Most people are unaware that a pre-existing medical condition may impact a personal injury case. Insurers will often try to use medical records against people in order to lower the damages that those injured will receive in injury claims when a car accident is the cause. An ethical, experienced lawyer is always looking out for your best interest. In a personal injury case, making sure that damages are awarded justly is key.
A great example is someone who had a previous injury in another accident. If you did receive medical treatment or even missed some work, you probably still felt that the injury problems were behind you. However, even years later if you are involved in an accident caused by someone else’s poor judgment or bad driving, their defense may attempt to use that against you if your injury involves that shoulder.
Usually what happens in these cases is shortly after the accident, their insurance company will contact you. They’ll ask about prior injuries, and typically, about those that may seem connected. They want to be able to argue in court that the accident only aggravated an old injury, and that the full damages should not be awarded to you. All of this is done to try to lower the amount of the settlement against them and it is not going to be a fair settlement if they are successful.
Insurance adjustors do this for a living. They will go through years of back medical records that can help them to justify lower settlements. They work for the insurance company, and so their job role is to try to reduce the amount paid out in medical claims. They’ll look at the injuries that you sustained in the accident and will often attempt to claim that it isn’t from this recent injury, but something that was caused in a prior accident and just made a little worse by the accident now.
It is for this reason that having a very experienced personal injury lawyer who knows car accident injuries is important. It’s not only dealing with areas of law that involve driver negligence, but also in dealing with unscrupulous insurance company tactics to lower settlement amounts. If you’ve been in an accident, you are under no obligation to answer any questions that the insurance company may ask you, without prior counsel. Be sure that you are careful, and hire an attorney who is looking out for your rights.