Every citizen needs to have a clear understanding of his/her legal rights. This pertains to personal injuries as well. More often than not, the negligent party who was responsible for your injury or their lawyers will try to wiggle out of paying you what is due. This is a violation of your rights.
So, what should be your course of action? What can you expect? How will it play out? Are you getting the short end of the stick? Read on for all the relevant information.
Prior injury or pre-existing medical history and claim settlement: understanding the link
What is a prior injury? Simply put, if you were already grappling with an injury or convalescing from it, at the time of the personal injury then it is categorized as a prior injury. Similarly, any health condition you had been diagnosed with before you suffered the personal injury (for which you want the settlement) will be part of your medical history.
A few examples of common pre-existing health conditions-
- Congenital or birth defects and illnesses
- Any form of injury you had attained- it could be fractures, nerve problems, back pain or a brain trauma
- Any illness that you are receiving treatment for
What is the implication of medical history on claim settlement for a personal injury? And does your injury qualify for a settlement?
To answer the second question first, if your injury resulted from the negligence of a person, then you are well within your rights to seek compensation. It could be –
- Slip and fall
- Motor accident
- Injury-related to work
- Any other instance in which you were injured.
Now let us come back to the first question. Any form of medical history or any old injury can create a fraught scenario when it comes to seeking compensation from the third party in the event of a fresh personal injury.
The insurer of the wrongdoer will possibly allege that your personal injury is simply the aggravation of your older injury or your health condition is acting up. They will refuse to admit that their client’s action has caused you new injuries. You may be sure that your medical history will be used against you so that the third party can get off by paying you minimal damages. And this is how they will try to discredit your claim.
But let us be clear about one thing- a prior injury or a medical history will NOT disqualify you from receiving a settlement.
But there is a possibility that you might not receive the compensation you expected. As we explained earlier, the insurers will refuse to accept that you have actually suffered a grave personal injury.
So what is to be done?
Don’t lose hope. You do not have to give up the fight before it even began. There are legal options open to you.
Firstly, the insurance company of the third party will want you to allow the medical authorization. This will allow them to access all relevant information related to your medical history. Do NOT sign the dotted line no matter what they tell you. This is a trap.
Next, you need legal advice about how you can proceed. Personal injury lawyers have experience in dealing with this situation. We know what needs to be done. We can build a case for you by collecting evidence and witness statements. We too will go over your medical history. The other party will try to use it to legitimize their claim, but our job is to separate the treatment for prior injuries or health conditions from the care or surgery or therapy you required for the newest personal injury.
Contact us today so that we can prepare an ironclad plan. At Claim Settlement, our network of lawyers have 20 years of experience in handling personal injury and accident cases and has recovered millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. Our initial consultations are absolutely free and you don’t pay until our networks of lawyers have procured you the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered an injury or been in an accident call us at 1-833-892-5246 for a free consultation or e-mail us at email@example.com