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Is a Personal Injury Claim Affected by a Pre-Existing Condition?

Is a Personal Injury Claim Affected by a Pre-Existing Condition?

Understanding Your Rights to Recovery in a Lawsuit: Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia, PA Explains

Many people who are injured in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, dog bite, or any other injury-causing incident will ask whether their pre-existing conditions affect their personal injury recovery. But like most legal questions, the answer is “it depends.” Unfortunately, for a defense lawyer or insurance adjuster that answer is always “yes”—even when it should not be. Defendant lawyers and adjusters are so well-trained that they will even sound convinced that this is true, and they may even start to convince you too. If you hire a new lawyer or an inexperienced lawyer, they may even be tricked. That is why you need to call an experienced personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, for help with your claim.

Here at HGSK, we will not let defense lawyers and insurance adjusters take advantage of the facts to escape or lessen their client’s liability. Our bodily injury law firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of victims and their families who have been seriously injured, catastrophically harmed, or wrongfully killed in an accident in Pennsylvania. To learn more about our bodily injury law firm and how we can help you, call us at (267) 350-6600 to schedule a FREE consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers in Philadelphia, PA.

What is a Pre-Existing Condition?

A pre-existing condition is any condition that existed prior to your accident. It could be a known condition, such as a previously broken arm, or it could be an unknown injury, such as degenerative disc disease in your back. Any condition, whether you were treating for it or not, could be considered a pre-existing condition.

Does a Pre-Existing Condition Affect My Compensation?

Yes, a pre-existing condition can affect the compensation you may be entitled to.

For example, if you had a partial tear in your rotator cuff before your accident, and now have a full tear from your accident, your recovery may be reduced to reflect that you had a pre-existing injury already. Said differently, your total compensation may be reduced because the defendant did not truly cause you the full tear—only contributed to it. Whereas if you did not have any rotator cuff injury before your accident, you would be entitled to full compensation.

However, a pre-existing condition cannot be used to lower your recovery if it is not related.

By way of another common example, say you broke your arm in a car accident and already had a herniated disc in your back. These two injuries are not related. If you are only seeking compensation for your broken arm, evidence of a pre-existing back condition is not relevant and cannot be used to lower your compensation. That is, as long as you do not claim the car accident also worsened your back pain or affected the “quality of your life”—a very general type of claim. This is known as a pleading issue, and it depends on what you are alleging in your lawsuit to ensure that your recovery is not affected by making mistakes in pleading certain injuries or claims.

Were You Injured in Pennsylvania? Do You Have a Pre-Existing Condition That Could Affect Your Recovery? Get Us To Help You

Going up against a lawyer or adjuster claiming that you have a pre-existing condition or injury that should lower your recovery can be difficult. It is always best to have an experienced personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, to help fight back. Call our experienced bodily injury law firm at HGSK to learn more about your rights to compensation and how we can help you recover the maximum compensation that you may be entitled to under the law by dialing (267) 350-6600 or by sending us a message through our “contact us” box.