When someone has been injured in a car accident and files a claim, the individual’s past medical history can play a significant role. The other party’s insurance company is likely to look into it, so it’s important that everything is correct and current.
Pre-existing Injuries’ Impact on Accident Injury Claims
One way the medical history can affect a claim is when the insurance company looks for any pre-existing conditions that could be blamed for the current injuries. Adjusters may argue that the symptoms the claimant is experiencing have nothing to do with the accident and are actually related to prior injuries.
What many don’t realize is that pre-existing conditions don’t necessarily negate one’s right to compensation. If the current accident worsened or re-aggravated the injuries, the claimant may still recover damages for the impact of the accident.
This can be especially helpful in an accident that appears to be minor. The other party may try to argue that the injuries don’t match the severity of the crash. But if there were pre-existing injuries, it would help to explain why the individual is experiencing more serious symptoms.
The medical history can actually be helpful if there are copies of X-rays for an old injury. The old X-rays could be compared to newer X-rays that may clearly show how the accident exacerbated the condition.
Using Medical Records to Establish Damages in a Car Accident Claim
Immediately after an accident, when medical care is received it becomes part of the person’s medical history. So another way the driver’s medical history could impact a car accident claim is through inconsistency.
If an injured person complains of particular symptoms at the scene of the accident but significantly changes his or her complaints once under medical care, it may raise a red flag. It’s important to make sure that the records are accurate, as this will become part of the medical history that adjusters may review at some point during the claims process.
The same is true for any past injuries. If the history indicates ongoing back problems but that isn’t really the case, it would be important to get that corrected. So when you visit your doctor after the Aurora accident, request your past medical history at the front desk and review it carefully.
Importance of Seeking Legal Counsel to Pursue an Accident Injury Claim
A car accident claim can run into several challenges, which may necessitate the expertise of an attorney. If there are pre-existing conditions or the injuries sustained in the accident were serious, claimants often benefit from seeking legal advice.
A lawyer can work with claimants to collect proper evidence, address any inconsistencies in medical records, and effectively demonstrate that a current accident worsened or exacerbated previous injuries. Patients may even be advised to keep a pain journal which tracks both physical and mental wellbeing.
D.J. Banovitz understands the role that the driver’s medical history can play in a claim. He can explain some of the strengths and weaknesses and the steps that claimants should take to overcome any obstacles.