame you for the bike accident. Nor should damages be mitigated because a prior condition made you more susceptible to injury than the average person.
Just because the eggshell rule is the standard, though, does not mean it’s foolproof. We’ve found most insurance companies will try to minimize the defendant’s actions in the car accident and use your prior injury against you. It’s important to remember that each personal injury case is unique and separate.
There is so much information and testimony gathered from the physicians involved. So it will be relatively easy to determine if there was a prior injury. If the new injury made the initial injury worse, you could find yourself worried about whether or not you’ll get a settlement at all.
How to get the Settlement you Deserve
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you need representation by a skilled personal injury attorney. Insurance companies will most likely want to access your medical records. This is their opportunity to split hairs about whether or not the car accident actually caused your new injury. It’s important to remember that their rights are limited.
For example, they are not entitled to all of your past medical records. A good accident attorney will know this. And will also know when to push back and put their foot down with the insurance company.
When it comes to a personal injury lawsuit, many things influence your chance of winning. While going into it alone leaves you vulnerable to being bullied by the insurance company, hiring a skilled personal injury attorney to represent you can protect your interests. Your attorney will gather a strong background of evidence and increase your chances of success across the board.
If you have a prior injury and need quality representation now, Ward and Barnes is here for you. Contact us today to learn more about our team and our services.