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How a Preexisting Condition Can Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

Posted on 05/13/24 by admin in Personal Injury

The human body’s ability to heal is nothing short of miraculous. But it’s not perfect. This is an unfortunate fact of life. Many of us deal with the inconvenience, pain, and disability stemming from chronic conditions. Even something as common as asthma, scoliosis, or flat feet may be considered a chronic condition. However, many of us who live with the day to day trials of these ailments know them by another name: “preexisting conditions.” This phrase is most commonly associated with the health insurance industry, and can be synonymous with chronic injury or disease as well as factors which raise the risk of future health trouble, such as a history of smoking. But did you know that preexisting conditions can also play a factor in a personal injury case? Today’s Malloy Law Offices blog post will explore how a preexisting condition can affect your personal injury claim.

preexisting condition

Preexisting Conditions In a Common Personal Injury Scenario

To be as clear and explicit as possible: a preexisting condition does not in and of itself remove the right to seek compensation for an injury. This would be nothing short of nightmarish. The privileges conferred with property ownership come with duties of care towards all persons, regardless of medical history, chronic illness, or congenital defect.

However, a preexisting condition may (and often will) inform the defense strategy of the person or company you are attempting to sue. Let’s try to present a realistic example; say that many years ago, you ruptured a ligament in your knee while playing sports. You underwent the appropriate treatment and the old injury has healed as well as can be expected. Not “like new” but by no means painful or disabling. One day, you visit your local grocery store. An employee on duty was engaged in routine mopping of the tile floor, was called away to help with a task in another part of the store, and neglected to place the “wet floor” sign where they’d been mopping. You slip, fall, and reinjure the repaired ligament.

While the supermarket chain likely cannot use your repaired knee ligament to dismiss your claim entirely, you can bet that they’ll use it to minimize the value and severity of your claim. For more on supermarket chain injuries, we recommend this blog post.

preexisting conditions

Navigating the Aftermath

A re-aggravation of an existing injury is bad enough. Worse yet is that your insurance company may prefer to go along with the negligent company’s version of events. So how to navigate this situation? As in any legal proceeding, hard evidence can often be your best friend. The first stop to collect this evidence should be the offices of a general practitioner or an emergency room. Doctors don’t just diagnose and treat injuries and illnesses, they record them. Seeing a doctor as soon as possible can provide the best possible record of the extent and severity of your injury, in addition to how your preexisting condition may have made it more severe.

The site of your accident may also contain plentiful evidence. While witness testimony can also be invaluable, the objective records of an accident are generally much harder to twist or disprove. These may include:

  • Video recordings
  • Pictures taken in the immediate aftermath
  • Police reports

preexisting condition

How Malloy Law Can Help

Even if you collect a dragon’s hoard of hard evidence, what exactly you should do with it may still be unclear. This is where the services of a personal injury attorney come in. The energy, empathy, and expertise of a talented legal professional can be the difference-maker in securing the compensation you are due. Not only will an attorney know what to seek compensation for (such as lost wages, lost property, medical bills, and emotional trauma), they’ll also know how best to go about it, thereby giving you the best chance of receiving the restitution you are entitled to.

Malloy Law is proud to employ the DMV region’s personal injury specialists. Our experienced and diverse team is standing by to fight for you. Don’t let your preexisting condition prevent you from seeking compensation. Contact Malloy Law today and let’s win your case.